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What is meant by Abortion The oxford dictionary defines abortion as removal of a baby from the womb before it has developed enough to survive It is the expulsion of a foetus before twenty-eight weeks of pregnancy There are five basic methods of inducing an abortion The first is dilation and curettage where the opening of the womb is stretched and a sharp loop-shaped tool scrapes the sides of the uterus The foetus can then be removed using forceps The next method is suction-curettage which is when a tube inserted into the uterus creates a strong suction and the foetus is drawn out Dilation and extraction is used after the twelfth week of pregnancy Here the foetus is physically cut into pieces and then removed by suction The fourth method is using a saline injection which is usually only preformed after fourteen weeks of pregnancy A long needle replaces some of the mothers amniotic fluid with a toxic salt solution This toxin both burns the foetuss outer layers of skin as well as poisons its system The foetus will go into a coma and die a few hours later Labour to expel the dead foetus begins about twenty-four hours later The last method is a hysterotomy This is only used when the saline injection method is impractical The foetus is actually delivered as it would be in a caesarean The baby is often born alive but later dies due to exposure and neglect Abortions are preformed for numerous reasons most of which fall into one of four categories to preserve the physical and mental health of the mother to prevent pregnancies resulting in rape or incest to prevent pregnancies of seriously handicapped babies and for social or economic reasons In 1967 the Abortion Act was passed which legalised abortions Before this back street abortions where taking place in unlicensed clinics causing death and injury to many women The Abortion Act does not
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