What is an abortion? When is an abortion? How is an abortion.

Abortion has been much in the news lately, And everyone seems to have a different opinion.

Despite claims that abortion is murder, the abortion argument is not based on a moral issue. Nor is it a health issue. Nor is it a biological issue. Nor is it a logical or scientific issue. Nor is it a social issue.

The life importance of a sperm and egg, vs. an embryo vs. a fetus vs. a mother vs. a child is a digression from the real argument. 

The heated battle over abortion rights fundamentally comes down to a religious issue. All discussion of which religion is right and which is wrong are exercises in futility. Are conservative and reform Jews right and Roman Catholics wrong? Are Hindus right and Unitarians wrong?

The questions are senseless, and the answers are equally senseless. They have been debated for thousands of years, and will be debated for thousands more.

Further, all people claiming membership in any one religion don’t think alike. Some Catholics support abortion; some Jews don’t.

The abortion debate is comparable to debates about which city is better or which college is better.  Logic means nothing. Taking sides means everything.

Supreme Court: 6-3 rulings foreshadow a sharper right turn | CNN Politics
Our religion bans all abortions. Yours doesn’t. We don’t care about your religion. Our religion rules.

The 1st Amendment to the Constitution begins, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . ”

But we face arguments about what “establishment” and “free exercise” mean.

Many of our ancestors came across an ocean to avoid the one-religion-for-all Church of England.

It was why our founders attempted to build a wall between the government and religion, the so-called “separation of church and state.”

Of late, the right-wing has narrowed that separation, and the overturning of Roe is just one of several recent decisions in that vein.

Any discussion of abortion involves four main questions:

I. What is abortion? II. When is abortion” III. How is abortion? IV. Why is abortion?

I. What is Abortion? There are many definitions:

Bing.com defines abortion: The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy

British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS): Abortion is when a pregnancy is ended so that it doesn’t result in the birth of a child. Sometimes it is called ‘termination of pregnancy.

Harvard Medical School:  Abortion is the removal of pregnancy tissue, products of conception or the fetus and placenta (afterbirth) from the uterus.

American Pregnancy Association: Abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus.

Wikipedia: The termination of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus. An abortion that occurs without intervention is known as a miscarriage or “spontaneous abortion“; these occur in approximately 30% to 40% of pregnancies. When deliberate steps are taken to end a pregnancy, it is called an induced abortion, or less frequently, “induced miscarriage.” The unmodified word abortion generally refers to an induced abortion.

Britannica: The expulsion of a fetus from the uterus before it has reached the stage of viability (in human beings, usually about the 20th week of gestation).

Immediately, we see many differences in what people mean by “abortion.”

Is it the expulsion of a fetus? Is it the removal of an embryo? Can abortion happen even before an embryo is formed?

When drafting laws, specificity is necessary. There is a vast difference between an embryo and a fetus, or between expulsion and removal.

Birth is a highly complicated procedure that begins with all the preparations of the human male and female bodies, even prior to insemination. 

Any interruption or change in these preparations can prevent a live birth, and be called an “abortion,” depending on one’s viewpoint. There are religions that consider contraceptives to be a form of abortion that should be prohibited.

Any law banning abortion should be clear. 

To be illegal, must “abortion” be deliberate or can it be accidental?

What about a woman who takes any drug (alcohol included) or does any strenuous activity that results in an abortion? Has she broken a law?

Is it her purpose or her state of mind that is the deciding factor?

The law must take all these variables into consideration.

II. When is an abortion? Begin with the question, “What is pregnancy?”

Gestational age can be confusing. Most people think of pregnancy as lasting 9 months. And it’s true that you’re pregnant for about 9 months.

But because pregnancy is measured from the first day of your last menstrual period — about 3-4 weeks before you’re actually pregnant — a full-term pregnancy usually totals about 40 weeks from LMP — roughly 10 months.

This is important, because some abortion laws specify time periods when abortion is legal or illegal. Yet, there are significant differences among the various measurements of when pregnancy has begun.

In the first 2 weeks of your menstrual cycle. You have your period. About 2 weeks later, the egg that’s most mature is released from your ovary — this is called ovulation.

After it’s released, your egg travels down your fallopian tube toward your uterus. If the egg meets up with a sperm, they combine. This is called fertilization.

So far, we are up to 4 weeks into the pregnancy process and still no fetus. 

The fertilized egg moves down your fallopian tube and divides into more and more cells. It reaches your uterus about 3–4 days after fertilization.

The dividing cells then form a ball that floats around in the uterus for about 2–3 days.

Fetal development begins from the ninth week after fertilization (or eleventh week gestational age)

Georgia bans abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy. There is no agreement about when “pregnancy” begins. But under any circumstance, Georgia’s ban comes well before the existence of a fetus.

III. How is an abortion? There are two types of abortion: Medical and surgical.

In a first-trimester medical abortion, a patient usually begins by taking a mifepristone pill. The medicine, also known as RU-486 or the “abortion pill,” blocks the hormone progesterone, which stops the fetus from growing.

The second drug, misoprostol, is usually taken 24 to 48 hours later. It causes the uterus to contract and empty.

Seven states — Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah — require patients to be told that abortions by mifepristone can be reversed with doses of progesterone, despite a lack of scientific evidence.

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At the end of the first trimester, the average fetus is about the size of an adult’s little finger.

A first-trimester surgical abortion is called vacuum or suction aspiration.

