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Reference Terms
from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Abortion

An abortion is the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death.

This can occur spontaneously as a miscarriage, or be artificially induced through chemical, surgical or other means.

Commonly, "abortion" refers to an induced procedure at any point in the pregnancy; medically, it is defined as a miscarriage or induced termination before twenty weeks' gestation, which is considered nonviable.

A pregnancy that ends earlier than 37 complete weeks of gestation, and where an infant is born and survives, is termed a premature birth.

A pregnancy that ends with an infant dead upon birth at any gestational stage, due to causes including spontaneous abortion or complications during delivery, is termed a stillbirth.

In common parlance, the term "abortion" is synonymous with induced abortion of a human fetus.

However, in medical texts, the word 'abortion' can also refer to spontaneous abortion (miscarriage).

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Abortion", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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