Abortion

An abortion is the medical process of ending a pregnancy so it does not
result in the birth of a baby. It is also sometimes known as a 'termination' or
a 'termination of pregnancy'.
Depending on how many weeks you have been pregnant, the pregnancy is
ended either by taking medication or by having a surgical procedure.
An estimated 44 million abortions are performed globally each year,
with slightly under half of those performed unsafely. Unsafe abortions result
in approximately 70,000 maternal deaths and 5 million hospital admissions
per year globally. 150,000 to 750,000 abortions every year 4,000 case of
abortion annually in manila.

Clinical Approach
The term abortion usually designates termination of gestation before
the end of the 28th week of pregnancy. It implies the expulsion of all or any
part of the placenta or membranes, with or without an identifiable fetus or
with a live – born or stillborn infant weighing less than 1000g. If abortion
occurs before 1 week it is referred to as early abortion, and thereafter the
term is late abortion.
TYPES OF ABORTION
Threatened Abortion
Is used when a pregnancy is complicated by vaginal bleeding before
the 20th week. Pain may not be a prominent feature of threatened abortion,
although a lower abdominal dull ache sometimes accompanies the bleeding.
Vaginal examination at this stage usually reveals a closed cervix. 25% to
50% of threatened abortion eventually results in loss of the pregnancy.
Inevitable Abortion
In case of inevitable abortion, a clinical pregnancy is complicated by
both vaginal bleeding and cramp –like lower abdominal pain. The cervix is
frequently partially dilated, attesting to the inevitability of the process.
Incomplete Abortion

dilatation and curettage may become a problem. anatomical abnormalities of the genital tract. Revised Penal Code of the Philippines (enacted in 1930 and remains in effect today) Articles 256. immunologic factors.In addition to vaginal bleeding. Article II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution says. and the uterus is smaller than the period of amenorrhea would suggest. or systemic disease. infection. In addition. which would make abortion illegal within the first and second trimesters if Roe were overturned by the US Supreme Court. individual states can regulate/limit the use of abortion or create "trigger laws". Currently. Possible causes are known to be genetic error. Missed Abortion The term missed abortion is used when the fetus has died but is retained in the uterus usually for some weeks. Recurrent Abortion Recurrent abortion refers to any case in which there have been three consecutive spontaneous abortions. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. Fibrinogen levels should be checked week until the fetus and placenta are expelled. in part. and the pregnancy test becomes negative. the uterine contractions and bleeding abate. cramp – like pain and cervical dilatation. 6 states have trigger laws and 3 other states have laws intending to criminalize abortion. an incomplete abortion involves the passage of products of conception. ETHICO – LEGAL Abortion in the United States is legal. 258 and 259 of the Code mandate . often described by the women as looking like pieces of skin or liver. After 16 weeks gestation. hormonal abnormalities. Wade. after passage of all the products of conception. Complete Abortion In complete abortion. the cervix closes. via the landmark case of Roe v. the symptoms of pregnancy are no longer present. "Section 12. However.

These factors carry at least some weight. As the Stoics said. even if they be the woman’s parents. though the heavens fall. at least as good as saving the fetus. Killing the innocent in order to bring about a good effect is never justified. This is because the act of removing a cancerous uterus is morally good (thus passing condition 1). which in turn would kill the fetus. or crushing the fetus's head in order to remove it and thus save the woman's life. even though it will result in the death of the fetus. The act of performing a hysterectomy also passes condition 3. and it is her life. Condition 4 is passed. The principle of double effect is applied to abortion to illustrate. since this would violate conditions 2 and 3.imprisonment for the woman who undergoes the abortion. a craniotomy. Since abortion kills an innocent human being and since intentionally killing innocent human beings is always wrong. a physician or midwife. Similarly. but killing the fetus is intended as the means of saving the woman's life. In this case. On the other hand. it is always wrong to have an abortion-even to save the woman's life. then she may have a hysterectomy. It is the mother's body which is affected by the pregnancy. this would not be morally permissible according to the DDE. health.” However. Condition 2 is passed because the death of the fetus isn't the means of saving the woman's life-the hysterectomy is the act that saves her life. In this case. as well as for any person who assists in the procedure. the same result occurs as in the hysterectomy. consider a woman whose life is endangered by her pregnancy. and emotional state that may be drastically impacted. Questions then arise about whether the mother's right of self-determination overrides the rights of the fetus. Moral Even if we all agreed that a fetus has a right to life. not even to save a whole city – or the world. the abortion debate would not be over. if the doctor could save the woman's life only by changing the composition of the amniotic fluid (say. Is it morally permissible for her to have an abortion in order to save her life? The DDE says that an abortion is not permissible. since the death of the fetus is the unintended (though foreseen) effect of the hysterectomy. the woman is really lucky to have a cancerous uterus (rather than a pregnancy-related life-threatening condition). given the DDE. would be disallowed. with saline solution). The most commonly accepted extenuating circumstances . Abortion also fails condition 2 (the means-end condition). if the woman's uterus happens to be cancerous. because saving the woman's life is a great good. “Let justice be done.

