Abortion refers to the medical term for the process of ending a pregnancy to prevent the birth of the baby. It is also known as ‘termination’ or ‘termination of pregnancy’. Termination of a pregnancy depends on the number of weeks passed without menstruation which means the number of weeks of being pregnant.
Why a woman decides to have an abortion could have many reasons such as personal or socio-economic circumstances, risk of the security of existing children, risk to the mother’s health, risk to the expected baby’s health, or genetic and other physical problems.
Getting an abortion at the earliest is the best and safest as it would be less complicated. Most successful cases of abortions are the ones that take place 12-13 weeks post, the last menstrual period. It is important to keep in mind health conditions as well as law regulations for terminating a pregnancy. Abortions using pills can be done up to the 7th week whereas surgical can be performed after almost a month and up to 18 weeks in most of the cases. Abortions not only take place according to the women’s biological condition but also keeping in mind the laws of the country or state one resides in. For example in U.S abortions on an average are done in the first 3 to 4 months but in some of its states abortions up to 24 weeks are allowed only if there are critical health conditions, otherwise it is considered “intent to murder”. Laws in this case vary from state to state.
Thus, even though the right to terminate a pregnancy is there and personal choice is the priority but time and space can affect it to a large extent. The concept of viability therefore becomes essential when talking about how late one can end her pregnancy. Viability can also be understood as the ability of the fetus to survive outside of the womb which is determined by the “gestation period”. In most of the medical communities 24 weeks of gestation is an average. However in some cases babies born in the 24th week have also survived. Thus the late term abortions depend completely on the viability of the fetus. If more than 24 weeks have passed then there is no chance of an abortion and is actually an illegal activity which results in serious consequences. Only if there are conditions such as biological complications can the pregnancy be terminated.
This however is not a generalization. Abortion rules and laws vary according to the country one lives in. In some countries the termination of pregnancy is strictly prohibited due to religious and conservative beliefs. Countries such as Ireland are even more rigid where the unborn is treated as a person right from its conception. On the other hand developing countries such as India are more liberal when it comes to right to keep the baby or not as abortion laws are smooth and the country is Pro choice even though female feticide and infanticide are common in some parts of the country that are socially backward and orthodox.
In a surgical abortion the doctors use local anesthesia to make the women unconscious. The process doesn’t take more than half an hour. After the surgery has been performed there is some bleeding for a few days. The woman also has to remain in the clinic for a few hours followed by some counseling. The abortion pill on the other hand can be taken till the 8th week after the last period.
The risks involved in abortions
After the surgical abortion antibiotics are given to prevent any risk of infection later. There is also a risk of the perforation of the uterus but it is very rare. Only one in a 1000 abortion cases have a record of damage to the uterus. Damage to the cervix however has more records. Only one in a 1000 abortions have cases of a hemorrhage or excessive blood loss. After the abortion if one experiences any abnormal symptoms such as pain in the abdomen or high temperature, then one must rush to the clinic. It is also very important to confirm the termination of pregnancy as sometimes abortions can be unsuccessful.
A lot of people might think that abortions can interfere with future pregnancy which is not completely true. Only if one has recurring late terminations can it affect the chances of being pregnant. A successful abortion rarely affects future pregnancy or lead to miscarriage. One can get immediately pregnant after a successful abortion.