Poland Backs Down From Near-Total Abortion Ban After Massive Protest

Abortion has often been a controversial subject throughout the past century, in different societies. In many countries abortion is still illegal, rendering women who continue with the procedure at higher risk, due to harmful and unverified abortion methods. Some countries have adopted the abortion law, which permits, prohibits, restricts, or otherwise regulates the availability of abortions. However, according to the World Health Organization, the abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal to countries where it is not. Furthermore, there are no international laws ensuring that a proper abortion law, making sure all women have equal access to the procedure, is applicable throughout the world. The American Convention on Human Rights declared human life as commencing with conception in 2013, whereas the United Nations Human Rights Committee ordered Peru to compensate a woman denied abortion in 2005, which was only done in 2016. This was the first time that an international committee acknowledged that abortion is a human right.

It is important to note that in 97% of all countries, abortion is permitted when a woman’s health is at risk. 49% accept it in the case of rape or incest, 69% in the case of physical health, and 24% because of economic or social reasons. Only 29% of all countries accept abortion upon a woman’s request. Even in the United States, despite the changes brought about by the Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in 1973, there exist many restrictions to how an abortion can be conducted in certain circumstances, including physician and hospital requirements, gestational limits, or waiting periods.