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Pro Choice Abortion Abortion is a very controversial issue In order to understand the issues pertaining to abortion you must first understand the definition and the stages of abortion The controversy primarily revolves around the legality and the morality of abortion For the purposes of this paper arguments for abortion are in regards to abortions conducted prior to 134 days of gestation The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has defined abortion as the expulsion or extraction of all complete or any part incomplete of the placenta or membranes with or without an abortus before the 20th week before 134 days of gestation 1 This definition is based on the fact that a developing human organism cannot survive outside the womb prior to the 20th week or 134 days and therefore premature birth is not even an elective option There have been rare cases of survival at this stage of development but none before Further supporting this definition is the fact that organ development that is necessary for survival occurs between twenty and twenty-four weeks of gestation Both morally and legally the stage of abortion is often a critical factor There are basically three stages of abortion First and most common are abortions conducted prior to the 85th day or within the first trimester Second and some times referred to as late term abortions are abortions conducted between the 85th and 134th day or second trimester Finally third trimester abortions sometimes referred to as partial birth abortions Many people believe that third trimester abortion is actually the killing of premature babies who have a remote chance of surviving outside the womb These abortions are rare and usually only occur when it is medically necessary in order to save the mothers life and the baby is already dead or deformed Understanding the definition of abortion as well as the different stages of abortion should offer
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