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Abortion Explained In Layman's Terms

Nov 16, 2007
Abortion is defined as the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy; any of various surgical methods for terminating a pregnancy, especially during the first six months." This technical definition, though, does not begin to touch on the deep emotional and moral aspects connected with abortion, especially in recent years.

Abortion has a long and controversial history in the United States. In 1973 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of voluntary abortions in the groundbreaking Roe vs. Wade case. This ruling was a vital step in the rights of women and their bodies; the ruling allows women to choose abortion in the first six months of pregnancy. Between 1995 and 2000 Congress tried several times to pass a bill to ban abortion in the last trimester of pregnancy; President Bill Clinton vetoed it.

The bill was, however, passed by President George W. Bush in 2003, but was declared unconstitutional in 2004 because it lacked the allowance of late-term therapeutic abortion, the act of terminating pregnancy when the birth mother's health is at risk. Since the 1970's many states have passed their own strict laws in the hopes of persuading Congress to overturn Roe vs. Wade with little success.

While the term "abortion" is most commonly used to describe pregnant women who choose to terminate pregnancy, spontaneous abortion is often a term used in the medical community to denote a miscarriage. A spontaneous abortion often occurs when the fetus is malformed or when genetic problems are present. Abortion can also be a necessary medical procedure performed for the sake of the mother's health.

Despite these involuntary medical reasons, though, abortion is still thought of as voluntary in many cases. There are many methods a woman and her doctor may choose to terminate the pregnancy, and there are many factors to be weighed when determining which is the best including the stage of pregnancy at the time of termination. The three methods used to terminate are surgical, chemical, and herbal.

The surgical method of Manual Vacuum Aspiration or Electric Vacuum Aspiration is common during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy (the first trimester). From the fifteenth to the twenty-sixth week Dilation and Evacuation, or a D & E, is used, as is Dilation and Curettage, or D & C. Late-term abortions are considered the most controversial and are performed by Intact Dilation and Extraction, also called Intrauterine Cranial Decompression, or a Partial Birth Abortion. Hysterectomy Abortions are also common at this stage.

Chemical abortion is also another option available to the mother. A sort of drug cocktail is used to terminate the pregnancy. First methotrexate or mifepristone is given, followed by either misoprostol if the procedure is taking place in the United States, or gemeprost if in the United Kingdom or Sweden. While this method isn't as popular as surgical methods, all options and possible side effects can be discussed with the doctor. Herbal terminations are rare in the 21st century, though at one time they were the only method available to women.
About the Author
Abhishek has seen many childbirths in his huge family! Visit www.Childbirth-Guru.com and Download Abhishek's FREE Report "How To Dress And Look Your Best During Pregnancy!". If you are an expecting mother, or have just delivered, you can get some very valuable information about Pregnancy and Childbirth. But hurry, only limited Free copies available! www.Childbirth-Guru.com
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