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Reproductive Rights in Other Countries

Of the 1,942,804,760 women of reproductive age (15-49) across the globe,¹ 90 million live in countries where abortion is prohibited at all stages of pregnancy, even when the woman’s life is at risk, and only 590 million can receive an abortion upon request, with gestational age limits varying.²

According to the WHO, roughly 90% of abortions performed in countries with liberalized abortion laws are considered safe, compared with only 25% in countries with restrictive abortion laws. Approximately 5-13% of maternal deaths worldwide are caused by unsafe abortions.³

In 2018, the United Nations Human Rights Committee declared that access to a safe abortion is considered a human right.⁴ Yet, just two to four years later, Polish, American, Nicaraguan, and Honduran women all faced drastic decreases in their rights to a safe abortion.³

While seeking the right to an abortion is what most people think of when they think of reproductive justice, we must also remember those in countries who technically have the right to a safe abortion but simply cannot access one. One example is Zambia, their laws only allow medical professionals to perform abortions. However, data from 2018 suggests that there is only one doctor for every twelve thousand people, and 55% of Zambian citizens live in rural areas, making traveling to see a doctor extremely difficult.³

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