Abortion Dictionary Definitions

As abortion is called the interruption of pregnancy before twenty – third week of gestation. It can be caused by natural causes, spontaneously, or deliberately induced. The word comes from the Latin abortus, which means ‘birth deprivation’.

The issue of abortion has always been very controversial, and involves a series of ethical, moral and legal considerations, as well as social, economic or religious ones.

There are differentiated positions regarding abortion, some radical and others more moderate. The Church, for example, considers that abortion must be seen, first of all, as the murder of a human being, and that the vital process must proceed naturally according to the will of God, so that it does not admit it under any circumstances. One of the biggest criticisms of this position is that it does not even accept therapeutic abortion when it is performed to safeguard the mother’s life.

More moderate positions argue that abortion should only be admitted when there are serious threats to mental and physical health, both for the mother and the child, under medical justification and in appropriate hygienic conditions. So, instead of voluntary abortion, they believe that pregnancy is an individual responsibility that should not be interrupted at ease but rather prevented. This is the case in most countries of the world, which have adopted legislation that prohibits elective abortion, but accepts induced abortion when it considers that the health risks to the fetus and the mother are severe enough.

Finally, there is a position that considers abortion to be a woman’s free choice, whether it is due to medical reasons or simply to an express individual will. Defend the freedom of women to decide when and why to terminate the pregnancy. In most countries of the world, elective abortion can be a crime, and you have jail sentences for those who practice it.

On the other hand, the word abortion may also expressly refer to being aborted or, in a figurative sense, may refer to a thing, activity or process that has been interrupted. Likewise, in a pejorative sense, it can be used as a synonym for spawn or monster.

Spontaneous abortion

As a miscarriage or natural abortion is called one where the loss of the fetus occurs involuntarily before the twentieth week of pregnancy, because from this it is considered premature delivery. It can be an early miscarriage if it occurs before the twelfth week, or late, when it occurs between the twenty-second and the twentieth week of gestation.

The spontaneous abortions may be due to multiple causes such as chromosome abnormalities that hinder the normal development of the baby, drug, alcohol or snuff by the mother, as well as serious diseases that are not under proper medical supervision. Also, obesity problems, hormonal disorders, infections, problems in the immune system, or physical type in the mother’s reproductive organs, can cause a miscarriage.

Induced abortion

The induced abortion or abortion is the voluntary termination of pregnancy through external intervention, carried out before the twenty – third week of gestation. As such, it can be based on medical reasons, when the health of the mother or the fetus, both physical and mental, is in serious danger, or by unilateral decision of the woman, for economic or social reasons, or because it is a unwanted pregnancy. Depending on the legislation of each country, induced abortion may or may not be sanctioned by law. Countries like Chile, Nicaragua and Honduras still do not admit, under any circumstances, induced abortion, while the rest of the Latin American countries contemplate specific cases where induced abortion is legal.

Therapeutic abortion

The therapeutic abortion refers to the type of induced abortion performed before the twenty-third week of pregnancy due to medical reasons. For example, a therapeutic abortion should be performed when the mother’s health, whether physically or mentally, is severely compromised due to pregnancy. The motivations that lead to abortion are mainly preventive and curative, although the risk of a congenital or genetic disease of the fetus, as well as the reduction of fetuses in multiple pregnancies , also favor therapeutic abortions.