Calling America’s abortion policies “ultra-permissive,” a new report out Tuesday concludes that the United States is one of just seven countries that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks.
Out of the sample 198 countries, independent states and regions worldwide, 59 allow abortion without restrictions. Of those 59, 9 countries limit elective abortions to before the 12th week, 36 countries limit elective abortion at 12 weeks, six countries limit elective abortion to 20 weeks gestation, one country (Australia) allows its state/territories to decide abortion limits, and seven countries allow elective abortion past 20 weeks or have no limit.
The remaining 139 countries have some kind of restriction on the process, requiring a reason to obtain an abortion — from saving the life of the mother to socioeconomic grounds and health reasons.
“The United States is within the top 4% of most permissive abortion policies in the world (7 out of 198) when analyzing restrictions on elective abortion based on duration of pregnancy,” the report — authored by Angelina Baglini of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List — reads.
The six other nations that allow elective abortion after 20 weeks include China, North Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Netherland, and Canada. The report notes that Singapore and the Netherlands prohibit abortion at 24 weeks and the United States prohibits abortion at the point of viability. The rest have no restrictions in law.
And while the United States’ national standard is among the most permissive in the world, some states have passed their own 20-week abortion bans. Last year a 20-week ban passed in the House and while there is a similar bill pending in the Senate, the legislation is unlikely to move forward given the body’s Democratic majority.
“Permitting abortion on demand past 20 weeks places the United States among the top 4% of most-permissive countries in the world based on duration of pregnancy restrictions on abortion,” the pro-life report reads. “If the United States adopts a federal policy restricting elective abortion past 20 weeks, or if more states adopt such policies, the U.S. will more closely align itself with the international norm that limits elective abortion past 12 weeks,” the report argues.
The report was co-released with Life Canada.