Meaning of Abortion

What is Abortion:

An abortion is called the termination of pregnancy before the twenty-third week of gestation. It can occur by natural causes, spontaneously, or be deliberately induced. The word comes from Latin abortus, which means 'deprivation of birth'.

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.

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

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 consider that pregnancy is an individual responsibility that should not be interrupted at ease but should be prevented. This is the case in most countries in 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 serious enough.

Finally, there is a position that considers that abortion should be the woman's free choice, whether it is due to medical reasons or simply to an express individual will. It defends the freedom of the woman to decide when and why to interrupt the pregnancy. In most countries of the world, elective abortion can constitute a crime, and carries prison sentences for those who practice it.

See also Pregnancy.

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

Spontaneous abortion

As spontaneous or natural abortion, it is called one where the loss of the fetus occurs involuntarily before the twentieth week of pregnancy, since after this it is considered premature delivery. It can be an early miscarriage if it occurs before the 12th week, or late, when it occurs between the 22nd and 20th week of gestation.

Miscarriages can be due to multiple causes, such as chromosomal abnormalities that hinder the normal development of the baby, the use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco by the mother, as well as serious diseases that are not under proper medical supervision. Likewise, obesity problems, hormonal disorders, infections, problems in the immune system, or physical problems in the mother's reproductive organs, can be the cause of a spontaneous abortion.

Induced abortion

Induced or induced abortion is the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, through an external intervention, carried out before the twenty-third week of gestation. As such, it can be supported by medical reasons, when the health of the mother or the fetus, both physical and mental, is in serious danger, or by a 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 such as 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.

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