Sexual DictionaryDictionary of the F-Word


Spontaneous or medically-induced termination of a pregnancy before viability or before 24 weeks from conception when a fetus has developed sufficiently to survive outside the uterus. Spontaneous abortions, also called miscarriages, occur when the mother's body expels the fetus because it has died, or its membrane is ruptured, it has genetic or developmental defects, or because of infection or illness in the mother such as extreme nervous susceptibility, great debility, or plethora; three or more consecutive miscarriages is termed habitual abortion. Medical abortions are induced by surgery or chemicals because the fetus is unwanted, deformed, not likely to live, or endangers the mother's life or health.

- a) cervical dilation and evacuation of the uterine contents (D & E),
- b) dilation and curettage (D & C), scraping of the uterine cavity with removal of the uterine contents,
- c) vacuum aspiration, vacuum curettage, or vacuum suction,
- d) in the case of third-trimester abortions, laparotomy with hysterectomy or hysterotomy .
- a) intravenous injection of oxytocin early in pregnancy,
- b) intra-amniotic infusion or injection of a saline/urea solution into the amniotic sac,
- c) administration of prostaglandins into the uterus,
- d) some combination of the first three. The choice of method varies according to the length of the pregnancy: vacuum aspiration procedures are used for pregnancies up to 12 weeks, pregnancies of 13 to 18 weeks are generally terminated by dilation and evacuation, pregnancies of about 18 to 24 weeks are usually terminated chemically, more often by the injection of a saline, urea or prostaglandin solution directly into the amniotic sac (called an amniocentesis abortion) to cause premature labor and expel the fetus. Abortions are not done after 24 weeks.See also: abortion-pill ; birth; criminal abortion; dilation and curettage; dilation and evacuation; elective abortion; habitual abortion; hysterotomy ; incomplete-abortion ; infected abortion; intrauterine saline injection; mifepristone (RU486); miscarriage; missed abortion; preemptive abortion; pregnancy; Roe vs. Wade; saline abortion; spontaneous abortion; therapeutic abortion; threatened abortion; vacuum suction.

See Also: ab, abactio partus, aboratorium, abortifacient, abortion, abortion law, abortion-on-demand, abortionist, abortive, abortuary, abortus, abortus artificialis, abortus completus, abortus imminens, abortus incipiens, abortus incompletus, abortus septicus, abortus spontaneous, accidental abortion, hysterotomy, mizuko-jizo, pregnancy interruption, pro-life, pro-lifer, reproductive freedom, terminate a pregnancy, therapeutic interruption of pregnancy, V.T.P.

Quotes Containing abortion:
Florynce Lennedy: ''If men could be pregnant , abortion would be a sacrament.''

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