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Abortion

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Abortion

Summary: Today, 76 percent of the world's people live in countries where induced abortion is legal, at least for health reasons, and 39 percent reside in nations where abortion is available up on request.


Today, 76 percent of the world's people live in countries where induced abortion is legal, at least for health reasons, and 39 percent reside in nations where abortion is available up on request. The procedure is legal in nearly every developed country, and although a majority of developing countries prohibit abortion, 67 percent of the residents of the developing world live in countries where it is permitted at least for health reasons. The other 33 percent-more than one billion people, most of living in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the more strongly fundamentalist Islamic nations-have little of no access to legal induced abortion. Although many women around the world are unable to obtain legal abortions when they need them, the current world situation differs considerably from conditions prevailing 50 years ago, when nearly every nation-outlawed abortion. The first definitive steps toward legalization of abortion were taking in Northern Europe during the 1930s and gained momentum in the years following World War two, when the socialist nations of Eastern and Central Europe (with the exception of Albania) adopted laws permitting first-trimester abortions either the woman's request of on the basis of broadly interpreted social indications. Many other developed countries, including the United States, followed suit in the 1960s and 1970s. By the beginning of the 1986, induced abortions could be legally obtained for health reasons in North American and in every European country except Belgium, Ireland, and Malta. Although in many of these nations certain restrictions apply to the provision of abortion, especially in the second trimester, almost any woman who wants can get a legal ...

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