Question a.i what is meant by abortion


Abortion is a controversial, complex and emotional issue, it is also a global issue, law, culture and religion are a few factors that affect our views, and opinions and they influence our understanding of the topic.

Opinions on abortion vary between different groups of people. Some agree with it some don’t and some only agree with it in certain cases e.g. rape or teenage pregnancies.

In this coursework there will be abortion methods, risks and complications, what the term “abortion” actually means, biblical and church teachings on abortion and also reasons for and against abortion.

What is meant by the term abortion?

Abortion can be described as:

The premature expulsion of the foetus from the womb

The removal of the foetus before it is able to survive independently

The destruction of a new human life

A termination is also used as a term for abortion

The death of a baby in the womb-an operation to causes this to happen

When a foetus or growing child is deliberately killed

What is Medical Abortion?

A medical abortion is one that is brought about by taking medications that will end a pregnancy. The alternative is surgical abortion, which ends a pregnancy by emptying the uterus (or womb) with special instruments. Either of two medications, mifepristone or methotrexate, can be used for medical abortion. Each of these medications is taken together with another medication, misoprostol, to induce an abortion.

When Is Medical Abortion Used?

Medical abortions can be performed as early as a pregnancy can be confirmed. In fact, the shorter the time that a woman has been pregnant, the better the medications will work. Because they do not work as well later in the first trimester of pregnancy, medical abortion is not usually an option after nine weeks (or 63 days) After that, surgical abortion is the safest and best option.

How the Medications Work

Mifepristone (the abortion pill or RU-486) is a medication that was developed and tested specifically as an abortion-inducing agent.

Mifepristone is taken in the form of a pill. It works by blocking the hormone progesterone, which is necessary to sustain pregnancy. Without this hormone, the lining of the uterus breaks down, the cervix (opening of the uterus or womb) softens, and bleeding begins.

Methotrexate has been used in the US since 1953, when it was approved by the FDA to treat certain types of cancer. Since that time, medical researchers have discovered other important uses for the drug. One of these uses is to end unintended pregnancies. Although the FDA did not consider methotrexate for this specific purpose, clinicians may prescribe methotrexate for early abortion.

Methotrexate is usually given to a pregnant woman in the form of an injection, or shot, although it also can be taken orally. It stops the ongoing implantation process that occurs during the first several weeks after conception.

Within a few days after taking mifepristone or methotrexate, a second drug, misoprostol, is taken. Misoprostol tablets, which are usually put into the vagina or taken orally, cause the uterus to contract and empty. This ends the pregnancy.

Mifepristone and methotrexate work in different ways, and so they will have slightly different effects on a woman's body. A clinician can help a woman decide whether medically induced abortion is the right option for her, and which of the two drugs she should use.

How Long Do Medical Abortions Take?

It can take anywhere from about a day to 3-4 weeks from the time a woman takes the first medication until the medical abortion is completed. The length of time depends on which medications are taken and when the misoprostol is used. Complete abortion generally occurs sooner with mifepristone compared to methotrexate. The majority of women who take mifepristone will abort within four hours of using misoprostol. About 95% will have a complete abortion within a week. With methotrexate, 80-85% of women will abort within 2 weeks of taking the first medication. Some will take longer and may need more doses of misoprostol.

During and After a Medical Abortion

Some women will have vaginal bleeding after the first drug. This bleeding may be light, or it may be like a heavy period. After taking the misoprostol, cramping and bleeding usually begin within a few hours, although it may take longer. The cramping and bleeding may be more than with a normal menstrual period. Most women use the misoprostol and expel the embryo at home.  

The most common side effects of medical abortion are caused by misoprostol. In addition to cramps and bleeding, side effects may include: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, chills, or fatigue.

Most women have cramps for several hours, and many pass blood clots as they are aborting. Some women may see the greyish gestational sac. However, the embryo will probably not be seen among the blood clots. At 49 days, the size of the embryo will be about one-fifth of an inch. In an earlier pregnancy, it might be much smaller than that. Cramps and bleeding usually begin to ease after the embryonic tissue has been passed, but bleeding may last for one to two weeks after medical abortion.

Some women report that their first regular menstrual period after a medical abortion is heavier, or longer, or in some other way different from normal for them. By the second period after the abortion, their cycles should be back to normal.

Possible Complications

About 95-98% of women will have a successful medical abortion. Complications are rare. However, a small percentage of women (approximately 0.5-2%) will need a suction aspiration (similar to a surgical abortion) because of heavy or prolonged bleeding. In about half of these cases, this heavy bleeding occurs 3-5 weeks after taking the medications. Rarely, in approximately 0.1-0.2% of cases, a blood transfusion might be required to treat very heavy bleeding. Some women also choose to have a suction aspiration because they would prefer not to wait for the medical abortion to be completed on its own.

In about 1% of cases or fewer, the medications do not work and the embryo continues to grow. In these cases, a suction procedure (surgical abortion) must be done to empty the uterus and complete the abortion. Deciding to continue the pregnancy to term is not an option after taking the first medication because the medications can cause birth defects in the pregnancy.

There do not appear to be any long-term complications associated with use of these drugs.

Follow-up Care

Medical abortion requires a follow-up visit to the clinic or medical office. This return visit is very important to be sure that the abortion has been completed. In addition, a woman should contact her health care provider about any problems or concerns she has during the medical abortion.

Surgical abortions

Abortion is the termination or ending of a pregnancy after implantation. Most surgical abortions (97%) are done by placing an instrument the size of a pencil into the uterine cavity (the inside of the womb) and applying suction. This procedure is called vacuum aspiration. After the abortion, you will be asked to remain in the office for a brief period before going home. Each year in the United States, there are about 1.5 million abortions. Over the past decade, about half of all unintended pregnancies in the United States have been terminated by abortion. Over half of all abortions are done for women using contraception.

Women can have two main types of abortion, a natural abortion or a procured or induced abortion. A natural abortion is better known as a miscarriage.

Miscarriage can leave a couple severely shaken as the anticipation of having a baby suddenly turns to grief over a loss. Many feel devastated and guilty even if the miscarriage occurs during the early weeks or months of the pregnancy. However, while it's normal to blame some specific act or situation, miscarriages are rarely triggered by factors under the partners' control.

Exercising, a minor fall, or sexual intercourse does not typically cause a miscarriage. The foetus is well protected by the mother's bones and muscle as well as by the amniotic fluid in which it floats. There is also no evidence that conceiving while taking birth control pills increases the risk of miscarriage. Becoming pregnant while using an IUD, however, does make you more likely to miscarry or develop an infection.

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As many as 30 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, half of them before the woman even realizes she is pregnant. Fortunately, most women who miscarry, even more than once, can become pregnant again and give birth to a healthy baby. If you have had a miscarriage and want to try again, work with your doctor to learn the reason for the loss and to plan future pregnancies. Closely monitored pregnancies are especially important for women who have miscarried.

Abortion methods

Methods of abortion involve surgery; drugs and surgery or drugs’ only depending on what stage ...

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