What is AN abortion?
Abortion is also called interruption of pregnancy or induced abortion, which leads to the death of the fetus. Doing a similar procedure when the embryo or fetus can survive on its own is medically called “late termination of pregnancy” (LTOP) or late-term abortion. The naturally occurring phenomenon of aborting pregnancy is usually called miscarriage. In many countries, abortion is controversial, mainly about morality, women’s physical rights, and infant life rights.
In 1550 BC, the oldest known medical book in the world, “THE PAPYRUS EBER”, left the earliest records of abortion in ancient Egypt. For example, Islam believes that the soul enters the body on the 40th day, and Buddhism believes that if the reincarnation of God consciousness is alive, and without the reincarnation of God consciousness, there will be no pregnancy at all. Chinese Confucianism talks more about life issues and less about them. Taoism believes that in this life, widows and poor have no children, because abortion hurts the child to get this retribution. The conclusion of modern science is very clear: human life begins at the time of conception. This is a scientific fact, not philosophy, speculation, opinion, conjecture, or theory. Today, life begins at the time of conception, which is a proven fact. No rationally honest and knowledgeable scientist or doctor can deny this.
Cause / Reason
There are many reasons why women choose to have an abortion. It may be for birth control, or a woman cannot afford to become pregnant because of her physical condition, or because the fetus is diagnosed with deformity or congenital disease, resulting in both parents not wanting to give birth to a defective fetus, etc. There are also examples of wanting to abort pregnancy due to changes in feelings with the fetus’s biological father. According to statistics made by the Alan Guttmacher Institute in the United States in 2000, a total of 1.31 million abortions were performed in the United States in 2000, of which 1% were related to pregnancy due to rape or incest.
Some countries require specific conditions and certificates to legally have an abortion, such as：
- Safety of pregnant women: Continued pregnancy endangers the life or health of pregnant women
- Fetal life or health: the fetus is physically mutilated or impaired in health, unable to survive, unable to be born, and has a genetic disease
- Pregnancy background: Rape or incest
- Identity: Pregnant woman, minor or single
- Economy: Pregnancy will force or suspend a woman’s work or studies and can’t afford the money and time to raise children
- Feelings: Feelings with the fetus’s biological father have changed
- Family: Family objection (husband or parent)
- Birth Control: Do not want to have children or China’s one-child policy
Remarks：The above conditions may require a police or doctor’s certificate.
Genetic diseases can be detected by prenatal examination, such as ultrasound examination, amniotic fluid test, blood test, etc. Common genetic diseases are Down syndrome, anencephaly, and Zika virus.
The following are abortion reports made from 27 different countries, arranged as follows by the level of reasons：
- 27.6% – want to delay raising children
- 21.3% – can’t afford the money to raise children
- 14.1% – feelings with the fetus’s biological father have changed
- 12.2% – Pregnant women are too young to abort pregnancy at the will of parents or others
- 10.8% – Pregnancy will cause a woman’s work or studies to be forcibly suspended
- 7.9% – Don’t want to get pregnant again
- 3.3% – the fetus is physically disabled or has health problems
- 2.8% – Continued pregnancy is detrimental to the health of pregnant women
Abortion has always been an important issue in feminism related to women’s reproductive rights and freedoms. There are so-called “pro-choice” and “pro-life” debates.
Many feminists claim that whether to continue pregnancy is a woman’s physical right and a basic human right. Whether or not to choose an abortion after pregnancy should also be decided by the woman herself based on physical condition, economic situation, lifestyle, and other factors, after consultation with family and friends, refusing to be intervened by the state to enact laws, and opposing excessive participation by parents or husbands. In addition, those who support the right to choose abortion also point out that a total ban on abortion will only cause more illegal abortions to occur; safe and legal abortion, strengthening sex education, contraception and birth control can effectively reduce the number of abortions.
Carol Gilligan, a controversial feminist psychologist, questioned that starting with the abstract concepts of “choice” and “life” (rights or justice) is an ethics that pulls away from the female experience. In her book “In a Different Voice”, she reported and analysed the interviews of 29 women aged 15-33, of different races and backgrounds twice, hoping to learn how women deal with the moral situation of pregnancy or abortion. Gilligan’s research believes that women define morality as the obligation to realize care and avoid harm, which contrasts strongly with abstract “formal logic”. For Gilligan, women’s hesitation in judging moral issues is not based on a lack of ability to think about abstract rights and justice but is based on an understanding of the complexity of reality.
Gilligan criticized Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development and the theory that Justice and rights are considered at the highest stage of moral development. Gilligan noticed that the subjects of Kohlberg’s research were white men and boys. She believed that Kohlberg’s research on moral development excluded women’s experience. In her research on female abortion, she studied women’s consideration and value in moral judgment with care, relationship, and connection.
