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America the Outlier

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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Abortion is in the news because of the Mississippi law being considered by the Supreme Court. It limits elective abortion to 15 weeks. Although critics portray it as extreme, it really isn’t much different from what the current laws in Europe are.

Angelina Nguyen explains that America is the outlier. She does a comparative analysis between the Mississippi law and the European abortion laws which also limit abortion to less than 15 weeks gestation. Here are some of the numbers.

Of the 50 European countries analyzed in the report, eight do not allow elective abortion at all. They either prohibit abortion altogether or else allow abortion for only specific reasons (such as socioeconomic grounds, fetal abnormalities, rape, or incest).

Of the 42 remaining European countries, 39 of them limit abortion to 15 weeks’ gestation or earlier. A majority of those 39 countries set gestational limits for elective abortion at or before 12 weeks’ gestation.

Americans often want to follow the pattern in the UK. But they would be surprised to learn the country restricts abortion more than the US. Great Britain still requires a woman to provide some justification to legally obtain an abortion.

She predicts that there would be a national uproar if elective abortion was limited merely to the first trimester. Yet the Mississippi law is less restrictive than the abortion policies in 47 of the 50 European countries. The law is mainstream and perhaps even permissive based on European standards.

Currently, a woman can obtain an abortion in the US without having to provide a reason, need, or justification. The Supreme Court has allowed some states to limit abortion in the third trimester and for a small number of other reasons. But when compared to Europe, America is the outlier.viewpoints new web version

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