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How does United States abortion law compare to that of other countries?

While there is no national abortion policy in the United States, the laws of some states make the U.S. overall one of the most permissive countries in the world when it comes to abortion. In fact, the U.S. is one of only seven countries — including China and North Korea — that allow elective abortion after 20 weeks. In the vast majority of countries in which elective abortion is legal — including nearly all of Europe — strict nationwide limits are imposed after the 12th week.

See also What is the legal status of abortion in the United States?


Baglini, Angelina. “Gestational Limits on Abortion in the United States Compared to International Norms.” Charlotte Lozier Institute. February 1, 2014. https://lozierinstitute.org/internationalabortionnorms.

Lee, Michelle Ye Hee. “Is the United States one of seven countries that ‘allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy?'” Washington Post. October 9, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/10/09/is-the-united-states-one-of-seven-countries-that-allow-elective-abortions-after-20-weeks-of-pregnancy.

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