Is Abortion Legal in Europe?
- Abortion is highly regulated in every European country.
- Abortion limits vary from complete bans to 24 weeks gestation.
- Abortion parameters include mandatory wait times, ultrasound requirements, and parental consent for minors.
This page addresses abortion questions such as:
- Can You Get an Abortion in Europe?
- How Late Can You Get an Abortion in Europe?
- Is Abortion Illegal in Europe?
⚖️ Wondering whether to get an abortion? Take the Abortion Test.
Can You Get an Abortion in Europe?
Abortion regulations differ immensely from one European country to another. Each European government has set specific parameters under which abortions may be performed. Read about these parameters here and refer to the chart below for details.
1. Abortion Limits
Time limits for abortion in Europe vary from 0 to 24 weeks. Most European countries limit abortion to the first trimester (12 weeks).
ℹ️ For more information, go to Is Abortion Legal?
2. Counseling Requirements
- While all European governments require abortion facilities to provide medical information about the abortion procedure to obtain the woman's informed consent, roughly half of all European countries mandate pre-abortion counseling. Advice during this required informational meeting may include details about the abortion procedure, pain management, fetal development, abortion alternatives, and abortion pill reversal.
- The informed consent regulation has been implemented to protect women from forced abortions and help them make decisions corresponding to their values and intuitions.
ℹ️ For more information, go to Abortion Pros & Cons (including self-evaluation).
3. Mandatory Wait Times
Approximately 1/3 of all European countries have set waiting periods of 2–7 days before obtaining an abortion. This allows the woman the opportunity to weigh her decision carefully.
ℹ️ For more information, go to How Do I Make a Good Decision?
4. Parental Consent
Most European countries require minors to obtain parental consent before seeking an abortion. Age requirements differ and can be found in the table below.
ℹ️ For more information, go to Am I Too Young for a Baby? Test
5. Specialized Training
In all European countries, abortions may only be performed or prescribed by a licensed facility, usually with the active involvement of medical doctors.
ℹ️ For more information, go to How Soon Should I See a Doctor (including free quiz).
6. Ultrasound and Laboratory Testing Requirements
- Many European nations require pre-abortion ultrasounds and lab testing.
- An ultrasound would reveal the gestational age, which is necessary for discerning which abortion method may be used. It would also show an ectopic pregnancy, thereby preventing severe risks.
- A blood test confirms the pregnancy and is also a precautionary measure should blood transfusions be required after the procedure. Additionally, the woman's rhesus type is established so that a Rhogam injection can be administered to prevent complications during future pregnancies.
Abortion Parameters in Europe:
Find your country below for information on abortion parameters in your region. The regular time limit for abortion is given in weeks of gestation, counting from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP).
|Region||Reg. Limit||Counseling Requirement||Wait
|Albania||12 w||yes||7 d||U16||yes||no|
|Amenia||12 w||yes||3 d||U18||Licensed Facility||unknown|
|Belgium||12 w||yes||6 d||no||yes||no|
|Bosnia/ Herzegovina||10 w||yes||-||U16||yes||US|
|Croatia||10 w||no||-||U16||yes||US & labs|
|Czech. Rep.||12 w||yes||-||U18||yes||labs|
|Denmark||12 w||no||-||U18||yes||US after 12 w|
|Estonia||11 w||no||-||no||yes||US & labs|
|Georgia||12 w||yes||5 d||U14||yes||unknown|
|Hungary||12 w||yes||3 d||U18||yes||US & labs|
|Ireland||12 w||no||3 d||U16||yes||no|
|Italy||12 w + 6 Days||yes||7 d||U18||yes||US & labs|
|Lativa||12 w||no||3 d||U16||yes||no|
|Lithuania||12 w||yes||-||U16||yes||US & labs|
|Luxembourg||12 w||no||3 d||U18||yes||US|
|Netherlands||24 w||yes||5 d||U16||yes||no|
|North Macedonia||12 w||no||-||U18||yes||unknown|
|Portugal||10 w||yes||3 d||U16||yes||US|
|San Marino||12 w||no||-||?||yes||unknown|
|Serbia||10 w||no||-||U16||yes||US & labs|
|Slovakia||12 w||yes||2 d||U18||yes||no|
|Slovenia||10 w||no||-||U18||yes||US & labs|
|Spain||14 w||no||3 d||U16||yes||labs|
|Sweden||18 w||no||-||no||Licensed facility||no|
|Ukraine||12 w||no||-||U14||Licensed facility||unknown|
|United Kingdom||24 w||yes||-||no||yes||no|
How Late Can You Get an Abortion in Europe?
