Le Dong Hai Nguyen

M.S. Candidate in Foreign Service

What the Roe v. Wade Reversal Means for Abortion Rights in Vietnam

Le Dong Hai Nguyen | July 13, 2022

The United States Supreme Court overturned the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling earlier last month, ending the constitutional right to abortion in the country. The court’s highly controversial decision has sent shockwaves across the U.S. and throughout the world, prompting condemnation from Western leaders and praise from religious figures such as the Pope.

In Vietnam, a country with the world’s second-highest abortion rates, the overturning of Roe v. Wade has sparked intense debate among the nation’s more than 70 million netizens.

A whopping 40 percent of all pregnancies end up being terminated each year in Vietnam, where access to abortion is guaranteed under Article 44 of the 1989 Public Health Protection Law – both as a measure of population control and a reflection of the country’s commitment to socialism.

With no legal restriction on abortion until the 22nd week of pregnancy – and late-term termination remaining rampant and largely unpunished – Vietnam has one of the world’s most liberal abortion laws.