September 27, 2022
President Joe Biden falsely suggested that the Supreme Court ruling Friday overturning Roe v. Wade made the U.S. an "outlier" among the developed world.

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President Biden remarked Friday that the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade made the U.S. an “outlier” in the West.

“With this decision, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court shows how extreme it is, how far removed they are from the majority of this country,” Biden said during a speech at the White House. 

“They have made the United States an outlier among developed nations in the world. But this decision must not be the final word.”

However, European nations largely have abortion laws that resemble regulations supported by many Republican-led state governments. The Supreme Court issued its decision Friday as part of a case regarding a Mississippi state law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. 

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Even states that ban abortion can’t make it illegal to travel to another state to abort a pregnancy, Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in his concurrence Friday. 

By comparison, abortion is only permitted in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger in Poland. In Ireland and Germany, abortion procedures are banned in the majority of cases after 12 weeks.

Italy doesn’t allow abortions after 90 days, or just under 13 weeks. France, Austria and Spain have banned the procedure after 14 weeks.

“Upholding laws restricting abortion on demand after 20 weeks would situate the United States closer to the international mainstream, instead of leaving it as an outlying country with ultra-permissive abortion policies,” the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a pro-life group, stated in 2014.

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The report noted that the list of nations where abortion is legal past 20 weeks included North Korea, China and Vietnam. The Center for Reproductive Rights estimates that 12 countries now allow abortion up to 20 weeks, a legal adviser for the group told Politifact last month. The U.K. allows abortions up to 24 weeks, according to the nation’s National Health Service.

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President Biden speaks about COVID-19 vaccines for children in the Roosevelt Room of the White House June 21, 2022.

President Biden speaks about COVID-19 vaccines for children in the Roosevelt Room of the White House June 21, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In addition, there are more than 20 countries that have “flexible” laws that permit abortion procedures at 20 weeks or later under certain circumstances, according to Politifact. For example, the Czech Republic allows abortions after 20 weeks for mental health reasons and Japan permits abortions after 22 weeks for socioeconomic reasons. 

The Supreme Court ruling Friday effectively returns the authority of regulating abortion to states. Several Democratic-run states have introduced laws removing most limits on abortion.