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US Supreme Court overturned the landmark decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion.

US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion. The United States is now among the few dozen countries that have severely restricted access to the procedure. Now, individual states will decide whether to permit or restrict abortions, the court ruled on Friday night. As of now, abortions are illegal or heavily restricted in at least 11 US states. In around 12 others, laws are already in place; that will allow state authorities to swiftly ban or restrict access to the procedure.  

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, abortions are either banned entirely or permitted with certain restrictions in place. Very often limits are placed on when an abortion is permitted, generally around gestational time limits. The US takes a look at some of the abortion policies in countries across the globe. 

What is India’s abortion policy? 

India’s Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 allows abortion until 20 weeks of pregnancy. An amendment in 2021 raised the ceiling for abortions to 24 weeks for special categories of pregnant women such as rape or incest survivors, that too with the approval of two registered doctors.  There is no upper gestation limit for the procedure in cases of foetal disability as long as it is approved by a medical board of specialist doctors. Set up by the governments of states and union territories. 

Which countries have altogether banned abortions? 

Abortions are illegal in 24 countries where about 90 million or 5 percent of women of reproductive age reside. According to the global advocacy group, Center for Reproductive Rights, these include Senegal, Mauritania, and Egypt in Africa, Laos and the Philippines in Asia, El Salvador, Ad Honduras in Central America, and Poland and Malta in Europe.  

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