Most democracies are expanding abortion access. The U.S. is retracting it

October 21, 2021
Martha F. Davis and Fiona de Londras

Fifty years ago, the United States was a global leader in recognizing women’s reproductive rights. Today, however, much of the rest of the world has caught up or surpassed the U.S. in extending abortion access.

The United States’ closest legal peers — Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia — have laws that are either in line with or more generous than those here. Like the U.S., other liberal democracies including the Netherlands and Iceland, also protect the right to abortion until or near the point of viability. This is what makes the Supreme Court’s threatened reversal of Roe v. Wade not only dangerous and life-threatening, but legally indefensible.