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Abortion

Abortion

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Published by Ahmed Ajlouney

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Published by: Ahmed Ajlouney on Mar 18, 2011
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Abortion
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Induced abortion
Classification and external resources
Abortion
is the termination of apregnancyby the removal or expulsion of afetusor  embryofrom the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death.
 An abortion can occur spontaneously due tocomplicationsduring pregnancy or can be induced in humans and other species. In the context of human pregnancies, an abortioninduced to preserve the health of thegravida(pregnant female) is termed a
therapeutic abortion
, while anabortion induced for any other reason is termed an
elective abortion
. The term
abortion
most commonly refersto the induced abortion of ahuman pregnancy, while spontaneous abortions are usually termedmiscarriages. Abortion has a low risk of maternal mortality except for  abortions performed unsafely,which result in 70,000 deaths and 5 million disabilities per year globally.
Abortions are unsafe when performed by persons withoutthe proper skills or outside of a medically safe environment. An estimated 42 million abortions are performedannually with 20 million of those abortions done unsafely around the world.
Forty percent of the world'swomen are able to access therapeutic and elective abortions within gestational limits.
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, cultural status, and religious status of abortion vary substantially around the world. In many parts of the world there is prominent anddivisivepublic controversy over theethical and legal issues of abortion. Abortion and abortion-related issues feature prominently in the national politics in many nations, often involving the opposingpro-lifeandpro-
 
choice worldwide social movements (both self-named). Incidence of abortion has declined worldwide as access to family planningeducation and contrace
Types
Induced
 
A 10-week-old fetus removed via a therapeutic abortion from a 44-year-old woman diagnosed with early-stageuterinecancer .The uterus (womb), included the fetus.
A pregnancy can be intentionally aborted in many ways. The manner selected depends chiefly uponthegestational age of the embryo or fetus, which increases in size as the pregnancy progresses.
 Specific procedures may also be selected due to legality, regional availability, and doctor-patientpreference. Reasons for procuring induced abortions are typically characterized as either therapeutic or elective. An abortion is medically referred to as a therapeutic abortionwhen it is performed to:
save the life of the pregnant woman;
preserve the woman's physical or mental health;
terminate pregnancy that would result in a child born with a congenital disorder that would be fatal or  associated with significant morbidity;
 or 
selectively reducethe number of fetuses to lessen health risks associated withmultiple pregnancy.
An abortion is referred to as
elective
when it is performed at the request of the woman "for reasons other than maternal health or fetal disease."
Spontaneous
Main article:Miscarriage
Spontaneous abortion (also known as miscarriage) is the expulsion of an embryo or fetus due toaccidental trauma or natural causes before approximately the 22ndweek of gestation; the definition bygestational age varies by country.
 Most miscarriages are due to incorrect replication of chromosomes;
 
they can also be caused by environmental factors. A pregnancy that ends before 37 weeks of gestationresulting in alive-borninfant is known as a "premature birth". When a fetus diesin uteroafter about 22 weeks, or duringdelivery, it is usually termed "stillborn". Premature births and stillbirths are generally not considered to be miscarriages although usage of these terms can sometimes overlap.Between 10% and 50% of pregnancies end in clinically apparent miscarriage, depending upon the ageand health of the pregnant woman.
Most miscarriages occur very early in pregnancy, in most cases,they occur so early in the pregnancy that the woman is not even aware that she was pregnant. One studytesting hormones for ovulationand pregnancy found that 61.9% of conceptuses were lost prior to 12 weeks, and 91.7% of these losses occurred subclinically, without the knowledge of the once pregnantwoman.
The risk of spontaneous abortion decreases sharply after the 10th week from the last menstrualperiod(LMP).
One study of 232 pregnant women showed "virtually complete [pregnancy loss] by theend of the embryonic period" (10 weeks LMP) with a pregnancy loss rate of only 2 percent after 8.5weeks LMP.
The most common cause of spontaneous abortion during the first trimester is chromosomal abnormalitiesof the embryo/fetus,
accounting for at least 50% of sampled early pregnancy losses.
 Other causesinclude vascular disease(such as lupus),diabetes,other hormonal problems, infection, and abnormalities of the uterus.
Advancing maternal age and a patient history of previous spontaneous abortions are thetwo leading factors associated with a greater risk of spontaneous abortion.
A spontaneous abortion canalso be caused by accidentaltrauma;intentional trauma or stress to cause miscarriage is considered induced abortion or  feticide.
Methods
 
Gestational age may determine which abortion methods are practiced.
Medical
Main article:Medical abortion

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