Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus. An abortion that occurs without intervention is known as a miscarriage or “spontaneous abortion”, It occurs in approximately 30%-50% of pregnancies. When deliberate steps are taken to end a pregnancy, it is called an induced abortion, or less frequently “induced miscarriage”. The unmodified word abortion generally refers to an induced abortion.
Induced abortions may be performed for reasons that fall into four general categories: to preserve the life or physical or mental well-being of the mother; to prevent the completion of a pregnancy that has resulted from rape or incest; to prevent the birth of a child with a serious deformity, mental deficiency, or genetic abnormality; or to prevent a birth for social or economic reasons (such as the extreme youth of the pregnant female or the sorely strained resources of the family unit). By some definitions, abortions that are performed to preserve the well-being of the female or in cases of rape or incest are therapeutic, or justifiable, abortions.
Symptoms of Abortion
- Bleeding that goes from light to heavy.
- Severe cramps.
- Belly pain.
- Worsening or severe back pain.
- Fever with any of the symptoms listed above.
- Weight loss.
- White-pink mucus.
- Tissue that looks like blood clots passing from your vagina.
- Fewer signs of pregnancy.
It is one of the safest procedures in medicine, but unsafe abortion is a major cause of maternal death, especially in the developing world. Making safe abortion legal and accessible reduces maternal deaths. Modern methods use medication or surgery for abortions. The drug mifepristone in combination with prostaglandin appears to be as safe and effective as surgery during the first and second trimester of pregnancy. The most common surgical technique involves dilating the cervix and using a suction device.
Birth control, such as the pill or intrauterine devices, can be used immediately following an abortion. When performed legally and safely on a woman who desires it, induced abortions do not increase the risk of long-term mental or physical problems. In contrast, unsafe abortions cause 47,000 deaths and 5 million hospital admissions each year. The World Health Organization recommends safe and legal abortions be available to all women.