A suction device is used to empty the uterus in a procedure that can be done in five to 10 minutes.

A second-trimester surgical abortion is called dilation and evacuation.

For this type of abortion, the process of dilating the cervix may need to begin the day before the procedure.

On the day of the procedure, a numbing agent may be given, or sedation may be offered. A health-care provider uses forceps and a suction device to remove the fetus and placenta.

The procedure itself usually takes between 10 and 30 minutes. It is done in a clinic or operating room.

Dilation and evacuation can generally be performed throughout the second trimester of pregnancy. It accounts for an estimated 95 percent of abortions performed in the second trimester in the United States.

A second-trimester medical abortion is called an induction.

Medication is given to induce labor by causing the uterus to contract and expel the fetus and placenta.

Different medications can be used, including a combination of misoprostol and mifepristone, or misoprostol alone. In some cases, high-dose oxytocin is delivered through an IV.

The process can take 12 to 24 hours and generally occurs in a hospital.

Induction abortions mostly take place after 16 weeks and can be used throughout the second trimester.

Induction abortion is less common than dilation and evacuation, but one study found it is the primary method of termination in cases of fetal abnormalities in the late second trimester and early third trimester.

Third-trimester abortions are performed in only a handful of clinics and hospitals in the United States. Methods for third-trimester abortions vary based on the circumstances.

Confusion sometimes crops up over what is and is not abortion. Abortion is a medical intervention that ends a pregnancy.

Pregnancy begins when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. Methods used to prevent pregnancy before it occurs are called contraceptives.

The morning-after pill is an emergency contraceptive that primarily works by stopping the release of an egg from an ovary but may also prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.

It is taken orally. The over-the-counter version, sold under brand names including Plan B, is generally taken within three days of intercourse, and the prescription version, Ella, can be taken within five days of intercourse.

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a contraceptive that works mainly by reducing sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg.

There are two types: copper and hormonal. In copper IUDs, copper ions decrease sperm’s ability to move.

In hormonal IUDs, progestin thickens mucus in the uterus, making it harder for sperm to enter the uterus and reach an egg. A hormonal IUD may also prevent implantation.

An IUD is placed into the uterus by a health-care worker and can remain in place for five to 10 years, depending on the type.

IV. Why is an abortion?

A number of factorsmay lead a woman to decide that abortion is the best option in her circumstances.

Every woman’s reasons for abortion will be different, and it’s impossible to fully understand the circumstances each woman is facing that leads her to her abortion decision. However, here are some of the common reasons why women have abortions, according to a survey conducted by the Guttmacher Institute:

Social Reasons for Abortions: Almost always, women choose abortion in response to an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. Oftentimes, an unplanned pregnancy happens at a less-than-ideal time, and women may choose abortion for one (or more) of the following reasons:

    • A baby would have a drastic impact on their current life. 
    • They are having relationship problems with the baby’s father. 
    • They are done having children. 
    • They are not ready to have a baby at their age or maturity level. 

Financial Reasons for Abortion: Having a baby is expensive, and raising that baby to adulthood is even more expensive. In addition to the various medical costs associated with pregnancy and childbirth, it costs an average of $245,000 to raise a child to age 18.

    • They are unmarried and concerned about affording a baby on one income.
    • They are pursuing higher education (or planning to pursue higher education) and can’t afford the costs of raising a baby while being a full-time student.
    • They are unemployed.
    • They feel they can’t afford to adequately care for themselves and their children.

While social and financial concerns are the most common reasons why women have abortions, there are also some other, less common (but just as valid) reasons why a woman might choose abortion:

    • Pressure from others. Only 0.5 percent of women surveyed choose abortion because they feel pressured to do so by the baby’s father, their parents or other people in their lives. 
    • Non-consensual sex. A woman may choose abortion if conception was the result of rape or sexual assault.

IN SUMMARY Abortion is argued on many levels: Moral, health, biological, medical, and scientific. There is no widespread agreement on such variables as:

  1. What is abortion?
  2. When is abortion?
  3. Why is abortion?
  4. How is abortion

The life importance of a sperm and egg, vs. an embryo vs. a fetus vs. a mother vs. a child vs, society is a digression from the real argument.

The heated battle over abortion rights fundamentally comes down to a religious issue.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell



The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps: Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.


3 thoughts on “What is an abortion? When is an abortion? How is an abortion.

  1. I support a woman’s right to have an abortion and I support her right NOT to have one. It’s up to her and no one else, because it’s her life and her decision. Everyone else back off. It’s none of your damn business.


  2. I read a post recently that takes a different, but not contradictory, view of how people view abortion based on recent research in evolutionary social science.


    The contention is that people come down on one side of the abortion debate or the other depending on their deeply held beliefs about sex and “sexual strategies” and whether or not they are “sexually restricted” or “sexually unrestricted”.

    Those who are sexually restricted seem to map pretty closely to those religions that prohibit most or all abortions while the sexually unrestricted map to more liberal religions. It’s not a perfect match by any means. As you noted some Catholics support abortion and some Reform Jews don’t. Bit it’s pretty close.

    Let me know what you think of the post.

    Stay safe and healthy.


    1. Interesting theory. I guess that means Catholics, on average, are more “sexually restricted” than Reform Jews?? Ahh, I don’t know. As an old-time comedian, Red Skelton used to say, “That jest don’ sound right to me.”

      I’m sticking with the religion itself and its self-made rules.


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