Definition of Abortion

Some issues can be raised from different perspectives. One of them is abortion, which has a medical dimension, but also legal, ethical and religious.

the definition of abortion

From a medical point of view, an abortion is the interruption of a pregnancy, that is, the loss of a fetus or a baby in the womb. There are two possibilities: spontaneous (also called involuntary) or induced abortion. In the first case, a woman may suffer an abortion due to some natural anomaly (for example, that the fertilized egg does not develop normally).

In the case of induced abortion, the loss of the fetus depends on several circumstances: the choice of the woman in countries where abortion is legalized, a risk to the health of the mother or congenital anomalies of the nasciturus (legal term to mention the person to be born).

In all cases where abortion is covered by the law there are a whole series of limitations (on the maximum time allowed to abort or under what conditions the termination of pregnancy can be done). In this way, medical circumstances are directly related to those of a legal nature.

From an ethical perspective, abortion represents a moral dilemma that affects women singularly. Whether legalized or not, a pregnant woman who considers interrupting her pregnancy is faced with a personal conflict in which her values ​​and her circumstances may come into contradiction.

Abortion from a religious perspective is considered a practice contrary to the law of God, because the divine mandate explicitly says “you shall not kill”.

definition of late term abortion

Consequently, under no circumstances is the acceptance of abortion viewed from the perspective of religion (Christian, Jewish or Muslim).

Given this diversity of aspects, abortion is considered as a social problem. In fact, it is a subject that provokes an intense debate between its supporters and detractors.

Abortion advocates consider that the decision should fall on the woman, who must freely make a decision. There is an opposite position, that of the anti-abortionists, who argue that life must be defended above all else and in any circumstance.

There is an intermediate position, that of those who defend the right to abortion but under certain conditions and limitations.

There are also other ramifications on abortion as a problem: clandestine abortion, psychological sequelae of women, teenage pregnancy, as a consequence of rape or when it is practiced through the so-called “morning after pill” as a contraceptive method in emergency cases (for some it is an abortive practice).

Finally, one of the debates related to abortion is that which refers to the idea of ​​the beginning of life, that is, when it is possible to affirm that a human life exists properly.

types of abortion

What does the concept of abortion imply?

In order to be able to talk about the different types of abortion that exist, it is first necessary to understand what we refer to with the term abortion.

Abortion is understood as the process by which the gestation of an embryo is interrupted by different causes. The pregnancy ends abruptly and the fetus dies and is expelled from the mother’s organism.

There are a lot of causes of abortion, both natural and caused by human action. Thus, we can find cases of desired pregnancies that are spoiled for some reason or situations in which an unintended pregnancy occurs and the person in question does not want to continue.

When it is natural it usually occurs at twelve fourteen weeks, that is before the third month of gestation is completed. In cases of voluntary interruption, the terms may vary according to the law in force in each country and the assumptions and circumstances surrounding the pregnancy and the decision to interrupt it.

Related article: “Aborting voluntarily does not harm mental health”

Types of abortion

It is possible to make a classification of different types of abortion according to different criteria, such as whether it is natural or provoked, the mechanisms used to interrupt the pregnancy or the reasons that cause it.

1. Spontaneous abortion

Spontaneous abortion is that type of abortion or interruption of pregnancy due to natural causes, not being voluntary or provoked. It can be due to chromosomal alterations of the fetus, diseases or malformations of the mother, infections (as in septic abortion).

The occurrence of this type of abortion usually occurs in the first twelve weeks.

When it occurs very early so that we are not before a fetus but before an embryo there may be no symptoms and even pass unnoticed the fact of having become pregnant (it is estimated that a large number of pregnancies end up like this undetected).

However, if the detachment or death of the fetus occurs throughout the development of the fetus, it usually appears together with an important hemorrhage and pain in the uterus, which opens to make way for the remains.

In some cases the remains of the fetus are not completely expelled (especially if they are late abortions), in which case an intervention will be necessary.

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2. Abortion due to infection or septic

t is a subtype of abortion in which an infection is generated that affects the placenta or fetus and ends with the death of the second. It is also called the result of an abortion in which the female reproductive system suffers an infection due to the presence of the remains of an abortion or injuries resulting from the realization of one.

3. Abort failed or withheld

It is a type of natural abortion in which for some reason the fetus in gestation dies naturally, but remains in the womb for weeks without being expelled by the body of the woman. .

The pregnant woman still thinks she is pregnant and has the typical symptoms, but nevertheless the heart of the pregnant woman has stopped beating.

It is only possible to detect it by ultrasound. After detection, if the body does not expel the fetus or does not do it completely it will be necessary to intervene with drugs or surgically.

4. Induced abortion

It is voluntary abortion, that is, the result of applying certain procedures voluntarily to interrupt pregnancy. Within this can be others such as the therapeutic, those that are the result of violation or those that are freely decided.

5. Therapeutic abortion

It is called therapeutic abortion that is performed under the assumption that pregnancy poses a risk to the health and even the survival of the mother. Also they are denominated in the same way those abortions that are practiced before the presence of alterations or serious diseases of the fetus that make impossible their survival or their normative development.

6. Legal abortion

In reference to voluntary abortions, legal abortion is considered to be the one that can be performed according to current legislation. While originally it could only be legally aborted in cases of rape, severe malformations or risk to the life of the pregnant woman, at present in many countries it can be legally aborted without the need to fulfill these assumptions (although within a framework specific temporary that varies according to the region.

In Spain, abortion is free until fourteen weeks and then it can only be interrupted legally in cases of risk to the life of the pregnant woman, abnormalities in the fetus that are serious and / or incompatible with life or certain diseases or malformations.

7. Illegal abortion

It is the set of abortions that are carried out outside the law, in hiding. This type of abortion is also a crime a serious risk to the health of the pregnant woman, because there is no guarantee regarding the procedure and conditions of the intervention to be carried out.

8. Early abortion

It refers to that interruption of pregnancy that occurs before twelve weeks.

9. Late abortion

That abortion in which the interruption occurs after twelve weeks of gestation.

10. Abortion by mechanical / surgical means

It refers to the type of induced abortion in which the method of interruption is mechanical, removing the fetus through procedures such as suction, scraping or injecting substances that cause the fetus to burn and cause death.

11. Chemical or pharmacological abortion

The chemical abortion is the type of induced abortion in which the pregnant woman is given certain medications in order to end the pregnancy. It is usually considered safer than surgical.

12. Complete abortion

It is understood as such an abortion in which the entire biological remains of the fetus and placenta are expelled or removed.

13. Incomplete abortion

In incomplete abortion, part of the fetus or the products of pregnancy remain inside the uterus, leaving remains inside. It can be induced or natural (in the latter it is usually more frequent the more advanced the gestation is before its interruption).

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