Every European country has its own abortion limit. Additionally, late-term abortion exemptions differ according to each country's regulations. Circumstances which may allow for an extension beyond regular limits include rape, fetal defect, and health of the mother. Refer to our chart for details on a specific country.
Abortion is permitted in all counties throughout pregnancy to save the mother's life.
Even in areas where abortion is legal after the first trimester, late abortions may not be widely available. Many abortion clinics only offer the abortion pill and vacuum extractions, which are exclusively used in the first trimester.
- The abortion pill can be prescribed until the 9th or 10th week of pregnancy LMP (counting from the first day of your last menstrual period). This time-window is federally mandated because the risk of complications increases exponentially if used beyond this point.
- Vacuum aspiration is the primary surgical abortion method used until the 16th week of pregnancy.
- Abortions beyond 16 weeks gestation are performed by dilation and evacuation (D&E) or induction. At this point, the fetus has become too large to be suctioned out and would need to be extracted by forceps.
Abortion Exceptions in Europe
Find your country below for information on late-term abortion exceptions in your region. The time limits for abortion are given in weeks of gestation, counting from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP).
|Albania||12 w||22 w||22 w||22 w||yes|
|Amenia||12 w||22 w||yes||yes||yes|
|Austria||16 w||no||24 w||yes||yes|
|Belarus||12 w||22 w||no||22 w||yes|
|Bulgaria||12 w||no||40 w||20 w||yes|
|Czech Rep.||12 w||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Denmark||12 w||yes||22 w||22 w||yes|
|Estonia||11 w||no||22 w||22 w||yes|
|Finland||12 w||20 w||24 w||20 w||yes|
|Georgia||12 w||22 w||22 w||22 w||yes|
|Greece||12 w||19 w||24 w||19 w||yes|
|Hungary||12 w||18 w||24 w||18 w||yes|
|Ireland||12 w||no||36 w||40 w||yes|
|Montenegro||10 w||20 w||20 w||32 w||yes|
|North Macedonia||12 w||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Norway||12 w||22 w||22 w||yes||yes|
|Portugal||10 w||16 w||24 w||12 w||yes|
|Romania||14 w||no||24 w||yes||yes|
|Russia||12 w||22 w||yes||yes||yes|
|San Marino||12 w||no||no||no||yes|
|Slovakia||12 w||no||24 w||24 w||yes|
|Spain||14 w||no||yes||22 w||yes|
|Turkey||10 w||20 w||yes||yes||yes|
|Ukraine||12 w||22 w||22 w||22 w||yes|
|United Kingdom||24 w||no||yes||24 w||yes|
Is Abortion Illegal in Europe?
Performing or pursuing an abortion beyond the legal parameters is illegal in Europe. Punitive action against illegal abortions is handled differently from country to country. Sometimes, only the physician is penalized; in other countries, the woman receiving the abortion or anyone providing assistance may be charged. Refer to the chart below to determine each European country's policy regarding illegal abortion.
Self-inducing an abortion without the aid of a medical provider is illegal in all European countries. This law was established with the health of women in mind. Most homemade abortion methods carry higher risks, making them unsafe. Additionally, the large percentage of failed home abortions may lead to malformations and preterm deliveries. The mother's safety is the highest priority, coupled with a concern for fetal health.
- Could I Force a Miscarriage? Test
- 🩺 Should I have a fetal defect abortion? Test
- 🛤 Could an abortion affect me long term? Quiz
Who Can Be Penalized for an Abortion?
Find your country below to determine who could be penalized for an illegal abortion in your area:
I Need an Abortion in Europe — Now What?
Hopefully, our page addressed some of your practical questions about abortion in Europe. Perhaps your concerns go beyond the need for information. You may have recently found out you are pregnant, bringing your heart to a standstill while your mind races on.
We are here for you as you navigate your next steps! If you are deliberating whether to have an abortion, you are invited to participate in our weeklong Decision Coaching sessions. This includes a free daily email for seven days, with thought-provoking ideas and stories of how other pregnant women have dealt with this challenging situation.