Abortion is the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced. The term abortion most commonly refers to the induced abortion of a human pregnancy.

Abortion, when induced in the developed world in accordance with local law, is among the safest procedures in medicine. However, unsafe abortions result in approximately 70 thousand maternal deaths and 5 million disabilities per year globally. An estimated 44 million abortions are performed globally each year, with slightly under half of those performed unsafely. The incidence of abortion has stabilized in recent years, having previously spent decades declining as access to family planning education and contraceptive services increased. Forty percent of the world's women have access to induced abortions (within gestational limits).

Induced abortion has a long history and has been facilitated by various methods including herbal abortifacients, the use of sharpened tools, physical trauma, and other traditional methods. Contemporary medicine utilizes medications and surgical procedures to induce abortion. The legality, prevalence, cultural and religious status of abortion vary substantially around the world. Its legality can depend on specific conditions such as incest, rape, severe fetal defects or the mother's health being at risk. In many parts of the world there is prominent and divisive public controversy over the ethical and legal issues of abortion.

Read more about Abortion:  Safety, Incidence, History, In Other Animals

Other articles related to "abortion":

David Reardon
... of the Elliot Institute and an advocate in favor of legislating strict barriers to abortion ... books examining the controversial issue of mental health effects associated with abortion (see abortion and mental health) ... and was described in the New York Times Magazine as the "Moses" of the "post-abortion movement" ...
Crisis Pregnancy Center
... established to counsel pregnant women against having an abortion ... CPCs generally provide peer counseling related to abortion, pregnancy, and childbirth, and may also offer additional non-medical services such as ... but not exclusively about the supposed health risks and mental health risks of abortion ...
Crisis Pregnancy Center - Legal and Legislative Action - Waxman Report
... "false and misleading information" on an alleged link between abortion and breast cancer, on the alleged effects of abortion on fertility, and on the alleged mental health effects of abortion ... this report, however, provided false or misleading information about the health risks of an abortion ... typically pro-life organizations dedicated to preventing abortion, but it is an inappropriate public health practice ...
Abortion - In Other Animals
... Further information Miscarriage Spontaneous abortion occurs in various animals ... In cows, abortion may be caused by contagious disease, such as Brucellosis or Campylobacter, but can often be controlled by vaccination ... Abortion may also be induced in animals, in the context of animal husbandry ...
Parents' Rights Coalition - Positions - Abortion
... expressed strong opposing views about Mitt Romney for his moderate policies on abortion ... criticized him for his stance on abortion, referring to him as "probably the most pro-abortion and pro-gay rights Republican official in the nation for the last ... citing Salinger's activist agenda and financial contributions to MoveOn.org and "pro-abortion" group EMILY's List ...

Famous quotes containing the word abortion:

    If the vice president thinks it’s disgraceful for an unmarried woman to bear a child, and if he believes that a woman cannot adequately raise a child without a father, then he’d better make sure that abortion remains safe and legal.
    Diane British (b. 1948)

    [The Republicans] offer ... a detailed agenda for national renewal.... [On] reducing illegitimacy ... the state will use ... funds for programs to reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, to promote adoption, to establish and operate children’s group homes, to establish and operate residential group homes for unwed mothers, or for any purpose the state deems appropriate. None of the taxpayer funds may be used for abortion services or abortion counseling.
    Newt Gingrich (b. 1943)

    ... abortion opponents love little babies as long as they are in somebody else’s uterus.
    Joycelyn Elders (b. 1933)