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Abortion is the removal or explusion of an anbryo or foetus from the uterus, resulting or causing its death. This can be spontaneously as miscarriage or other meals. “Abortion” can refer to an induced procedure at any point during human pregnancy. It is sometimes medically defined as either miscarriage or induced termination before the point of variability. Through history, abortion has been induced by various methods and the moral and legal aspects of abortion is subject to intense debate in many parts of the world/Jones et al ….. 2004).
However, a clearer definition of Abortion is the removal of a growing embryo or foetus from uterus from which it is attached. This general definition covers spontaneously abortion (Miscarriage) and induced abortion but distinguished both from premature birth. Live or still. Golden (2001) stated that certain authorities seem to complicate the issue by defining abortion as termination, expulsion or detachment of foetus or fertilized ovum before its time of viability. In general a foetus is not viable before the 18th weeks of gestation. The following medical terms are used to categorize abortion.
1. Spontaneous Abortion (Miscarriage):- Spontaneous abortion, according to Mules (2001) is the sudden termination or explosion of the foetus/pregnancy. It is characterized by complaints of feeling of uneasiness before the unset of specific signs and symptoms, by the mother such as vaginal bleeding that is, brown spotting or bright red blood. Spontaneous abortion can be due to accidental trauma or natural causes, most miscarriages are due to uncorrected replication of chromosomes; they can also be caused by environmental factors.
2. Induced Abortion: This is an abortion brought about by interference either by therapeutic or elective abortion as a result of deliberate human action. (Roche, 2004).
3. Therapeutic Abortion:- An abortion performed either
a) To save the life of the pregnant women
b) To preserve the woman’s physical or mental health.
c) Terminate pregnancy that would result in a child born with a congenital disorder that would be fatal or association with significant morbidity.
d) Selecting reduce the number of foetus to lessen health risks association with multiple pregnancies.
In United Kingdom, legal termination of pregnancy is a therapeutic procedure carried out under the terms of the 1967 abortion act (United Kingdom Abortion Act, 2011). Before this type of abortion can be carried out 12 registered medical practitioners should be of the opinion that the pregnancy should be terminated and consent must be obtained from husband and wife. The procedure is performed after an agreement must have been reached between the two doctors.
4. Elective Abortion: This is an abortion performed at will by an individual in contravention of the Abortion Act (United Kingdom Abortion Act, 2011). This type of abortion of performed for any other reason. Such procedures are illegal and punishable by imprisonment especially in country like Nigeria. It is attempted by unqualified, non-expert person or non-medical (quack) practitioner. It can also be done by patients herself by ingesting corrosive substances such as taking blece, potash, lime or excessive salt.
The world-wide legal states of abortion ranges from complete prohibition to elective procedures at the request of the pregnant woman. Olitan (2010) opined that in the environmental concerns. Social-economic development and recognition of the right of women to control their own fertility and aided by technological innovational. Abortion has gradually emerged from an aura of social ambivalence. However, abortion has continued ranging debates in political, social, medical, theological and legal fields (Christian 1999). To this end, two major camps has remerged namely:-
a) The pro-choice
b) The pro-life
The pro-choice fights for the legalization of abortion and hence that a woman should have the right to decide whether or not to have her baby while pro-life activist on the other hand fight for the right of the unborn child to live and hence are vehemently opposed to the legalization of abortion (Christian 1999).
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