There is no means of escaping. and those in which the woman’s life is at risk. some abortion critics take the hard line position that no extenuating circumstance overrides the fetus’s right to life. titled “A Defense of Abortion” (1971). she believes. you need to keep the seeds from entering your house. with the job of securing people’s rights. parallels the situations where a pregnancy results from rape and where the woman has to spend nine months in bed. But do you have to accede to it? What if it were not nine months. She makes her case drawing on three provocative thought experiments. “anyone in a position of authority. is what you do. Most people in our country and throughout the rest of the world find this position too extreme and recognize that there are at least some extenuating circumstances that justify abortion. but it turns out that one of the screens is defective and has a small tear that enables a seed to enter your house and take root. you do not have to wait passively while it crushes you to death. though. the woman would be justified in having an abortion. but will die if disconnected from you before then. Imagine that human beings were produced from seeds that blow around and then take root by implanting in the upholstery and carpets within houses. taken to a hospital. American philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson argued that. in 2006 Nicaragua enacted a law banning abortion in all cases. The first pertains to pregnancies that result from rape. you are not morally required to continue being the host: Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation? No doubt it would be very nice of you if you did. Imagine that you wake up one morning and find that you have been kidnapped. Thomson argues that you would be justified in killing the infant: “However innocent the child may be. The law was heavily influenced by the country’s religious conservatism. For example. This. a great kindness. and imposed a six year prison term on those who perform them. The second thought experiment pertains to pregnancies in which the woman’s life is at risk. such as by installing window and door screens. Imagine that you and a baby are inside a small house. you were selected to be the host because only you had the compatible blood-type. which is 85% Roman Catholic.concern pregnancies that result from rape and incest. including when a woman's life is endangered. Thomson argues. Occasionally. thus. and thus all abortions are wrong. Thomson argues that in this situation you would be justified in uprooting the people- . by parallel reasoning. In a famous article on this subject. but nine years? Or longer still? This.” This does not require that I as a bystander and obligated to help the mother by killing the child. The violinist will recover in nine months. and a famous violinist has been attached to your circulatory system. in three specific situations the rights of the mother override the rights of a fetus. Clearly. but. both can and should” assist the mother. even if we grant that fetuses have a fundamental right to life. and the only option you have to save your life is to kill the baby. in an emergency decision. Thomson argues. then. The third thought experiment involves pregnancies that result from contraception failure. You are told that the violinist was ill and. If you don’t want children. the baby then begins to grow at such an astounding rate that you are at risk of being crushed by it.

” Some of Thomson’s thought experiments may be more compelling than others. Wade. the larger point behind them is that there are many extenuating circumstances surrounding pregnancies in which the rights and interests of the woman may outweigh the rights of the fetus. Accordingly. But this won’t do-for by the same token anyone can avoid a pregnancy due to rape by having a hysterectomy. and under the law. they do not simply by virtue of their biological relationship to the child who comes into existence have a special responsibility for it. would not be discriminated against for refusing. even if we grant that the fetus has personhood. including abortions. if a set of parents “have taken all reasonable precautions against having a child. However. nor can they be discriminated against for refusing. It is unreasonable.plant since its presence in your house was unintentional and you made a good faith effort to keep it out. which they find wrong on moral or religious grounds. conscience or refusal exceptions allow health-care workers to refuse to perform medical procedures. For example. The first conscience objection came shortly after the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. is nothing less than the murder of an . These laws generally prevent medical professionals from being sued or fired for refusing to participate in a procedure. as far as the Bible is concerned. because after all you could have lived out your life with bare floors and furniture. The 1973 Church amendment ensures that healthcare workers cannot be required to perform abortions or sterilizations. a nurse at a general hospital or private practice where the doctor provided abortions is not be required to assist in the procedure. or anyway by never leaving home without a (reliable!) army. Abortion. Nevertheless. or with sealed windows and doors. for society to expect you to completely board up your windows and doors – essentially remaining abstinent: Someone may argue that you are responsible for its rooting. because they are concerned with the mother's health or for other reasons SPIRITUAL The abortion debate has heavy religious dimensions. she maintains. that it does have a right to your house. Many abortion providers are pro-abortion rights because they have strong moral beliefs regarding women's reproductive autonomy.

innocent person which God has created. but killing a fetus is punishable only by a fine--and that's in a circumstance where the killing of a fetus takes place against the woman's will. then I will appoint for you a place to which the killer may flee. One of the most frequently cited passages in the abortion debate is Psalm 139:13. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the soul is implanted at the moment of conception. and yet no further harm follows. reads: Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death. While Rebekah is pregnant with the twins Esau and Jacob." Likewise. A theological approach to abortion. It treats the death of a fetus as a non-homicide and makes no attempt to punish women who have abortions. the one responsible shall be fined what the woman's husband demands. But Exodus 21:22 reads: When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage. On the other hand. Exodus 21 draws a clear demarcation between the killing of a person and the killing of a fetus. . paying as much as the judges determine. In other words: Killing a person outside of the womb warrants the death penalty or exile. it does not suggest or imply that personhood begins at the moment of birth. for example. Likewise. which addresses God with the statement that "you knit me together in my mother's womb. like its position on so many other issues." So the Bible's position on abortion. If it was not premeditated. Genesis 25:22 states that "the children struggled together within her. and is a source for great spiritual bondage. but came about by an act of God. But the Bible certainly suggests that human life begins prior to birth. Exodus 21:12. nor does any other passage in the Bible. for example. nor does it mention the widely-practiced abortion that was contemporaneous to the period during which the relevant texts were written. "the child leaped in her womb" (Luke 1:41). cannot explicitly be found in the text of the Bible. when Elizabeth (pregnant with John the Baptist) meets the Virgin Mary. can be described as extremely ambiguous. Exodus describes no penalty of any kind for women who choose to terminate their own pregnancies. This is why the Judeo-Christian tradition has long struggled with the question of abortion. if it is to be found at all.