Center for Reproductive Rights

Using interactive global data visualization tools to illustrate the legal status of abortion laws -- worldwide.

Since 1998, the Center for Reproductive Rights, a US-based global organization that uses the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights, has offered the World Abortion Laws Map as a central tool to compare the legal status of abortion globally.

If you need to know the legal status of abortion anywhere in the world, in Ireland, or Mexico, or Algeria, for example, the World Abortion Laws map is a thorough resource. Not only does it allow users to compare abortion laws across countries, it also provides the full text of nearly 50 countries’ laws and other in-depth information.


Move an interactive global data visualization map from Flash to Drupal 8 in just 6 weeks, including key user experience changes and strategic design updates.


With a tight timeline and set budget, we focused on developing responsive tools and elevating access to the Center’s most valuable resources for priority audiences—tweaking what we could and planning for a potential Phase 2 with expanded functionality.

Sometimes, it’s not about the flashy stuff.

Though there is much to be excited about from a user perspective—including some very strategic user experience and design updates—most of our partnership with The Center for Reproductive Rights focused on what you can’t see: The World Abortion Laws Map was originally built on Flash, and with the Center moving its entire website from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8, they needed to lift the map from Flash and rebuild it in Drupal 8. The library we used for the map was D3.js. Beyond that, the map was previously unavailable for viewing on mobile devices. We knew it was crucial to improve access to key information and hone core functionalities for the Center’s primary audiences.

One of the specific reasons for rebuilding the map using modern web technologies was so that it could be accessed on mobile devices. The map was not available full-stop on any iPhone or iPad until we built this new one.

The Center now has a global interactive data visualization tool that no longer requires its own URL or Flash to launch. The map itself is also responsive, a huge improvement from its former iteration, and offers a clearer hierarchy of information, from resource-driven investigation to engagement-level calls to action.

World Abortion Laws map on desktop and mobile phone

The timeline is everything.

From discovery to launch, we analyzed, prioritized, designed, developed, QA’d and demoed the new World Abortion Laws Map in just 6 weeks.

“Thinkshout was incredible at ensuring this project stayed on track, given the very short turnaround time. They were diligent in their project management and were able to anticipate the types of delays that often hold projects up, so that we could tackle them ahead of time. We felt confident throughout the project that we would make it to launch on time – and indeed, we did!”

~ Katy Mayall, Director of Capacity Building

From print to digital

The design focused on maintaining consistency with the updated print version of the map and leveraging the existing brand while providing a clean and user-friendly experience at all screen sizes. The foundation of the map was rooted in an established color coding system to identify various countries’ laws. Through this, we found opportunities to incorporate those vibrant and highly identifiable colors to highlight meaningful content through bold dropdowns.

World Abortion Laws map on a desktop screen

A partnership rooted in mutual respect

These kinds of projects, with many stakeholders involved, an enormous amount of content, and a hard deadline, are only possible with extraordinary client partnerships—which is exactly what we found in the Center’s team. ThinkShout was and continues to recognize what a privilege it is to work with organizations like The Center for Reproductive Rights, especially now, when access to abortion here in the United States is brutally under attack. We’re proud of the move from Flash to Drupal 8, glad to have implemented improved functionality and design for core audiences, and encouraged by the post-launch analytics we’re seeing so far, but most importantly, we’re thankful for The Center’s work and humbled by our partnership.

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