But while abortion rights are under fire in the US, there are places in the world — though they are few — where abortions are already completely illegal. That’s one statistic made clear by a new Pew Research Center analysis that details abortion practices and policies around the world.
The investigation, which was released Oct. 6, suggests that out of the 196 countries in the world, only six do not allow women to have an abortion under any circumstance — even if the procedure would save her life.
These six outlier countries are shown in light purple below. Four of them — Chile, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Nicaragua — are in Latin America, while the other two (Vatican City and Malta) are in Europe.
The ban on abortions in parts of Latin America doesn’t come as a surprise, given that most people there do not believe that abortion should be allowed under any circumstance. Uruguay, the Pew Research Center reports, is the only country in the region where slightly more than half of residents — 54% — have voiced support in legalizing abortion in nearly all circumstances.
Vatican City and Malta, on the other hand, are exceptions in Europe, where nearly three quarters of countries allow abortions for any reason.
Almost all countries in the world allow abortions to save a woman’s life. But about a quarter of the countries included in the Pew analysis allow abortions only in the case of saving the mother’s life. Abortions for other reasons — such as in cases of rape or incest, a sick foetus, economic or social reasons, mental health reasons, or simply because a woman chooses to have one — are still not allowed in much of the world.
Check out the entire interactive graphic here.
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