Abortion

A vacuum aspiration abortion at eight weeks gestational age (six weeks after fertilization).
1: Amniotic sac
2: Embryo
3: Uterine lining
4: Speculum
5: Vacurette
6: Attached to a suction pump
A likely illegal abortion flyer in South Africa
Soviet poster circa 1925, warning against midwives performing abortions. Title translation: "Miscarriages induced by either grandma or self-taught midwives not only maim the woman, they also often lead to death."
A bar chart depicting selected data from a 1998 AGI meta-study on the reasons women stated for having an abortion.
Bas-relief at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, c. 1150, depicting a demon inducing an abortion by pounding the abdomen of a pregnant woman with a pestle.
"French Periodical Pills". An example of a clandestine advertisement published in a January 1845 edition of the Boston Daily Times.

Termination of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus.

- Abortion
A vacuum aspiration abortion at eight weeks gestational age (six weeks after fertilization).
1: Amniotic sac
2: Embryo
3: Uterine lining
4: Speculum
5: Vacurette
6: Attached to a suction pump

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200 mg mifepristone and 800 μg misoprostol, the typical regimen for early medical abortion.

Medical abortion

200 mg mifepristone and 800 μg misoprostol, the typical regimen for early medical abortion.

A medical abortion, also known as medication abortion, occurs when medically-prescribed drugs (medication) are used to bring about an abortion.

A historical advertisement for "Dr. Reynold's Lightning Pills". The advertisement uses coded language to refer to the pills' supposed abortifacient properties, including its ability to resolve female "irregularities."

Abortifacient

A historical advertisement for "Dr. Reynold's Lightning Pills". The advertisement uses coded language to refer to the pills' supposed abortifacient properties, including its ability to resolve female "irregularities."
Ancient silver coin from Cyrene depicting a stalk of Silphium

An abortifacient ("that which will cause a miscarriage" from Latin: abortus "miscarriage" and faciens "making") is a substance that induces abortion.

Copper IUD (Paragard T 380A)

Intrauterine device

Small, often T-shaped birth control device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.

Small, often T-shaped birth control device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.

Copper IUD (Paragard T 380A)
Illustration of intrauterine device
A copper T-shaped IUD with removal strings
An IUD as seen on pelvic X ray
Hormonal IUD (Mirena)
Transvaginal ultrasonography showing a perforated copper IUD as a hyperechoic (rendered as bright) line at right, 30 mm away from the uterus at left. The IUD is surrounded by a hypoechoic (dark) foreign-body granuloma.
Removal strings of an intrauterine device exiting the cervical os of a nulliparous woman. Image was taken immediately after insertion and injection of lidocaine.

They may also be used immediately after an abortion.

Each Life Matters demonstration in Madrid, Spain, on 17 October 2009

Anti-abortion movements

Each Life Matters demonstration in Madrid, Spain, on 17 October 2009
Protest outside clinic in the Bay Area, 1986.
Anti-abortion truck. Vancouver. 2012

Anti-abortion movements, also referred to as pro-life movements, are involved in the abortion debate advocating against the practice of abortion and its legality.

Note: In some countries or territories, abortion laws are modified by other laws, regulations, legal principles or judicial decisions. This map shows their combined effect as implemented by the authorities.

Abortion law

Abortion laws vary widely among countries and territories, and have changed over time.

Abortion laws vary widely among countries and territories, and have changed over time.

Note: In some countries or territories, abortion laws are modified by other laws, regulations, legal principles or judicial decisions. This map shows their combined effect as implemented by the authorities.
Supporter of legalized abortion at a rally in Paraná, Argentina. Argentina had restrictive laws until 2021.

Such laws range from abortion being freely available on request, to regulation or restrictions of various kinds, to outright prohibition in all circumstances.

Combined oral contraceptives. Introduced in 1960, "the Pill" has played an instrumental role in family planning for decades.

Family planning

Achieved through use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of involuntary infertility."

Achieved through use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of involuntary infertility."

