Nearly 50 countries have liberalised their abortion laws in the last quarter century, with about 60% of women of reproductive age living in countries that broadly allow abortion
By Oscar Lopez
MEXICO CITY, Sept 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Women's rights activists celebrated on Wednesday as Mexico's Oaxaca state made it legal to terminate a pregnancy in the first 12 weeks, while Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, allowed terminations for women up to 22 weeks pregnant.
Here are 10 facts about abortion laws worldwide:
1. Some 90 million women of reproductive age, or 5% of the global total, live in countries where abortion is banned completely.
2. The maternal mortality ratio is three times higher in countries with stricter abortion laws - with 223 deaths per 100,000 live births - than in those with less restrictive laws - with 77 deaths per 100,000 live births.
3. Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for 15- to 19-year-old girls worldwide.
4. Nearly 50 countries have liberalised their abortion laws in the last quarter century, with about 60% of women of reproductive age living in countries that broadly allow abortion.
5. South Korea's high court overturned a ban on abortion in April that had stood for more than 65 years, saying that the law unconstitutionally curbed women's rights.
6. Ireland legalised abortion in a 2018 referendum after voters in the once deeply Catholic nation backed the change by two-to-one.
7. Uruguay and Cuba are the only Latin American countries that broadly allow abortion.
8. Argentina rejected a bill to legalise abortion last year and Ecuador voted down a law allowing abortion in cases of rape this month.
9. Outside of the capital, which legalised abortion in 2007, the procedure had been illegal in all Mexican states except under certain circumstances, such as rape.
10. Five U.S. states - Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana - have enacted legislation which outlaws abortion after about six weeks.
Sources: Thomson Reuters Foundation, Reuters, World Health Organization, Center for Reproductive Rights, Amnesty International.
(Reporting by Oscar Lopez, Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit www.trust.org)
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