Abortion in the European Union: Institutional sources of divergences and solidarities

Project holders: 

Research team : 

Hazal Atay (Phd candidate at CEVIPOF, Political Science & consultant at WHO, Global Abortion Policies Database)

Project description : 

Europe has long been leading the trends towards liberalization of abortion access, and today almost all countries in Europe allow abortion on various grounds. Nonetheless, European countries still diverge when it comes to abortion policies, notably in abortion term limits and care pathways, as well as in the legal regulation of abortion. While abortion is considered a right in France, for instance, it is still not allowed in Malta and Poland. Moreover, abortion is still in the Penal Codes or Criminal Codes of many EU member states. In this project, we examine the institutional sources explaining the divergences in abortion policies and regulations and interrogate on emerging solidarities across Europe in line with recent developments in abortion care provision and telemedicine. We conduct an EU legal and policy landscape analysis to map divergences regarding the legal regulation and provision of abortion care; and analyze the different ways in which the EU landscape provides for cross-border telemedicine abortion. Previously, it was emphasized that the EU provides grounds for abortion tourism by endowing women with the opportunity to travel. In this study, we rather focus on the travel of abortion pills, meaning the cross-border dispensing and distribution of abortion pills through telemedicine, across the EU member states.

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