The abortion (the Latin abortus , participle past aborīrī , with the same meaning as in Spanish , in turn ab- , “of”, “from”, and oriri , “rising”, “out”, “appear”) it is the interruption and premature termination of pregnancy naturally or voluntary basis. In a broader sense, it may refer to failure by interruption or maladjustment of any process or activity.

Types of abortion

Induced abortion

Main article: Induced abortion

The induced abortion is the active termination of life development of the embryo or fetus. It may be a therapeutic abortion (or indirect abortion ) when performed for medical reasons, or a selective abortion ( voluntary termination of pregnancy ), when it is performed by the pregnant woman’s decision. 1

In turn, according to the technique used to induce abortion, it is possible to speak of medical abortion or medical abortion 2 and surgical abortion . 3 4

Spontaneous abortion

The spontaneous abortion or a natural abortion is one that is not caused intentionally. The most frequent cause is fetal death; By congenital anomalies of the fetus, often genetic. In other cases it is due to abnormalities of the reproductive tract, or to systemic diseases of the mother or infectious diseases. When the gestational age is over 22 weeks or the fetus weighs more than 500 grams, it is referred to as fetal death . Among the signs and symptoms are abnormal transvaginal bleeding, which must be assessed by your gynecologist and check that there are no placental remains. 5

Therapeutic abortion

The therapeutic abortion is the interruption caused fetal development. Unlike the “induced drug” to this precede strictly medical reasons. Among these reasons is whether the health of the mother (physical or mental) is directly committed to such pregnancy or in case, if the life of the mother is at risk. It is important to differentiate the therapeutic abortion of the armature, since in the second one it influences more socio-economic factors as being the product of a violation, to have the incapacity of economic solvency, among others. [ Citation needed ]

Abortion by country


In Mexico there are laws that allow abortion under certain circumstances; However, in most states it is difficult for women to access these services satisfactorily. Abortion is allowed when its origin is due to rape in the 32 states of the Mexican Republic, risks to the life of women in 27 states, miscarriage or spontaneous abortion in 29 states and in 8 states is authorized if the Woman suffered from non-consensual artificial insemination; Only one of the States contemplates serious economic reasons.
In the Federal District, the situation is different since, since 2007, abortion is legal before 12 weeks of pregnancy, under the Legal Interruption of Pregnancy program. There are about 21 private abortion clinics in the Federal District. The legal interruption of pregnancy can also be performed in the clinic of the Ministry of Health for free, 6 although this usually presents congestion for this type of interventions.


  1. Back to top↑ Voluntary abortion techniques, 2009, statistics, Spain
  2. Back to top↑ Medical abortion or Abortion with medications, on MedlinePlus
  3. Back to top↑ Surgical abortion, on MedlinePlus
  4. Back to top↑ Facts about induced abortion in the world , Guttmacher Institute .
  5. Back to top↑ Spontaneous abortion, on MedlinePlus
  6. Back to top↑ Clinic of the Secretary of Health