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Abortion - Expulsion of a Living Fetus from a Mother's Womb Before It Is Viable

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Abortion - expulsion of a living fetus from a mother's womb before it is viable.

Types of Abortion

1. Spontaneous Abortion - occurs naturally with no artificial means and the fetus is usually lost in the first trimester. Common causes are the ff:

a. Abnormal developments of the embryo or fetus due to drugs or genetic make-up.

(teratogens)

b. Faulty implantation due to abnormalities of the generative tract.

(leiomayoma)

c. Placental abnormalities.

(decrease in HCG or Human Chorionic Goandotropin)

d. Chronic maternal diseases

(hpn, ABO incompatibility, chronic nephritis, syphilis in 2nd trimester, malnutrition)

e. Endocrine imbalances

(reduction in progesterone and estrogen in early pregnancy)

Classification of Spontaneous Abortion

* Threatened abortion - unexplained bleeding, cramps and backache.

* Imminent abortion - manifested by increased bleeding and cramping. The cervix dilates and membranes may rupture. The term "inevitable abortion" applies.

* Complete abortion - all the products of conception are expelled.

* Incomplete abortion - part of the products of conception are retained, most often the placenta.

* Missed abortion - fetus dies in uterus but is not expelled. Manifested by uterine growth ceases, breasts change regress, brown vaginal discharge (cervix is closed).

* Habitual abortion - means abortion occurs consecutively in three or more pregnancies.

2. Induced Abortion - occurs as a result of artificial or mechanical interruption or due to voluntary and effective human intervention. May also called as Therapeutic Abortion.

Techniques of Induced Abortion

* Abortion by D and C (Dilatation and Curettage) - an abortive technique of long standing.

* Abortion by Caesarian section or by abdominal hysterectomy - Abdominal incision is followed by extraction of the fetus from the uterus.

* Abortion by suction - utilized by suction apparatus.

* Abortion via Intra-amniotic infiltration - extracting about 10-300cc of amniotic fluid through an abnormal puncture, followed by infiltration of a 20% hypertonic saline solution or 50% dextrose of water into the amniotic sac. This causes necrosis of the placenta and saline intoxication of the fetus.

* Abortion via IV infection of prostaglandin- prostaglandin exerts powerful effects upon the contractibility of uterine muscles whenever this is infused slowly using the IV route. This procedure supersedes abortion by intra-amniotic infiltration.

Legal, Moral, and Ethical Considerations

Article II, Section 12 of the 1986 Constitution states that "The state recognizes the sanctity of life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and life of the unborn from conception"

The number of cases of induced abortion in the Philippines ranges from 150,000 - 750,000 every year. In one Metro Manila hospital alone, 4,000 cases of abortion are undertaken annually. (NEDA-National Economic Development Authority)

The direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral, even when it is performed as a means to a good end.

The magisterium of the church has consistently condemned abortion throughout history, even when the exact moment of the fetus animation is still being disputed.

Ex-communication expressed by ecclesiastical law to the participants of abortion

Abortion destroys life and violates the right to life.

Effects of Abortion

1. Physical Aspect

a. May suffer habitual miscarriage.

b. Ectopic pregnancies

c. Menstrual disturbances or discomfort

d. Still births

e. Bleeding

f. Shock

g. Insomnia

h. Loss of appetite

i. Coma

j. Perforated anus

k. Fever and cold sweat

l. Intense pain

m. Weight loss

n. Frigidity

2. Psychological Aspect

a. Guilt

b. Suicidal tendency

c. Loss of sense of fulfillment

d. Loss of confidence

e. Hostility

f. Thwarted maternal instinct

g. Self-destructive behavior

h. Anger, Rage

i. Helplessness

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