Abortion and contraception allow women to express their freedom of reproduction by exercising their right of self-determination over their bodies.


To measure the degree of reproductive freedom that women enjoy, we identified key legal restrictions that governments may impose on women’s power over their bodies while pregnant.

The most restrictive option is clearly an abortion ban. Less restrictive options include legal framework in which abortion is possible only when the fetus presents defects or when the pregnancy is the outcome of rape. Furthermore, reproductive freedom may be upheld if the law permits abortion to protect with woman’s life or physical and mental health. Access to contraceptives is also an important part of reproductive freedom.

We selected the access to key contraceptives as conditions that expand reproductive freedom: general access to contraceptives for free or a nominal amount (via government subsidies), access to RU-486 (Mifepristone), and access to various forms of emergency contraceptives are.