The Conversation About Abortion: France’s Big Move, India’s Laws and Countries With The Worst Laws


The parliamentary session held this Monday (March 4) at the Palace of Versailles, France was one for the history books. French lawmakers approved a bill that addressed an explicit inclusion of the right to abortion as a constitutional right. This bill was passed with an overwhelming majority of 780-72 under Emmanuel Macron’s government, and reproductive rights advocates (everyone should be one) celebrated and rightfully so. The French parliamentarians hailed the decision as “French Pride” that sent a “universal message” to women, that their bodies belonged to themselves. In 2024, you would think you’d be celebrating more, but we simply are not and for now, we will take the small wins. 

The Indian Scenario

Abortion is legal in India under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 but is not a “guaranteed right”. One needs to comply with a number of conditions in order to legally terminate their pregnancy for example. The termination of a pregnancy of more than 24 weeks (6 months) is not allowed. While Indian abortion laws are progressive when viewed in isolation, accessibility and social stigma are huge factors that come into play when pursuing this option. 

Of course, while we are here, it would be remiss to mention that many countries have it way worse. Here is the list of the four countries with the worst abortion rights. 

United States

21 states of the US have either banned or limited access to abortion procedures. Women residing in states like Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas etc have no rights to abortion procedures. The varying abortion laws across the states can significantly impact women’s access to reproductive healthcare. In states with abortion bans, women may resort to unsafe and illegal means to terminate their pregnancies posing a risk to their lives. 


With the least amount of abortions recorded last year, this European country has the strictest abortion laws, allowing it only in the cases of rape, incest, foetal abnormalities or threats to mother’s life. Recently in 2020, their judiciary ruled out foetal abnormalities as a reason, effectively tightening already restrictive laws. 

El Salvador

Infamous for being the country with most repressive abortion laws globally, El Salvador has put an absolute ban on abortion, no matter the circumstances. This law has severely chilling consequences for women because some of them who undergo abortions or face miscarriages can face criminal prosecution leading to prison sentences upto 40 years. 


This country has been on and off with its abortion laws. The laws have undergone significant changes over the years, from being legalised in 1983 to being “limited” in 2012. Much likie Poland, abortion is allowed under certain circumstances but the healthcare accessibility is largely dependent on factors like location and socio-economic status. Rural areas and conservative communities have stigmatised abortion and hence have very limited access to such procedures and related medication.

- Digital Intern


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