Combined oral contraceptives. Introduced in 1960, "the Pill" has played an instrumental role in family planning for decades.
Family planning methods
Global maternal mortality rate per 100,000 live births (2010)
Placard showing negative effects of lack of family planning and having too many children and infants (Ethiopia)
Placard showing positive effects of family planning (Ethiopia)
Countries by 2019 GDP (nominal) per capita
Global carbon dioxide emissions by jurisdiction
Map of countries by fertility rate (2020), according to the Population Reference Bureau
Demand for Private Tutoring with and without access to family planning
Demand for family planning satisfied by modern methods as of 2017
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, "Trends in Contraceptive Use Worldwide 2015", New York: United Nations, 2015
A family planning facility in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
Map of population density by country, per square kilometer

Abortion is not typically recommended as a primary method of family planning, and access to contraception reduces the need for abortion.

Abortion-rights activists in São Paulo, Brazil

Abortion-rights movements

Abortion-rights activists in São Paulo, Brazil
Stella Browne was a feminist who campaigned for the liberalization of abortion law.
Aleck Bourne was acquitted for performing an abortion on a rape survivor in 1938, a landmark case in the movement for abortion rights.
The United States Supreme Court membership in 1973 at the time of Roe v. Wade.
An advocate for the right to safe and legal abortion demonstrates with a sign
In October 2020, protests break out following changes to abortion laws in Poland.
Abortion rights campaigning in the Dominican Republic
'Legalize abortion now!' Abortion rights banner at the Argentine Parliament, December 10, 2020

Abortion-rights movements, also referred to as pro-choice movements, advocate for legal access to induced abortion services including elective abortion.

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Right to life

Belief that a being has the right to live and, in particular, should not be killed by another entity, including a government.

Belief that a being has the right to live and, in particular, should not be killed by another entity, including a government.

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Diagram depicting a surgical abortion
President Ronald Reagan meets with representatives of the Right to Life movement, 1981
Peter Singer at Crawford Forum 2017
Paris Die-in on July 2, 2008
Protests at Ferguson on August 14, 2014
George Floyd mural Mauerpark Berlin, May 2020
Euthanasia machine (Australia)

The concept of a right to life arises in debates on issues including capital punishment, with some people seeing it as immoral; war, which is seen by some as a wrong and tragic act; abortion, where some feel an unborn life should not be ended prematurely; euthanasia, where the ending of an elderly person's life outside of natural means is seen as incorrect; police brutality, which is seen as an infringement of a person’s right to live; justifiable homicide, with some believing that no instance of homicide is truly justifiable; and animal rights, whose lives are seen just as worthy of protection as that of humans.

An ultrasound showing a gestational sac containing a yolk sac but no embryo.

Miscarriage

Death of an embryo or fetus before it is able to survive independently.

Death of an embryo or fetus before it is able to survive independently.

An ultrasound showing a gestational sac containing a yolk sac but no embryo.
Transvaginal ultrasonography after an episode of heavy bleeding in an intrauterine pregnancy that had been confirmed by previous ultrasonography. There is some widening between the uterine walls, but no sign of any gestational sac, thus, in this case, being diagnostic of a complete miscarriage.
Transvaginal ultrasonography, with some products of conception in the cervix (to the left in the image) and remnants of a gestational sac by the fundus (to the right in the image), indicating an incomplete miscarriage
A 13-week fetus without cardiac activity located in the uterus (delayed or missed miscarriage)
A cemetery for miscarried fetuses, stillborn babies, and babies who have died soon after birth

Some recommend not using the term "abortion" in discussions with those experiencing a miscarriage in an effort to decrease distress.

Albert Wynn and Gloria Feldt at the U.S. Supreme Court to rally in support of Roe v. Wade.

Abortion debate

Albert Wynn and Gloria Feldt at the U.S. Supreme Court to rally in support of Roe v. Wade.
"No to abortion" at a 2007 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in São Paulo, Brazil.
The October 2020 Polish protests were caused by severe changes to abortion laws.
Members of Bound4LIFE in Washington, D.C. symbolically cover their mouths with red tape.
The 2004 March for Women's Lives near the Washington Monument.

The abortion debate is the ongoing controversy surrounding the moral, legal, and religious status of induced abortion.