An estimated 40 million women in the U.S. will not be able to get an abortion in the state where they live following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling. But as many U.S. states push to restrict access to abortion, most countries – rich and poor alike – have actually been making it easier to get the procedure.

Martha Davis, a legal scholar who studies worldwide abortion trends, explains what’s behind the wave of laws that have liberalized access in 30 countries since 2000. And unlike past Supreme Court rulings, Dobbs is unlikely to have much global influence, she adds.

“In fact, the Dobbs decision may serve to further isolate the U.S. and undermine its credibility as a global leader on women’s rights,” Davis writes.

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Amy Lieberman

Politics + Society Editor

In most countries, like the Netherlands, it has become easier to get a legal, safe abortion over the last two decades. Evert Elzinga/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

US abortion restrictions are unlikely to influence international trends, which are largely becoming more liberal

Martha Davis, Northeastern University

Only 24 countries today totally ban abortion. The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision in the US is unlikely to lead other countries to join that list.

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