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“Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy. The fertilized egg that grows and develops is called an embryo. After three months of development, it usually is called a fetus. An abortion causes the embryo or fetus to die. In a spontaneous abortion, also called a miscarriage, the fetus passes through the woman’s body,”(World Book, pg.14).

There are many types or methods of performing an abortion. One way is suction abortion. This is also known as vacuum aspiration. This is the procedure where a suction tube is inserted through the dilated cervix into the womb. A powerful vacuum then, tears the placenta from the uterus and dismembers the body of the developing child. It sucks the pieces into an attached jar. During this procedure there is a chance that the uterus can be punctured.

Another type is dilation and curettage (D & C). This type is usually preformed between seven and twelve weeks of a pregnancy. The doctor inserts a curette, which is a loop-shaped knife, into the womb through the dilated cervix. The curette scrapes the wall of the uterus. The baby is cut into pieces.

A type similar to the dilation and curettage abortion is the dilation and evacuation (D & E). The difference between the two is that in this method forceps must be used to grasp the baby’s body because of the child’s advanced development. The baby is mutilated as the abortionist twist and tears the parts of the body and slices the placenta away from the uterus. This method is safer for the mother, the procedure is devastating to the staff of the hospital and many doctors refuse to do it.

An additional method is the salt poisoning method. It is also called the saline injection. It has also been know as “salting out.” This is the second most common method of abortion. It is usually used after sixteen weeks. The doctor inserts a long needle through the mother’s abdomen and injects a saline solution into the sac of amnionic fluid surrounding the baby. Swallowing the salt poisons the baby and his skin is completely burned away. It takes about an hour to kill the baby. After the child dies the mother goes into labor and expels the dead baby. In spite of the awful burning effect, some babies have survived the “salting out” and have been born alive.

Also, there is a method known as a hysterectomy. This type of an abortion is a surgical procedure whereby the baby is removed from the mother’s womb and allowed to die by neglect or killed by a direct act. This method offers the highest risks to the mother and produces the most number of live births. This method is usually used if the salt poisoning method fails.

The final method is prostaglandin abortion. It is a chemical hormone that induces violent labor and premature birth when injected into the amnionic sac. Since, prostaglandin results in an unusually high percentage of live births, salt, urea or another toxin is often injected first. The risk of live birth from this type of abortion is so great that its use is recommended only in hospitals with neonatal intensive care units.

In 1992 the Alan Guttermacher Institute counted 1,528,900 abortions in the U.S. and going by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 1,359,145. The numbers are both different but they are both rather large. The U.S. Abortion rate for 1992: 26 of every 1000 women aged 15-44 had an abortion. The U.S. abortions ratio for 1992: There were 27.5 abortions for every 100 live births. Using the AGI statistic, there have been over 35 million abortions in the U.S. since 1973.

There is an estimated 50 million abortions performed worldwide each year. A large percentage of these abortions are performed illegally. Sometime these take place with disastrous consequences. Illegal abortion accounts for an estimated 60,000 to 120,000 deaths worldwide each year or about one in five pregnancy related deaths.

“Abortion has been practiced around the world since ancient times as a crude method of birth control. Even though many religions restricted the practice, abortion was not considered illegal in most countries until the 19th century,” (Encarta Encyclopedia: section IV). There were laws during this time that banned after the time that fetal movement can be first felt. This was also known as quickening.

In the United States, the legalization of abortion started in 1966 when the state of Mississippi passed a law allowing abortion in case of rape. “In the following four years, other states expanded the use of abortion to include cases in which a pregnancy threatens a woman’s heath, the fetus has serious abnormalities, or the pregnancy is the result of incest which is sexual intercourse between close relatives,” (Encarta Encyclopedia: section V). In early 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States decided two cases, Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton, that effectively legalized abortion for any reason before the 24th week of pregnancy the point when the fetus is viable. The law allowed individual states to enact laws restricting abortion after viability, except in cases when abortion is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.

In 1976 the Supreme Court acknowledged the right of pregnant girls under the age of pregnant girls under the age of 18, known as mature minors, to have abortions. Three years later the court ruled that states might require the consent of one parent of a minor requesting an abortion. Consent is not necessary if a confidential alternative form of review, such as a judicial heating, is made available for young women who choose not to involve their parents. The court stated that a judicial court might approve a minor’s abortion, in place of her parents, if the judge finds that the minor is mature enough to make the decision on her own. If the judge finds that the minor is not capable of making this decision on her own, the court can decide whether the abortion is in her best interest.

Induced abortion has been a topic of dispute for hundreds of years. People disagree on two basic questions. One question is whether the law should permit a woman to have an abortion and, if so, under what circumstance. The other is whether the law should protect the unborn. Those who wish to legally limit or forbid abortion describes their position as “right-t-life” or “pro-life.” Those who believe a woman should have the right to an abortion refer to themselves as “pro-choice.”

Arguments against abortion are generally based on the belief that an abortion is unjustified killing of an unborn baby. Most people who oppose abortion believe that human life begins as soon as a sperm fertilizes an egg. Some believe that human embryos and fetuses should have legal rights and that abortion is actually a form of murder. Many pro-life people believe that legalization of abortion increases the number of irresponsibl