Publication Title: 
Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, May 18, 2022

This paper, published in Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, analyzes provisions that do not account for the prevalence of self-managed abortion and evidence of its safety. Such provisions require that abortion take place in a formal healthcare setting. The researchers also analyzed criminal penalties for non-compliance.

They limited their analysis to liberal abortion laws for two reasons: Abortion laws globally trend towards less restrictive. In addition, they aimed to focus on how laws relate to abortion outside a formal healthcare setting specifically and excluded laws that prohibit abortion more broadly. They found that in all countries with liberal national abortion laws, the law permits only healthcare professionals or trained health workers to perform legal abortion and the majority require the abortion to take place in a specified health facility. With policy surveillance methods we can illuminate characteristics of law across many jurisdictions and the need for widespread reform, toward laws that reflect scientific evidence and the way people have abortions.