Abortion Dictionary Definitions

The word abortion comes from the Latin abortus, which in turn derives from the aboriginal term. This concept was used to refer to the opposite of orior, that is, the opposite of being born. Therefore, abortion is the interruption of the development of the fetus during pregnancy, when it has not yet reached twenty weeks. After that time, termination of the pregnancy before delivery is called preterm delivery.

Simply put, abortion involves terminating the pregnancy, preventing the fetus from developing and giving birth to a child. For example: “The singer confessed that, when she was young, she underwent an abortion”, “The Church ratified her firm condemnation of abortion”, “The Justice authorized the abortion to the girl raped by her stepfather”.

There are two types of abortions: spontaneous or natural, and induced. Miscarriage occurs when a fetus is lost to natural causes. Statistics indicate that between 10% and 50% of pregnancies end because of a natural abortion, which is usually conditioned by the mother’s health and age.

The induced abortion, however, is that caused deliberately in order to remove the fetus, either with or without medical assistance. It is estimated that around 46 million women a year resort to this practice worldwide. Of this total, nearly 20 million perform unsafe abortions, which put the life of the woman at risk.

In the event that abortion is induced and through the necessary medical assistance, it must be emphasized that it follows various procedures that suppose that they are undertaken with all the guarantees for the patient. Thus, in the medical centers that are going to perform the operation, a series of vital and preliminary steps are followed, such as data collection, ultrasound, analysis, psychosomatic consultation and the well-known and necessary medical examination.

These steps are also those that are undertaken in patients who are in the second trimester who routinely undergo the dilation and evacuation technique. A procedure characterized, among other things, by the fact that it is not very harmful to women, which means that even on the day of the intervention, one can go home without having to be hospitalized.

Likewise, to the types of abortion mentioned, we must also add what is known as pharmacological abortion that is based on the use of mifepristone or RU 486. A medication that, frequently, needs to be supplemented by instrumental support, specifically with what is known as scraping.

Likewise, it is important to emphasize that the woman who ingests said drug must be aware of the set of symptoms that it will have and which are similar to those suffered by all women who have a miscarriage. These may include bleeding, severe menstrual pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.

Most national laws distinguish between two classes of induced abortions: therapeutic and elective. The therapeutic abortions are justified from the intention to preserve the life of the mother, if continuing the pregnancy or birth occur, could be at risk of life. This type of abortion is also ordered by a doctor when the unborn baby carries a serious genetic or congenital disease.

The elective abortions, however, are usually determined when the pregnancy is caused by a sexual crime (rape) or when the woman can not or do not want to keep your child for economic and social reasons. In most countries, this practice is prohibited by law with the exception of a few cases (rape of a minor, for example).