Powerful Essays

Women may have an abortion for a variety of reasons, but in general they choose abortion because a pregnancy at that time is in some way wrong for them. “Abortion is the removal of a fetus from the uterus before it is mature enough to live on its own” (Kuechler 1996). When this happens spontaneously we call it a miscarriage. Induced abortion is brought about deliberately by a medical procedure that ends pregnancy. Legal abortion, carried out by trained medical practitioners, is one of the most common and safest surgical procedures. “About 1.5 million American women choose to have induced abortions each year. Less than 1% of all abortion patients experience a major complication associated with the procedure” (Kuechler 1996).

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. “A medical abortion is usually done without entering the uterus” (Nathanson 14). Either of two medications, methotrexate or mifepristone, can be used for medical abortion. “In September 2000, the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone for use in the U.S.”(Nathanson 16). Each of these medications is taken together with another medication, misoprostol, to induce an abortion. Before any abortion can be done, a medical professional must confirm that a woman is indeed pregnant and determine exactly how long she has been pregnant. The length of a pregnancy is usually measured by the number of days that have passed since the first day of the woman's last menstrual period. Medical abortions can be performed as early as a pregnancy can be confirmed. In fact, “the shorter the time...

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... J. & Weldon, J. (1999). When does life begin and 39 other tough questions about abortion. Tennessee:Wolgemuth & Hyatt Blackmun, J. Brennan, D., & Marshall, S. Roe vs Wade. Original matter copyright 1996,1997,1998,1999,2000 by the Abortion Law Homepage.

Kuechler, A. (1996). Abortion statistics. Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report, 43(50) 19-32 Retreived April 20, 2004 from Center for Disease Control & Prevention database.

Nathanson, B. & Ostling, R. (1999). Aborting America. New York:Pinnacle.

Robinson, B. (1998, July). Parental consent/notification for teen abortions:pro and con. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. 14(7) 12-17. Retrieved April 18, 2004 from EBSCO database.

Robinson, B. (2002, October). Why do women seek to have an abortion? Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. 18(4) 4-9. Retrieved April 18, 2004 from EBSCO database.
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