ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health

Jul 05 2012

Abortion legislation in Europe is very varied and when looking at the legislation in the different countries the phrase ‘no two alike’ comes to mind. Each country has specific details in their regulations and requirements which contribute to the variety of the abortion legislation and practice in the European and Central Asian region. The legislation in Europe also has a very diverse history – whereas the Northern European countries started liberalizing their abortion legislation in early to mid 1970s, the Eastern European, Central Asian and Baltic Countries allowed abortions in the 1950s. The sub-regional abortion rates also show big differences and a recent article from the Guttmacher Institute highlighted these differences by pointing out that Europe is home to the sub-region with the lowest abortion rates (western EU) and the sub-region with the highest abortion rates (Eastern Europe).

The publication contains information on the abortion legislation of European and Central Asian countries.