‘Abortion in the EU’ – Country fact sheets

Multispeed access to abortion across member states

Other Publication


In Europe, 29 out of 1000 women aged 15 to 44 have had an abortion. Decriminalising abortion is once again becoming an issue for supporter of the right to abortion in the face of various setbacks driven by opponents since the 2000s.

Access to abortion varies greatly across the EU. It is subject to various cumulative legal conditions and de facto barriers. The book ‘Abortion in the EU: Actors, Issues and Discourse‘ authored by Prof. Bérengère Marques Pereira published by FEPS & the Karl-Renner-Institut illustrates that no country, even in the most permissive ones, recognizes women’s control over their bodies in the way that feminist movements have been demanding since the 1970s.

It is true that in the EU abortion is generally possible at the request of the woman, with a few exceptions. However, a detailed approach to the legal regimes and their implementation highlights that the cumulative nature of the legal conditions (which are far from being solely health-related) constitutes an obstacle, sometimes severe, to women’s decision-making autonomy, as do practices of circumventing or even transgressing the law in certain states.

These country factsheets therefore map all the (non-)legal criteria for profiling the different abortion regimes in each of the EU 27 countries (and the UK as well as Northern Ireland[1]). Each factsheet helps us to better understand that it is only by combining the respective national legal regime regulating abortion with effective access to abortion in practice that it is possible to assess how difficult or easy it is for a woman to legally and effectively obtain an abortion in her country. In other words, a woman’s access abortion will depend not just on the existing legal framework but also on a range of additional barriers along her journey.

[1] which, though part of the UK, had its own legislation until 2019 that was radically different from that of the rest of the country.

Karl Renner Institut
Find all related publications

‘Abortion in the EU’ – Country fact sheets

Multispeed access to abortion across member states

Abortion in the European Union

Actors, issues and discourse

The European Care Strategy

A chance to ensure inclusive care for all?

Spotlight on the political groups as gender equality actors

Struggles over issues of gendered violence in the European Parliament
Find all related events

The future of foreign policy is feminist

Book reading
Vienna, Austria

Supporting rather than criminalising women

A European perspective on access to abortion issue

Walking the talk

Feminist Foreign Policy in action
Find all related news

The Feminist Foreign Policy Progressive Voices Collective (FFPPVC)

A collective to promote a feminist and progressive approach to foreign policy

A credible future beyond growth has to be feminist

This article was first published on EUobserver

Feminist Leadership for Women in CSOs

Survey for women in leadership

When will European women start earning the same as men?

Spoiler alert: that day hasn’t arrived yet
Find all related in the media
In the media

A credible future beyond growth has to be feminist

by euobserver 17/05/2023
Euobserver article about the #BeyondGrowth conference mentions FEPS 'Defining Care' Policy Brief

Pay transparency can help close the gender pay gap but at what cost?

by Euronews 31/08/2022

How many inequalities can the world fight at the same time?

by Social Europe 07/07/2022

Rebutting the assaults on gender equality

by Social Europe 08/03/2022