Last Updated:  13 January 2015

Please note:  Updates to this page will be made regularly to show abortion laws in more regions throughout the world and in response to changes in laws.


Abortion can be obtained legally under various conditions in most countries.  In some countries, abortion laws are controlled by states or territories and may vary significantly, from state to state or to territory, from laws which do not impose many restrictions to heavily restricted laws.

In many countries, such as the USA, Australia and Canada some state or federal laws allow abortion for any reason, at any stage in the pregnancy and using any procedure if certain conditions are met.  (E.g. if two doctors sign off on the abortion or it is performed at a hospital).  

The decriminalisation or liberalisation of abortion laws in developed countries mostly occurred between 1950 and 1985, but laws continue to be liberalised to the present day.  On 20 July 2013, abortion was legalised in Ireland for the first time in the history of the country.  Also on 21 November 2013, the state of Tasmania, Australia passed a law which allows abortion at any time in the pregnancy for the physical or mental health of the woman, including for socio-economic reasons if there is consent by two doctors.  

There are usually no legal restrictions on abortion methods apart from some laws banning Intact Dilation and Extraction (IDX), otherwise known as 'Partial Birth Abortion'.  Partial Birth Abortion is a horrific procedure whereby a viable baby, can be killed in a most inhumane manner when partially born and head is still in the birth canal.  More information on IDX is available here.  WARNING:  This information is highly graphic and disturbing.  Please consider this before viewing.

Some laws, particularly those passed in recent years in the US, ban abortion based on the pain capability of the unborn child, usually at 20 weeks gestation - by which time science and medical evidence indicates the unborn child is capable of feeling pain.  

Countries with their respective states and territories (where abortion laws are state laws) are listed alphabetically below with an overview of the abortion law of each. Scroll down to find a country or state/territory or click on the appropriate letter of the alphabet to quickly locate.  Unless otherwise indicated, weeks in pregnancy are gestational weeks, i.e., weeks since last menstrual period (LMP).

 A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z



Country, State or Territory

For Any Reason


For Risk to Woman's Physical Health

For Risk to Woman's

Mental Health

Conditions Counselling Required  IDX Ban 
Australia - ACT Until Birth  N/A N/A Must occur in a medical facility that has received Ministerial approval by registered medical practitioners  No No 
Australia - NSW No Yes, for serious risk only Yes, for serious risk only Must be carried out by a registered doctor in a clinic or hospital  No   No
Australia - NT  No  Until 14 weeks Until 14 weeks Must be performed by a specialist OB/GYN. Medical abortion is illegal, including the abortion pill (RU486)    
Australia- QLD  No No  No The legality of abortion is not established in QLD. Women and doctors may be criminally prosecuted for an abortion.  No No 
Australia - SA  No Until 28 weeks Until 28 weeks Must be performed by a legally qualified medical practitioner on grounds of maternal health or foetal disability only  No  No 
Australia - Tas Until 16 weeks After 16 weeks After 16 weeks Second Dr must consent after 16 weeks  No  No
Australia - Vic Until 24 weeks  After 24 weeks After 24 weeks Second Dr must consent after 24 weeks  No No 
Australia - WA Until 20 weeks  After 20 weeks only if medical condition is severe

After 20 weeks only if medical

condition is severe

Prior to 20 weeks woman must give informed consent. After 20 weeks, two doctors from Ministerial panel appointed for this purpose must agree and it must be performed in approved facility

 Yes No 
Canada Until Birth  N/A 


 No restrictions No  No
Northern Ireland            
US - AL            

* Except if threat to woman's life or physical health


In the following countries, abortion is illegal and punishable, except when it is performed to save the life of a woman:


Aboriton is illegal in all circumstances in the following countries:


Go to top