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How Abortion Effects Body/ Facts/

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Simply put, when referring to humans, the words “fetus” and “fetal” apply from nine weeks after fertilization until birth. Yet, numerous major news organizations have misapplied these terms to both before and after this period. In spite of the fact that journalism guidelines disparage the use of medical jargon, media outlets selectively employ it in their coverage of this issue. For example, journalists widely use the clinical term “fetus,” but they use the word “mother” to refer to a pregnant woman instead of the more precise and clinical term, “gravida.”Conversely, when the topic is not abortion, reporters often shun the word “fetus” and use “baby” or “child” in its place.

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Right after an abortion, women may feel some soreness and cramping. This, and possibly bleeding from the procedure, which is generally no heavier than menstrual bleeding, may last for several weeks. Some women also experience stomach upset that can take the form of vomiting or simply nausea. These tend to be normal after effects of abortion, but if women feel concerned they should contact their doctor or the clinic where the procedure was performed. Sometimes complications do arise after an abortion, though risk of this is low. Women should watch in the first few weeks for signs or very heavy bleeding, fever, severe pain in the pelvis or severe stomach pain. These signs might suggest dangerous infection or hemorrhage and need immediate medical care. In extremely rare instances, death does occur during or after an abortion, but risk of this is about on par with risk of death during childbirth

There are also emotional effects of abortion, which do exist and need to be noted and looked for. Of these, the most significant is the development of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a risk any time a pregnancy ends, at any stage and no matter how. The body can respond by becoming deeply depressed as pregnancy hormones rapidly fall. What this would suggest for most women seeking an abortion is that they have a strong support system; this could be the help of friends, group support, work with a counselor, or a supportive family. Isolation after an abortion tends to increase risk for serious depression, and the circumstances under which a woman gets an abortion may also make depression more or less likely. Those who feel conflicted about the decision or must keep it secretive may suffer more. Other emotional effects of abortion exist. Some people feel guilt, while others feel relief. Without full-blown post-partum depression, some women may still feel tearful, moody, or simply endure a difficult emotional ride during the first few weeks to several months after abortion. Again, not all women have this experience, but some do.

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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 a procedure induced at any point during pregnancy (Wang JX, Norman RJ, 2004). Medically, it is defined as a miscarriage or induced termination of pregnancy before twenty weeks of gestation, whenever the fetus is considered to be nonviable. Abortion is classified as either spontaneous or induced. Spontaneous abortion which is also called miscarriage mainly occurs due to accidental trauma or natural causes, such as structural and numerical chromosome aberration, chronic diseases coincident with pregnancy, and environmental factors. Induced abortion is deliberately/intentionally performed. Induced abortions are further subcategorized into two categories of therapeutic and elective abortions

Induced abortion has been a controversial issue through the ages; anthropologists have found evidence of its existence in every known culture (Berkowitz GS, Daling JR. 2000). The earliest records of recognized abortifacients (agents which cause the premature termination of pregnancy) which are presumed to have been written more than 4500 years ago are found in ancient Chinese texts.

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In short, health-care providers are obligated to provide life-saving medical care to any woman who suffers abortion-related complications, including treatment of complications from unsafe abortion, regardless of the legal grounds for abortion. However, in some cases, treatment of abortion complications is administered only on the condition that the woman provides information about the person(s) who performed the illegal abortion. The practice of extracting confessions from women seeking emergency medical care as a result of illegal abortion puts women's lives at risk. The legal requirement for doctors and other health-care personnel to report cases of women who have undergone abortion, delays care and increases the risks to women’s health and lives

UN human rights standards call on countries to provide immediate and unconditional treatment to anyone seeking emergency medical care.

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Wang JX, Norman RJ, Wilcox AJ. Incidence of spontaneous abortion among pregnancies produced by assisted reproductive technology. Hum Reprod. 2004;19:272–277.

Trupin SR. Elective abortion. Retrieved from: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/252560-overview on 2010-08-03.

Berkowitz GS, Daling JR. Reproductive health. In: Goldman MB, Hatch MC, editors. Women and Health. USA: Academic Press; 2000.

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