Women in North America, Europe and Oceania are, in general, those who enjoy the most permissive laws, approved in some cases very recently. Indeed, legal abortions are allowed in Uruguay, Guyana, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Canada, the United States, South Africa, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, Tunisia, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, China, Mongolia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Russia, North Korea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.
Also added are Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Greenland.
However, in other countries abortion is subject to very restrictive conditions. In some nations, such as Paraguay, Venezuela, Ivory Coast, Libya, Uganda, South Sudan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, among others, IVE can only be performed in the event of danger to the life of the mother.
In Brazil, for example, access to abortion is also very limited: it is allowed in the event of rape, risk to the mother or serious malformation of the fetus. While Chile, in 2017, put an end to about 30 years of total prohibition of IVE, and it was authorized only in case of risk to the life of the mother, rape and fetal infeasibility.
On the other hand, there are at least 15 nations that absolutely prohibit this practice: Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Madagascar, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Senegal, in Africa; Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Suriname, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, in America; The Philippines and Laos, in Asia; Malta, in Europe, and Palau, in Oceania.
Regarding the existing penalties in these countries, some cases stand out, such as that of El Salvador, which in 1998 passed drastic legislation that prohibits it in any circumstance, even when pregnancy endangers the mother’s life.
In the Central American country, abortion is punishable by between two and eight years in prison. But, after 22 weeks of pregnancy, it can be considered an “aggravated homicide” and sentenced to between 30 and 50 years in prison.