Abortion - termination of pregnancy before birth, resulting in the death of the fetus.
Abortion is one of the most controversial issues of today’s society. Many women feel it is their right to choose, but some feel the exact opposite. Some believe that if a woman has been raped, a victim of incest, or if the woman’s life is in danger, abortion should be used.
Abortion can be performed for many reasons. The main reason if the woman’s health is at risk. However, some people abuse this right and use it has a form of birth control.
There are a variety of drug-based abortion methods, all of which need to be monitored by a physician. In a method commonly referred to as the “morning-after pill”, a woman is given large doses of estrogen within 72 hrs of unprotected sexual intercourse and again 12 hrs later. Depending on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle, the estrogen will either inhibit or delay ovulation or it my altar the uterine lining. This will prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. However, several side effects may include, nausea, headache, dizziness, or fluid retention. There are more dangerous forms of abortion. In one procedure, a drug called Misoprostol is used with an anti-cancer drug called Methotrexate, to induce abortion. First, a physician injects a pregnant woman with methotrexate. About a week later the woman takes misoprostol to induce uterine contractions and expel the fetus. Procedure of abortion is known since ancient times. The word abortion is came the Latin abortus where “ab” means “amiss” and “oriri” means “likely to be born, arise”.(1) Along with infanticide it has existed in many societies, both primitive and advanced. The earliest records of an abortive technique go back about 4,600 years to an ancient Chinese work, purportedly the work of Emperor Shen Nung which prescribes the use of mercury to induce an abortion. (3) In ancient ages pessaries or vaginal suppositories were used as an abortifacients.(1) They are generally more effective than oral drugs and included substances such as juice of the wild fig, a “dairy liquid” ,which caused irritation, soapwort, myrrh, myrtle, lupine, cedar-oil mixed with water, wine, or hot oil.(1) Ancient doctors also suggested smearing on the uterine opening goose fat, mashed leek and celery, rose oils, pine resin, copper scum, boiled honey, sodium carbonate, and even mouse dung.(1) The Egyptian Kahun Papyrus, which dates to 1850 B.C., recommend crocodile feces either for preventing conception or as an abortifacient.(2) The Ebers Papyrus, which dates to 1550 B.C., contains several recipes that “cause a woman to stop pregnancy in the first, second, or third period.” (2) One recipe for a vaginal suppository includes mixed the unripe fruit of Acacia, colocynth, dates, and 6/7 pints of honey and pouring the mixture onto a moistened plant fiber. (2) Modern Arabic women still take colocynth as an abortifacient, though one woman who took 120 grains in a powder died 50 hours later. (2) In Arabic medicine, elephant feces were frequently recommended. (2) Aristotle suggests that the conceptus had a “soul” after 40 days from conception if a male and 90 if female. (2) In addition there are similar differentiations in the Bible. (2) Later, Aristotle says that the foetus develops gradually and that it is impossible to make a fine judgment. Famous doctors such as Pliny the Elder, Dioscorides, and Pseudo-Galen mention more “superstitious” abortifacients, like passage over the root of a cyclamen, the egg of a crow, a snake, or a stone which was bitten by a dog. Ancient physicians also used pessaries, or vaginal suppositories, as abortifacients. They were usually more potent than oral drugs and included substances like the juice of the wild fig, a “milky liquid” which caused irritation, soapwort, myrrh, myrtle, lupine, cedar-oil mixed with water, wine, or hot oil. Physicians also recommend smearing on the uterine opening goose fat, mashed leek and