The truth is there are many countries in the world, most of them in Europe, where abortion is legal up to birth.
Since the introduction of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act in 2013, abortion is available in Ireland up to birth when a woman threatens to commit suicide. Three medical staff need to sign off on the abortion – two psychiatrists and one obstetrician.
The problem with this law is that there are no clinical markers for suicide – it is impossible to tell if a person is suicidal or not. The law requiring three signatures appears restricted but the reality is that this has not prevented widespread abortion in other countries. In the UK, two doctors are required to sign off on the abortion and they still have one of the highest rates of abortion worldwide (over 185,000 in 2015).
Late-term abortions constitute a small percentage of all abortions that take place. The majority of all abortions happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Countries which have abortion available up to birth for any reason are China, Vietnam, Canada and some North American states (Alaska, Colorado, Washington DC, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont).
In these countries and jurisdictions abortion is entirely decriminalised meaning a child can be aborted for any reason throughout the whole 9 months of pregnancy.
21 other North American states allow abortion up to birth in certain circumstances (when there is a risk to the life/health of the mother, in the case of rape/incest or if they baby has a possible life-limiting condition).
The following countries allow abortion up to birth in one or more of the circumstances mentioned above:
Ireland, Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
In Denmark and Macedonia abortions are also allowed up to birth if having a child is going to be social/economic burden to the woman or in the case of a child pregnancy.