Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

Advisor/Committee Chair

Sally Friedman


The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization United States Supreme Court decision held that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to abortion, overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that had protected that right for decades. This landmark decision brought the topic of reproductive rights into the national spotlight, as many states took the opportunity to introduce restrictions on abortion that were previously disallowed by Roe. The regression of abortion rights in the United States makes it a global outlier, as many countries across the world have liberalized their laws on abortion in recent decades. These countries have taken measures such as decriminalizing the practice, increasing the number of circumstances where abortion is allowed, and improving accessibility to abortion. This paper seeks to thoroughly analyze and discuss current abortion policy and level of accessibility across the world, and why there is still variance on that policy in different regions. Through this analysis, this paper argues that there are a number of factors contributing towards the global trend of liberalization including on the ground activism, legal challenges to anti-abortion laws, and institutional support from a variety of organizations. The goal of this paper is to reach a better understanding of the dynamics of abortion policy, and to be an educational resource for those actively fighting for reproductive rights.