Reference Terms
from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


An abortion is the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death.

This can occur spontaneously as a miscarriage, or be artificially induced through chemical, surgical or other means.

Commonly, "abortion" refers to an induced procedure at any point in the pregnancy; medically, it is defined as a miscarriage or induced termination before twenty weeks' gestation, which is considered nonviable.

A pregnancy that ends earlier than 37 complete weeks of gestation, and where an infant is born and survives, is termed a premature birth.

A pregnancy that ends with an infant dead upon birth at any gestational stage, due to causes including spontaneous abortion or complications during delivery, is termed a stillbirth.

In common parlance, the term "abortion" is synonymous with induced abortion of a human fetus.

However, in medical texts, the word 'abortion' can also refer to spontaneous abortion (miscarriage).

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Abortion", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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