Abortion, the termination of pregnancy before the fetus is capable of independent life, can either be spontaneous or induced. It is called "the knowing destruction of the life of an unborn child." (Mass General Laws Chapter 112 Section 12K) When abortion occurs spontaneously, it is called a miscarriage. However, when the loss of a fetus is caused intentionally, it is regarded as a moral issue. Abortion destroys the lives of helpless, innocent children and is illegal in many countries. An estimate of 1.2 million are performed each year. In retrospect, an estimate 38,010,378 innocent children were aborted since 1973 when the process was legalized.
Abortion is a simple and safe procedure if it is done by trained medical workers during the first trimester. There are four different techniques utilized during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Suction aspiration, also known as vacuum curettage, is the most common surgical means of abortion. This is when a powerful suction tube with a sharp cutting edge is inserted into the womb through the dilated cervix. The suction dismembers the body of the developing baby, tearing the placenta from the wall of the uterus, and sucking blood, amniotic fluids, placental tissue, and fetal parts into a bottle. Although it is one of the safer methods, there are still frequent complications such as infection and tearing of the uterus, causing hemorrhaging.
Dilatation and Curettage (D&C) is another surgical process involving the insertion of a loop shaped steel knife to cut the baby's body into pieces. The placenta is then scraped off the uterine wall. There is a higher risk of infection with D&C and greater blood loss than with Suction aspiration.
RU 486 and Methotrexate are two similar types of chemical abortion. RU 486 is a pill that can be taken orally only during the five to nine week period. Three trips must be made to the abortion clinic. In the first, the RU 486 pill is administered after a physical examination. During the 2nd, 36 - 48 hours later, the woman is given a dose of artificial prostaglandins initiating uterine contractions. This causes the embryonic baby to be expelled from the uterus. The third visit, about two weeks later, can determine whether the abortion has been completed or if further surgery is necessary. Methotrexate is administered by intramuscular injection. It attacks growing cells of the trophoblast, which functions as the life support system for the baby. This injection causes the immediate disintegration of sheltering environment in which the embryo lives. Without food or fluids, the living, helpless fetus dies. This dangerous method is rarely used because of its unpredictable side affects.
The second trimester includes the thirteenth to twenty-eighth week. Dilatation and Evacuation (D&E), similar to D&C, uses forceps with sharp metal jaws to grasp the parts of the baby and tear them away from the body. The baby's skull is often hardened to bone and must sometimes be crushed or compressed. The only side affect is profuse bleeding, and impossible cervical laceration.
The rest of the procedures can be done during either the second or third trimester (the twenty-ninth to fortieth week). The first method is Salt Poisoning, otherwise known as saline amniocentesis. A needle is inserted into the abdomen of the mother. Her amniotic fluid is replaced with a solution of concentrated salt. Upon swallowing the salt, the baby is instantly poisoned. This can also cause painful burning of the baby's skin and deterioration. The baby will die after about an hour. The mother delivers the dead baby after a period of 33 - 35 hours. Some common side affects are seizures, coma, and even death.
Prostaglandins are naturally produced chemical compounds which normally aid in the birthing process. However, the injection of artificial prostaglandins at too early a stage induce violent labor followed by premature birth. Often,...
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