With the many decades long battle in the United States over women’s rights and abortion laws, it’s easy to forget how strict and oppressive other countries can be on the matter. The controversial subject of abortion is a constant source of contention in many countries. In which countries is abortion illegal?
With the many decades long battle in the United States over women’s rights and abortion laws, it’s easy to forget how strict and oppressive other countries can be on the matter. The controversial subject of abortion is a constant source of contention in many countries. In which countries is abortion illegal?Countries where women don’t have access to legal and safe abortions usually have high rates of maternal deaths due to botched abortions. These countries also have higher rates of 10-19 year old mothers. Countries that have made abortion illegal also carry harsh punishments for those who break the laws. Doctors, midwives, or any other person who helps carry out an abortion may face up to 7 years in prison, while the mother may end up in prison for 5 years and owe a hefty fine.
Not all of the countries that have outlawed abortion have completely disregarded a woman’s health. Many of these countries offer abortions for women who would otherwise die in childbirth. However, in order to get the lifesaving abortion, it often has to be approved by a committee of conservative medical professionals.
This list features all the countries that have outlawed abortion, some without exception and some allowing for it only in life saving scenarios.
- Since much of Angola is conservative and religious, abortion has always been illegal. Around 40% of women who receive illegal abortions die of surgical complications.
- Since 1982, a person who performs and/or has an abortion is subject to 5 to 15 years prison time. Abortion is permitted to save a woman's life.
- Abortion is only allowed in Gabon if it will save a woman's life. Otherwise, it is subject to many years in prison.
- In Guinea-Bissau, abortion can only be performed if it will save a woman's life. Without medical permission, a woman who gets an abortion may serve at least 5 years in prison.
- In Mauritius, abortion is illegal, even if a woman's life is in danger. Mauritius has the lowest maternal death rate in all of Africa, with 15 women out of every one hundred thousand dying due to their pregnancy.
- Photo: Nicolas Raymond / FlickrMauritania has outlawed abortion, except in cases where the woman's life is in jeopardy. The punishment for breaking this law is 6 months to 5 years in prison and a hefty fine.