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New Study Shows that Mississippi’s Proposed 15-Week Abortion Ban is Mainstream in Europe

AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

On Tuesday, the Charlotte Lozier Institute unveiled a study analyzing abortion laws across Europe ahead of Thursday’s deadline for amicus brief filings for the upcoming Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court case, which could ban nearly all abortions in Mississippi after 15 weeks of pregnancy.


Dobbs came as a result of the Gestational Age Act, a piece of pro-life legislation introduced in 2018 to ban abortion in Mississippi after 15 weeks of pregnancy with exceptions only for severe fetal abnormalities and medical emergencies. The Act was shot down by lower courts before escalating to the Supreme Court, where the Court has agreed to hear the case.

The study, published on Tuesday, shows a comprehensive analysis of abortion laws in 50 European countries, independent states, and semi-autonomous regions in comparison to abortion laws in the United States, specifically, Mississippi's Gestational Age Act. In a press release also published Tuesday, CLI associate scholar and author of the study Angelina B. Nguyen described its findings.

“No European nation allows elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, as is effectively permitted in several U.S. states, and America is one of only a small handful of nations, along with China and North Korea, to permit any sort of late-term elective abortion,” Nguyen said. “Mississippi’s law brings the United States a small step closer both to European and global norms.”

According to the study, “Mississippi’s law limiting elective abortion to 15 weeks is among the mainstream in comparison to European limitations on elective abortion. The majority of European countries that allow elective abortion limit it to 12 weeks. This finding demonstrates that Mississippi’s law limiting elective abortion to 15 weeks is neither extreme nor outside the norm in comparison to European practice.”


The study also noted that other commonplace practices regarding abortion overseas include providing a reason for an abortion, as some countries do not allow elective abortion, but abortion solely for medical or socioeconomic reasons. However, one predominant finding unearthed by CLI was that no European country featured in the study allows elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

“No European country allows elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy as is permitted in the United States, where Supreme Court precedent only allows states to regulate it after viability,” the study states. “In comparison, 47 out of 50 European countries analyzed in this report either do not allow elective abortion (8) or limit elective abortion to 15 weeks or earlier (39), whereas 0 out of 50 states in the U.S. have a currently enforceable law limiting elective abortion to 15 weeks.”

In the release, CLI President Charles Donovan explained how using Europe as a comparison to America in the abortion debate proves to be useful for the pro-life argument, as Europe is often utilized by liberals to push agendas surrounding more left-leaning causes. This study builds off CLI's history of providing studies like these to promote and educate others on the pro-life position.

“American elites often hold up Europe as an example. First we demonstrated that more than two-thirds of the planet goes further than America in protecting life. Now, we’ve demonstrated that almost every European nation goes further than America in protecting life. Mississippi’s commonsense limits on late-term abortion are well within the mainstream of American popular opinion and clearly within the mainstream of European political opinion,” Donovan stated.“The European comparison is useful in highlighting how Roe v. Wade and the abortion industry are outdated and out of touch, but our goal isn’t achieving some international happy medium. Along with legislators in Mississippi, Charlotte Lozier Institute is committed to using science to demonstrate the reality that human life exists in the womb and that the right to life is an unalienable human right.”


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