The Myth That America’s Abortion Laws Are More Permissive Than Europe’s

By making a false comparison, GOP apparatchiks hope to cushion the political fallout of Roe’s demise.

By Adam Serwer, The Atlantic
JULY 22, 2022

Stripping millions of American women of their constitutional right to decide whether to bear a child has potentially serious consequences for the political party that made it happen. Hoping to blunt the possible repercussions, Republicans have been arguing that the Mississippi abortion ban at the center of the Supreme Court case that overturned Roe v. Wade is a moderate law, in line with global standards, and that it is abortion-rights advocates who are taking an extreme position.

Republican Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi made this assertion in 2021 ahead of oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson. “Mississippi will still have a law on the books in which 39 countries, 39 out of 42 in Europe, have more restrictive abortion laws than what I believe to be one of the most conservative states in the United States,” Reeves said on Meet the Press.