Abortion Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Abortion, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Abortion?

n. an abortion is the termination of a pregnancy associated with the death of an embryo or a fetus. In legal terms the word is understood to mean deliberate abortion and not accidental abortion. When dont with a mala fide intention it becomes a misdemeanor, and the party causing it may be indicted and punished. . . . Wade ruling (1973) as given by the Supreme Court rules that women had the right to terminate her pregnancy through the first trimester of gestation (three months). If life of the expecting mother is in danger than abortion is legally justified.

History and Meaning of Abortion

Abortion has been a controversial topic for centuries, with differing views on the subject in various cultures and religions. The modern meaning of abortion, which is the termination of a pregnancy associated with the death of an embryo or a fetus, came into legal existence in the United States in 1973 with the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Roe v. Wade case.

In the past, abortions were typically performed in secret, often by untrained individuals, and the consequences could be fatal for the mother. Today, abortions are generally performed in safe and legal medical facilities by licensed professionals.

Examples of Abortion

  1. Jane decided to have an abortion after learning that her pregnancy was not developing normally.
  2. The state legislature passed a bill banning all abortions except when the mother's life was in danger.
  3. After having an abortion, Maria sought counseling to help her cope with her emotions.
  4. Some doctors refuse to perform abortions for religious or moral reasons.
  5. The debate over whether or not to allow late-term abortions rages on in the political arena.

Legal Terms Similar to Abortion

  1. Feticide - The intentional destruction or killing of a fetus.
  2. Infanticide - The intentional killing of a newborn infant.
  3. Induced miscarriage - The intentional termination of a pregnancy before the fetus is capable of surviving on its own.
  4. Pro-choice - A political and philosophical stance that favors a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
  5. Pro-life - A political and philosophical stance that opposes abortion and supports the protection of fetal life.