- Noun: abortion u'borshun
- Termination of pregnancy
- Failure of a plan
Derived forms: abortions
n. The termination of a pregnancy: a miscarriage or the premature expulsion of a foetus from the womb before the normal period of gestation is complete. It is an offence to induce or attempt to induce an abortion unless the terms of the Abortion Act 1967and the Abortion Regulations 1991 are complied with. The pregnancy can only be terminated by a registered medical practitioner, and two registered medical practitioners must agree that it is necessary, for example because(1) continuation of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life or physical or mental health of the pregnant woman (or of other children of hers) that is greater than the risk of terminating the pregnancy, or (2) that there is a substantial risk that the child will be born with a serious physical or mental handicap. However, doctors are not obliged to perform abortions if they can prove that they have a conscientious objection to so doing. A husband cannot prevent his wife having a legal abortion if she so wishes. Compare CHILD DESTRUCTION.
1 : the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus:
a : spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation —compare MISCARRIAGE
b : induced expulsion of a human fetus
c : expulsion of a fetus of a domestic animal often due to infection at any time before completion of pregnancy —see CONTAGIOUS ABORTION, TRICHOMONIASIS b VIBRIONIC ABORTION
2 : arrest of development of an organ so that it remains imperfect or is absorbed
3 : the arrest of a disease in its earliest stage abortion of a cold
- More: Next
- she is in favor of abortion on demand.
- abortion may occur as a complication.
- a number of considerations have led her to have a wilful abortion.
- increasingly, abortion is recognized as a pre-eminent issue for feminists.
- the degeneration of mitochondria is one of the earliest events in pollen abortion.