Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Authoritarian Regimes Have More Progressive Abortion Policies Than Some U.S. States
Press Release

RELEASE: Authoritarian Regimes Have More Progressive Abortion Policies Than Some U.S. States

Washington, D.C. — Americans in states with regressive anti-abortion laws now have fewer human rights protections than those in countries criticized for their records on women’s rights, according to a new column from the Center for American Progress.

The column notes that compared to the more than 50 countries that have liberalized abortion laws since 1994, the United States has become only the fourth country to roll back those rights over the same time frame—joining El Salvador, Poland, and Nicaragua. And Americans in some states have even fewer rights than those in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, where abortion is limited but some exceptions are still allowed.

“The extremist right wing attacks on abortion rights are dragging the United States down to the level of the same authoritarian regimes we often criticize,” said Osub Ahmed, associate director of Women’s Health and Rights at CAP. “As other countries have done in recent decades, we must now fight to undo abortion bans and expand access to abortion through legislative means or in the courts.”

The column examines countries where abortion access has been expanded recently after tireless campaigns by activists who mobilized broad coalitions to generate public support for abortion rights. These recent changes in Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Ireland, and South Korea suggest ways that the United States could reverse course and protect abortion rights in the future.

Read the column: “Authoritarian Regimes Have More Progressive Abortion Policies Than Some U.S. States” by Alexandra Schmitt, Osub Ahmed, Elyssa Spitzer, and Maggie Jo Buchanan

For more information, or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org or 240-899-9436.