Introduction : Abortion

Topics: Abortion, Pregnancy, Fetus Pages: 6 (2252 words) Published: October 5, 2010
Introduction :
Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo, resulting in or caused by its death.An abortion can occur spontaneously due to complications during pregnancy or can be induced, in humans and other species. In the context of human pregnancies, an abortion induced to preserve the health of the gravida (pregnant female) is termed a therapeutic abortion, while an abortion induced for any other reason is termed an elective abortion. The term abortion most commonly refers to the induced abortion of a human pregnancy, while spontaneous abortions are usually termed miscarriages.

Worldwide 42 million abortions are estimated to take place annually with 22 million of these occurring safely and 20 million unsafely. While maternal mortality seldom results from safe abortions, unsafe abortions result in 70,000 deaths and 5 million disabilities per year. One of the main determinants of the availability of safe abortions is the legality of the procedure. Forty percent of the world's women are able to access therapeutic and elective abortions within gestational limits. The frequency of abortions is, however, similar whether or not access is restricted. Abortion has a long history and has been induced by various methods including herbal abortifacients, the use of sharpened tools, physical trauma, and other traditional methods. Contemporary medicine utilizes medications and surgical procedures to induce abortion. The legality, prevalence, and cultural views on abortion vary substantially around the world. In many parts of the world there is prominent and divisive public controversy over the ethical and legal issues of abortion. Abortion and abortion-related issues feature prominently in the national politics in many nations, often involving the opposing pro-life and pro-choice worldwide social movements (both self-named). Incidence of abortion has declined worldwide, as access to family planning education and contraceptive services has increased. Discussion :

Abortion is an issue where we have to look beyond the purely legal situation. While figures are obviously hard to collect, in places where abortion is illegal, plenty of it still tends to happen. There has always been what are known in some country as "backyard abortionists". In most communities, a woman knew were to go to get one done. That means that even when abortion is illegal, a choice still exists. The technical ability to abort does not automatically equal a right to get an abortion. It merely allows people to choose abortions regardless of rights --the anti-abortionists will be the first to say getting an abortion is exactly equivalent to choosing to commit murder just because you have access to a gun. But of course the anti-abortionists are making a couple of unproved assumptions in that analogy. First they are assuming that there is no such thing as a right to abort, and second they are assuming that unborn humans are persons, such that killing those persons qualifies as murder --and incidentally being the reason why there would be no such thing as a right to abort. Neither assumption has any valid supporting evidence for it, mostly because there is no data at all supporting any claim that a human fetus is in any measurable actuality superior to an ordinary animal (if it is equivalent to an animal in every measurable way, how can it be a person?) --and partly because, as implied in my prior post above, to the extent that Human Law should be consistent with Natural Law, and since miscarriage-type abortions are quite Natural and common. One could argue that Pro-lifers are the absolute, extremist, anti-abortionists, believing that abortion is never, ever justified, no matter what. Many are not Pro-life beyond the abortion debate. There are those who support the death penalty, and those who support "just" wars. (Some possibly support unjust wars.) Those are anti-life activities. Back on the...

References: •
• Strauss LT, Gamble SB, Parker WY, Cook DA, Zane SB, Hamdan S "Abortion surveillance—United States, 2004".
• Catechism of the Catholic Church book
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