Debate on abortion

The debate on abortion , in relation to induced abortion or voluntary termination of pregnancy , refers to the discussion, controversy and controversy about its practice, social and economic context in which it occurs – especially for women – as well as the situation Legal and penal law applicable in different countries and the different implementation of reproductive rights and access to family planning .

The number of induced abortions worldwide annually is about 46 million, 26 million are carried out in countries where abortion is legal and the remaining 20 million are practiced illegally. 1 The health risk for women who are practicing clandestinely an abortion as a result of their illegality has led to different social sectors and organizations requesting their legalization. 2 However, this position has confronted other sectors and organizations that defend the right to live of the nasciturus , based on the scientific and medical consensus on the beginning of human life at the time of fertilization . 3


Induced abortion

Main article: Induced abortion

The definition of induced abortion as a mere interruption of pregnancy is inadequate since it would include the birth of a premature infant and even a mature baby before normal gestation is completed. The difference between an abortion and a premature birth is the viability that the WHO set in 22 complete weeks or 500 grams of fetal weight. Below this limit the interruption of the pregnancy is considered an abortion , above a premature birth . 4

Practice of Induced Abortion

See also: Medication Abortion and Surgical Abortion .

Induced abortion has been practiced and practiced with primitive methods or that do not meet minimum medical and hygienic conditions and that in many cases cause the death of the mother . Modern practice is carried out in two ways: medical abortion and surgical abortion . 4

Safe and insecure abortion

Historically the practice of abortion has been performed by methods that can be described as primitive and aggressive, without qualified medical assistance, without sanitary control and, most of the time endangering the life of women along with the fear of social condemnation and penal.

Safe abortion for the mother

It is called a safe abortion that is practiced with sufficient sanitary guarantees and with qualified medical assistance.

Abortion with medication

In the case of medical abortion, there must be primary health care, clinic or hospital services as needed. An initial diagnostic study should be performed, with sufficient counseling; Prescription and administration can be done in consultation or in a clinic or hospital. Emergency services should be accessible at all times of the day to adequately monitor and resolve any incidents that may occur. 5

Surgical abortion

As for surgical abortion, this should be performed by qualified and authorized medical personnel, in authorized clinics or hospitals. As in the case of medical abortion, an initial diagnostic study should be conducted, with sufficient counseling. Medical supervision is necessary and emergency services must be accessible 24 hours a day.

General conditions to be met

The psychological situation of women must be favorable. There should be reviews or follow-up visits. The woman must authorize the abortion and the necessary surgical interventions, if they were precise. There must be sufficient emotional support. They must be of legal age or if there is less authorization or legislation that allows it. The woman should not suffer from incompatible diseases or be in contraindicated medical treatment. 6 7

Contraindications for medication abortion

The medical abortion is contraindicated or requires special vigilance in the case of smokers over 35, patients with anemia, when He should confirmar- suspected ectopic pregnancy or undiagnosed adnexal mass. When there is coagulopathy or treatment with anticoagulants or chronic adrenal insufficiency or medication with systemic corticosteroids; Also when there is uncontrolled hypertension, cardiovascular diseases such as angina pectoris, valvular disease, arrhythmias, severe renal disease, hepatic or respiratory diseases, glaucoma, uncontrolled epilepsy, allergy or intolerance to mifepristone / misoprostol or other prostaglandins and also when there is Lack of access to 24-hour emergency medical services.

Unsafe abortion

Main article: Unsafe abortion

Unsafe abortion is the practice of induced abortion caused by the decision not to continue with an unwanted pregnancy by the woman throughout her fertile life and especially affects the women who make that decision to a teenage pregnancy . The practice of unsafe abortion is performed under poor sanitary conditions or by unskilled personnel. The practice of unsafe abortion is greater in countries or territories where abortion is not legalized. The practice of abortion is not reduced in those countries with legal restrictions so that their practice is done in poor sanitary conditions. 8 9

Maternal mortality

Main article: Maternal mortality

The unsafe abortion is considered one of the most serious public health problems worldwide with special emphasis on undeveloped or where health and education coverage are poor countries. It is a problem of the first magnitude in countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. In Latin America, about 5,000 women die each year from unsafe and clandestine abortion practices, and some 800,000 women are forced into prison because of problems stemming from abortion practices. In addition to these costs in lives and health, they cause high social costs in terms of orphanhood, destruction of the family nucleus (when it is a woman who already has several children). 10 It is also a major problem in the Philippines, where in 2011 more than half a million women were reported to have been abducted clandestinely, many of them with serious complications and, according to the United Nations , 11 women died every day. light. 11 Nereo Odchimar , former president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, questioned those statistics because it would be impossible to know their accuracy when abortion is illegal in the Philippines . eleven

Legislation on abortion in the world

Main article: Legislation on the practice of abortion in the world

The legislation on abortion in the world is very diverse, from free access to abortion in free public health services to the penalty with years of imprisonment for women and those who practice induced abortion. Therefore, the practice of abortion, understood as induced abortion or voluntary termination of pregnancy, is subject to the legal system in force in each country, where it can be collected as a right or as a punishable offense .