In a focus group study of Swedish women discussing abortion, some participants believed that the choice of abortion was a woman’s right (Right in a situation of helplessness, Ekstran, Essen & Tyde’n, 2005), perhaps this description just illustrates the contradictory situation of women in the ethical choice of abortion, and helps explain Gilligan’s emphasis on the importance of “care” in thinking about “rights” .
Forms of abortion
The history of abortion is quite long. Many methods of abortion have been circulating since ancient times, including herbal medicine, the use of sharp tools, artificial trauma, and other traditional methods.
Modern medicine uses drugs or surgery to induce abortion. In the first trimester (the first three months of pregnancy), there are two drugs that are as effective as surgery, namely RU486 and prostaglandin. In the second pregnancy (third to sixth months of pregnancy), although the use of drugs can still effectively lead to miscarriage, the risk of sequelae caused using surgery is lower. You can start using compound oral contraceptives and uterine contraceptives immediately after abortion.
After years of development and evolution, the main forms of abortion are: artificial abortion (negative pressure aspiration) and medical abortion.
artificial abortion (negative pressure aspiration)
Most abortions are carried out within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. The fetus is still very small and can be sucked out with a powerful suction device, which is 25 times more powerful than an ordinary household vacuum cleaner. This method is called suction curettage (vacuum curettage). The power of the suction device tears or twists the fetus’s body, tearing the limbs’ part by part until only the head is left. The head of the fetus is too large to pass through the straw, so the person who has an abortion needs to insert pliers into the uterus, grab the separately floating head, and then crush it until it can pass through the straw, then the head will be removed.
suction curettage (vacuum curettage)
- Amniotic membrane
- Suction pipe
- Connect to the vacuum pump
In the early stages of pregnancy, the use of drugs to disturb the endocrine system of pregnant women, secrete various hormones that are not suitable for embryo survival, stimulate abnormal reproductive system, change the embryonic development environment, resulting in outflow after the death of the embryo.
There is also a name for anti-early pregnancy drugs called “anti-menstrual anti-pregnancy drugs”. It can also be seen that the developer’s well-intentioned efforts-women with a history of sex may become pregnant if their menstruation does not come for more than a few days. At this time, while it is “not stable”, take medication immediately to urge menstrual cramps, so as to achieve the purpose of terminating pregnancy.
RU-486 administration: There is a 95% success rate in the first 50 days of pregnancy.This method must be under the guidance of a doctor to ensure safety. Do not administer drugs on your own to give birth.
Another method of abortion is Saline method, which is the salt poison method, which is used in the fourth to seventh months of pregnancy and is the most used method in the 1970s.This operation uses a three-and-a-half-inch to four-inch needle inserted from the mother’s abdominal wall into the amniotic sac, extracting 200mm of amniotic fluid, and then replacing it with a strength of concentrated saline. In this procedure, the fetus swallows the salt and “breathes” in the salt. Basically, the skin of the fetus’s whole body is burned by salt and slowly poisoned to death, so the mother begins to give birth and discharges a dead, burned and withered baby. Some babies survived this procedure and were born with serious complications, because in the process, the baby’s tissues and organs were destroyed by bleeding, arteries and veins ruptured and left huge bruises on the body.
Stimulated with prostaglandin method
Stimulated with prostaglandin: prostaglandin contains some hormonal compounds. When injected or used in the uterine muscles, it can damage the blood circulation of the fetus, contract violently, and then be discharged. Because prostaglandins are not directly toxic to unborn fetuses, such abortion methods produce more fetuses born due to failed fetuses than saline methods. The failure of the abortion makes medical workers and other personnel very troublesome, especially the mother: the baby struggles for survival, breathless, and tics everywhere.
There is also a method called hysterectomy, which is used during six to eight months of pregnancy. There is only one difference between this method and Caesarean section. The whole operation is to terminate the survival of the baby, not to maintain the survival of the baby. This operation is to cut the stomach, straight into the uterus, remove the baby, do not take care of the baby, let the baby die, or strangle the baby early in the mother’s body (the baby cannot be strangled outside the uterus). Once the baby is outside the womb, it cannot be killed, otherwise the doctor will commit murder.
Menstrual rule surgery
Within six weeks of pregnancy. Use a thin plastic tube to extend into the uterine cavity and use a large syringe of 100 ml to produce a negative pressure to suck out the endometrium. Even if you may be pregnant, you can suck out embryos in the early stages of pregnancy because the intima has been destroyed and you can’t implantation.
Dilation and curettage (D&C)
Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus. Doctors perform dilation and curettage to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions:-
- such as heavy bleeding
- or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion.
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)
Dilation and evacuation (D&E) is done in the second 12 weeks (second trimester) of pregnancy. It usually includes a combination of vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage (D&C), and the use of surgical instruments (such as forceps).
Induction: (second trimester）
Labor induction in the second trimester is stimulation of uterine contractions to expel the fetus and placenta using medical agents; misoprostol is most commonly used in the United States. Misoprostol dosing for labor induction varies by trimester.
