Other Countries’ Surprising Takes on Abortion

While the rest of the world makes abortion a highly restrictive procedure, in the United States it’s almost as simple as scheduling the appointment.

In Germany, Most Abortions are Illegal

Germany outlaws all abortions after 12 weeks, with exceptions. And for earlier pregnancies, the mothers must wait three days and receive a counseling session before they can abort their pregnancies.

Ireland Bans Abortion in All Cases

The Irish view the life of a fetus as holding rights equal to those of the mother. The country still upholds the Offenses Against the Person Act of 1861, which lawmakers actually strengthed in 1983 by constitutional ammendment. The original act banned all abortions, though later legislation established an exception in cases where the mother’s life is at risk.

Israel Mostly Bans Abortion

Israel’s position is surprising mostly because of the overwhelming support for abortion among Jewish people in the United States. Yet in the state of Israel, all abortions are illegal for married women ages 17-40, with the seemingly normal exceptions. Single women are eligible for abortions, but have to get ultrasounds and receive approval from a medical expert.

In Italy, Most Doctors Refuse to Perform Abortions on Moral Grounds

Largely thanks to Vatican City and the Roman Catholic influence on the country, abortion in Italy represents more of a moral question than legal question. According to an article from last year, nine out of 10 doctors in public hospitals refuse to abort pregnancies. This is despite a 1978 law that allows mothers to abort within the first 90 days of a pregnancy. The same law gives doctors the right refuse to perform the procedure on moral grounds.

Russia Restricts Abortions to the First 12 Weeks

Granted, no one thinks of Russia as progressive anymore. The once-communist stronghold limits abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and clinics must warn interested mothers about the health risks of abortion. Just a couple of months ago, Russian lawmakers moved to limit insurance payments for abortions and ban private clinics and only allow women to buy morning-after pills with a prescription.

Spain Planned to Become the Most Abortion-Restrictive Country in Europe

In December, the Spanish government made a concerted effort to enforce the “toughest abortion laws” in Europe. The proposal would have banned all abortions, with the only exception being cases of rape or “grave risk” to the mother.

How is it that countries with such dark histories are taking the moral high ground in this issue and the United States isn’t? The laws here might state that abortion is the mother’s choice, but should it be one that’s made with so few rules and regulations?

Read more at: Relevant

Photo: Brian Wolfe on Flickr




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