Definition of Abortion

The definition of abortion in the dictionary states that it is a termination of a pregnancy that is induced by removing or expelling a fetus or embryo from the uterus prior to viability. In medical terms an abortion also refers to a loss of a pregnancy, but does not refer to why the pregnancy was lost.

An abortion can be induced with intent to end the pregnancy, or it can occur spontaneously. If the pregnancy is aborted spontaneously, it is the same as a miscarriage.

The rate of induced abortions varies greatly around the world. There are a number of abortion facts and statistics that can be found online or from official Boards of Health. In America, more than 7000,000 abortions are performed in a year during the first trimester of pregnancy. During the second trimester, more than 165,000 abortions are performed with the numbers decreasing as the pregnancy progresses. Studies also indicate that the numbers of abortions are conducted in countries with liberal laws with regard to abortions and countries where abortions are restricted. However, in countries where the abortion laws are stricter, unsafe abortion rates are higher as are incidences of deaths due to these unsafe practices.

Frequently asked questions
  1. Deaths From Spontaneous Abortion in the United States, Stuart M. Berman, Trent MacKay, David A. Grimes, Nancy J. Binkin, JAMA. 1985;253(21):3119-3123.
  2. Mortality From Abortion and Childbirth: Are the Statistics Biased? Willard Cates, Jr, Jack C. Smith, Roger W. Rochat, David A. Grimes, JAMA. 1982;248(2):192-196.
  3. Abortion reform, RG Bubeck, J Am Osteopath Assoc June 1, 1972 71:842