In countries like Russia , Canada , the United States , China , India , and most European countries, abortion is legal at the request or demand of women during a certain period of gestation. On the other hand, in most countries in Africa , Latin America , the Middle East , Oceania and Southeast Asia abortion is illegal and penalized in any of the cases. Six countries around the world prohibit termination of pregnancy under any circumstances and imply imprisonment for any woman and person who performs, attempts or facilitates abortion: Chile (although it is not penalized if it was an undesired consequence of medical procedures To save the life of the mother), 12 Vatican City , El Salvador , Malta , Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic . 13

Main social movements in relation to abortion

See also: Pro-Choice and Provida .

Las dos principales corrientes involucradas en el debate sobre el aborto son los movimientos que defienden la legalización del aborto sin restricciones y los movimientos contrarios a su despenalización o favorables a las máximas restricciones en la práctica del aborto. Cada movimiento trata de influir en la opinión pública y los poderes políticos e institucionales para promover sus propuestas y cambios en la legislación, en un sentido u otro. Sin embargo, ambos suelen basarse en argumentos históricos, médicos y legales no necesariamente correctos.14

Movements in favor of the legalization of abortion

  • Movements in favor of the legalization of abortion , known as pro – choice – from English pro-choice – or abortion movements that claim their decriminalization (usually claiming deadlines laws against alleged laws) and public health coverage for women who want free Interrupt your pregnancy. fifteen

Movements against the legalization of abortion

  • Movements against the legalization of abortion , known as pro – from English pro-life – or anti – abortion movements opposed to the decriminalization of abortion and pro-life advocates embryo and fetus as a human being full with full rights. 16

See also

  • Abortion (disambiguation)
  • Induced abortion
  • Abortion with medication
  • Surgical abortion
  • Therapeutic abortion
  • Sex education
  • Sexual health
  • Family planning
  • Reproductive health
  • Emergency Contraception
  • Contraceptive methods
  • Case Roe v. Wade
  • Proelection
  • Provided
  • Debate on abortion in libertarianism
  • Control of population
  • Rights of women
  • Women’s activism


  1. Back to top↑ «Other legislation» . 2009. Archived from the original on November 25, 2015 . Retrieved on December 19, 2010 .
  2. Back to top↑ «Testimonies about abortion» . 2009. Archived from the original on November 25, 2015 . Retrieved on July 19, 2015 .
  3. Back to top↑ Bioeticawiki. «Start of human life» . Retrieved on July 19, 2015 .
  4. ↑ Jump to:a b Aníbal Faúndes, José Barzelatto, The drama of abortion , Santiago de Chile, 2007 ISBN 978-956-282-926-7, pp.42-3
  5. Back to top↑ “Medical methods for abortion in the first trimester”, BSR, The WHO Reproductive Health Library
  6. Back to top↑ “Requirements to be met for treatment to be effective – Medication Abortion”
  7. Back to top↑ «Precautions – Abortion with drugs, Women on waves»
  8. Volver arriba↑ Henshaw, Stanley K., Susheela Singh y Taylor Haas Perspectivas Internacionales en Planificación Familiar, número especial de 1999. La Incidencia del Aborto Inducido a Nivel Mundial.
  9. Back to top↑ (in English) “Preventing unsafe abortion.” WHO .
  10. Back to top↑ Unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion: two persistent health problems in Latin America, Henry Espinoza, Rev Panam Salud Pública / Pan Am J Public Health 11 (3), 2002.
  11. ↑ Jump to:a b «The battle of the pill shakes Philippines. A bill that facilitates free access to family planning methods and provides sexual education in schools sparks the controversy of the Catholic Church in the Asian country. ” 19/8/2011, El País .
  12. Back to top↑
  13. Back to top↑ United Nations (2014). “Reproductive Health Policies” (in English) . Retrieved on July 9, 2015 .
  14. Back to top↑ Campagne, Daniel M. (2014). «Abortion and the right to decide: Is the unborn? Conflicts between scientific, socio-legal and moral arguments regarding abortion » . Judges for democracy . Retrieved on July 19, 2015 .
  15. Back to top↑ Staggenborg, Suzanne (1994). The Pro-Choice Movement: Organization and Activism in the Abortion Conflict . Oxford University Press US. P. 188. ISBN  0-19-508925-1 .
  16. Back to top↑ Schultz, Jeffrey D .; Van Assendelft, Laura A. (1999). Encyclopedia of women in American politics . The American political landscape (1 edition). Greenwood Publishing Group. P. 195. ISBN  1-57356-131-2 .