What are the regulations? Is Abortion Legal?

Abortion Laws

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Abortion Criteria

  • Abortions are legal for 59% of the world’s population. Five percent of women of reproductive age live in regions where abortion is prohibited altogether; 22% live in areas where abortion is only permitted to save the woman’s life.
  • Abortion regulations usually permit abortions under certain stipulations, including staying within gestational limits or qualifying for an exception.
  • The government sets abortion criteria with the woman's well-being and the effect of pregnancy terminations in mind.
  • This page provides an overview of abortion parameters and the reason they are given. Reading this article will help you discern which criteria apply to your region.

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When Is Abortion Legal? - Abortion Parameters

Governments that do not ban abortion set legal parameters under which it is permitted. These include

1. Indicators

Most legislators list indicators that allow for abortion within specific gestational limits. These may include socio-economic reasons, the mother’s health, fetal defects, conception through rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother.

2. Specialized Training

Abortion laws often specify who is permitted to perform abortions. In most countries, abortions must be performed by medical staff. In many of these countries, abortions may only be performed by medical doctors.

3. Location

Internationally, home abortions are more heavily restricted than in-clinic abortions. DIY abortions are often completely banned, and the abortion pill is strictly regulated.

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4. Confidentiality

Most abortions can stay confidential. No one has to know. Legal exceptions in some regions may include parental consent for minors or spousal consent for married couples.

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Some countries have specific laws on how medical records on abortions are handled. Usually, abortions are only added to a woman’s medical records upon her request.

5. Informed Consent

Some regions require the woman to take part in pre-abortion counseling to ensure her informed consent. Advice during this mandated counseling session may include information about the abortion procedure, fetal development, abortion alternatives, and abortion-pill reversal. A waiting period of 1 to 5 days may be required after receiving abortion counseling.

Abortion coercion is a criminal offense in most countries. This means that forcing someone to have an abortion is punishable by law.

6. Medical Requirements

A blood test or an ultrasound may be required by law before procuring an abortion. The ultrasound reveals the gestational age, ensuring the pregnancy is within the legal time limit. It would also show if you have an ectopic pregnancy, thereby preventing serious risks. Proceeding with an abortion without ascertaining whether it can be performed safely could severely impact the woman’s health.

Why Have Abortion Parameters?

Legal parameters for abortions are usually given with the woman's well-being in mind. The risk of a late-term abortion is weighed against the trauma of the abortion indicator. Therefore, socio-economic reasons and general health concerns are commonly accepted as abortion indicators in early pregnancy only. Conversely, If your life is in danger by continuing the pregnancy, abortion is always permitted.

Where Do I Go from Here?

You may be considering abortion for one of the reasons listed above. Perhaps you are still in school, an unstable relationship, or a financially difficult situation. You may be feeling pressure, fear, or disbelief...

Your lived experience is more than an indicator! You are not a victim of your circumstances. On the contrary, your exposure to hardship is building grit in you. So, how can you use this resilience to transform this situation into something good?

You are not alone! We would love to walk alongside you as you navigate this time of uncertainty. Take advantage of our judgment-free resources to find the path that is right for you:

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Disclaimer: Due to the constantly shifting political landscape, abortion laws are subject to frequent changes. While profemina aims to provide you with up-to-date information, we cannot guarantee the veracity of the data provided in this article.

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