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What is an abortion?

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Abortion What is an abortion? Abortion is the voluntary interruption of pregnancy through a small surgical procedure, most safely performed in a clinic or hospital. While abortion is presently legal in England, over 100,000 women die each year from complications of illegal abortions world-wide. Abortions are most often performed to end an unwanted pregnancy, but can also be performed to save the life of the mother, or for the survivors of rape. How successful are abortions? Abortions are normally 100% successful. Failures may occur because of inexperience of the doctor, poor vacuum pressure, an abnormally shaped uterus or a very early pregnancy. How is an abortion performed? Abortions are performed differently according to the length of pregnancy. Before 13 weeks of pregnancy Abortions that are performed relatively early in the pregnancy usually proceed without any complications. Once the patient has been admitted, she will be briefed by a nurse on the procedure and will have a blood test taken. Then the patient will disrobe and put on a gown. As the procedure begins, the doctor does a pelvic examination to ascertain the position of the uterus. Clinics will usually administer some gas to numb the pain of the operation. A speculum is then inserted in the vagina, and an antiseptic solution is applied to the vagina and cervix. The cervix has a clamp placed on it and is then injected with a local anaesthetic. ...read more.


In most cases, labour occurs within 12 hours and the patient may have to push to remove the foetus. This can be an especially traumatic procedure because it is very similar to giving birth. What are the effects of an abortion on the physical health of the patient? Each woman who chooses to have an abortion will have a different experience. It is difficult to generalise about how a woman will feel following an abortion, so this guide attempts to focus on the physical effects of an abortion on a woman. An abortion is always a stressful decision and we hope to make that decision a bit more bearable by providing some medical health information. An abortion is a safe procedure when done by professional clinics. It is estimated that 1 woman in 100 000 dies as a result of an abortion which is performed before the end of the twelfth week. By comparison, tonsillectomy causes 3 deaths per 100 000 and appendectomies cause 352 deaths per 100 000. A properly performed abortion should have little effect on the menstrual cycle and the fertility of the patient. The menstrual cycle usually progresses with the first period typically occurring 4 to 8 weeks after the procedure. It is important to know that during this period in between the abortion and menstruation, a patient may ovulate which makes her able to conceive. ...read more.


Where can I get help in making my decision? The InfoCentre recommends most strongly The Family Planning Association (look in the yellow pages of your local phone book for their number) for an unbiased spectrum of choices and information. This organisation is dedicated to helping a person make the right choices, and is committed to objectivity and neutrality in making that choice. There are many different sources of information as well, some of which may or may not be biased to a given cause or belief. Be sure to get your information from a variety of sources, but in the end the decision should rest with no one but you. Abortion - The Facts Children can see, hear, taste and smell before birth [1] Over 4 million abortions were performed under the 1967 Abortion Act up to September 1995. Only 140 of those (0.003 per cent) were carried out because the life of the mother was threatened. [2] In 1994, only 1.03 per cent were because the foetus was severely handicapped. [3] One in five conceptions now ends in abortion in England & Wales. [4] CARE believes it is ethically indefensible to determine the value of an unborn child on the basis of whether it is wanted or not. "Imperceptibly, disgracefully, we have lost our reverence for the unborn." Libby Purves, broadcaster. [5] Changing public attitudes against abortion have been recently shown in the controversy over multiple pregnancies caused by some fertility treatments. ...read more.

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