Mandy Van DevenJanuary 20, 2013 10:00
Roe v. Wade provides framework for progressing past restrictive laws.
The Uruguayan Senate passes the law legalizing abortion, in Montevideo, on Oct. 17, 2012. Uruguay became only the second country in mostly Catholic South America to legalize abortion when the Senate approved the bill with a vote of 17 to 14. (Miguel Rojo/AFP/Getty Images)
While policymakers may be under the impression that restrictive laws help curb abortion rates, research shows the opposite is true. In places where abortion is illegal or heavily restricted, an unwanted pregnancy leaves women with two options: seek out a clandestine abortion that could be unsafe or continue a pregnancy that was neither chosen nor planned for.