Do American liberals consider Europe wrong and extreme on abortion? Consider what Jon A. Shields says at The Weekly Standard blog:
The American left loves Western European democracies for their cultural sensibilities and for their policies on everything from crime to health care. One policy area where you won’t hear American liberals cite the European example, though, is abortion.
The reason is simple: Abortion law is far more restrictive in Europe than in the United States. As the table below shows, 16 of 18 countries on the continent limit abortion to the first trimester of pregnancy (with certain exceptions in various countries). The banning of late-term abortions now being considered in the House of Representatives and some American states would seem only civilized to most Europeans.
Not to U.S. liberals, who call “extremism” the attempt by some in Congress to promote a bill banning abortions after 22 weeks. A similar bill in Texas is “a sweeping assault on women’s rights,” in the words of the Nation. Yet even these bills—in the unlikely event they became laws—would be among the most permissive in the Western world.
Of course, a similar question could be asked about Canadian liberals and feminists. Here in Canada, we have absolutely no law governing abortion. So European social democracies, in particular the Scandinavian countries, are the model in every other facet of public policy but abortion? Sweden generally limits the abortion license to 18 weeks, while Denmark, Finland, and Norway limit it to 12 weeks. The Netherlands and the United Kingdom permit abortion-on-demand through 24 weeks, while Germany and France limit it to 12 weeks and Italy for only the first 90 days. Many European countries tolerate abortion after these times, but the law restricts abortion.