The health risks of abortion depend on whether the procedure is safe or not. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines unsafe abortion as an abortion procedure performed by “people who are not professionally trained, harmful equipment, and unsanitary facilities”.
In developed countries, legal abortion is one of the safest procedures in medicine. Only 0.7 abortions per 100,000 in the United States lead to the death of the client; its mortality rate is 13 times lower than that of pregnant women giving birth (8.8 deaths per 100,000 births). Between 2000 and 2009, the mortality rate of abortion in the United States was lower than that of plastic surgery in the local area.
The risk of death associated with abortion increases with pregnancy, but it is still lower than childbirth cases with more than 21 weeks of pregnancy. During the 64-70 days of pregnancy, the safety and effectiveness of outpatient abortion are the same as those carried out at 57-63 days. When the pregnancy period is less than 6 weeks, drug-induced abortion is safe and effective. In developed countries, safe and legal abortion has been achieved through medicine for many years. Simple abortion does not cause long-term mental health or physical problems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates that woman all over the world should enjoy the same good safe and legal abortion. Having said that, unsafe abortions still occur worldwide every year, still causing about 47,000 maternal deaths and about 5 million maternal hospitalizations.
info update by world health organIZATION (who) – 25TH SEPTEMBER 2020
- Between 2015 and 2019, on average, 73.3 million induced (safe and unsafe) abortions occurred worldwide each year.
- There were 39 induced abortions per 1000 women aged between 15–49 years.
- 3 out of 10 (29%) of all pregnancies, and 6 out of 10 (61%) of all unintended pregnancies, ended in an induced abortion.
- Among these, 1 out of 3 were carried out in the least safe or dangerous conditions.
- Over half of all estimated unsafe abortions globally were in Asia, most of them in south and central Asia.
- 3 out of 4 abortions that occurred in Africa and Latin America were unsafe.
- The risk of dying from an unsafe abortion was the highest in Africa.
- Each year between 4.7% – 13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion .
- Estimates from 2010 to 2014 showed that around 45% of all abortions were unsafe. Almost all of these unsafe abortions took place in developing countries.
- Around 7 million women are admitted to hospitals every year in developing countries, as a result of unsafe abortion.
- The annual cost of treating major complications from unsafe abortion is estimated at USD 553 million.
- Abortions are safe when they are carried out by a person with the necessary skills, using a WHO recommended method appropriate to the pregnancy duration.
- Almost every abortion death and disability could be prevented through sexuality education, use of effective contraception, provision of safe, legal induced abortion, and timely care for complications.
- You need to take a shower and change clean underwear the night before the abortion.
- Dress as loose as possible, easy to wear and take off (bring your own sanitary napkins or toilet paper).
- Sex should be avoided within a week before abortion.
- If it is a painless abortion surgery, fasting and water are required for about six hours before surgery.
- When the body temperature exceeds 37.5℃, surgery should be carried out another day.
- Cooperate closely with the doctor during surgery and don’t be too nervous.
- Patients need to take cervical softening drugs as directed by the doctor before surgery.
- If the patient encounters the following conditions, he is temporarily not suitable for painless human abortion
- Suffering from inflammation of sexual reproductive organs (such as vaginitis, urethritis, severe cervical erosion, pelvic inflammation, etc.)；
- Acidosis caused by severe vomiting during pregnancy has not been treated.
Food suitable for eating: eggs, meat, soy products and other nutritious, easy to digest food.
Foods not suitable for eating: crabs, snails, radishes and other foods that stimulate blood circulation and promote uterine contraction.
Pre-abortion examination After an unexpected pregnancy person goes to the hospital, the doctor first asks him to do a gynaecological examination. For the flow of people, these preoperative examinations are very necessary. Female friends must not try to save money and avoid the examination intentionally. Pre-flow inspection mainly includes the following：
Early Pregnancy Test Strip Test (HCG)
From the 7th day of pregnancy, a specific hormone-human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) can be measured in the urine of pregnant women. It is usually checked by urine pregnancy tests carried out in hospitals.
B Ultrasound Scan
Check whether you can see the fetal sac and determine the size of the fetal sac.
Vaginal discharge routine
Understand whether there are trichomonas and mold in the vagina, and chlamydia, mycoplasma, and gonococcus should be checked if necessary. If the above microorganisms are present, it is easy to cause upstream infection, affect embryonic development, and induce abortion.
See if there is inflammation, and if symptoms of inflammation are found, further examination and treatment are required.
Check for infectious diseases.
ECG, liver function and other tests
so that special treatment is required during the operation.
Only when all the above examination results come out and the conditions are in line with the surgical conditions can painless human abortion be performed. This is not only the doctor’s responsibility to the patient, but also the patient’s own attitude of loving and cherishing himself.
Sex is prohibited:
Do not have sex within one month after abortion. Some people bleed for a long time after abortion, some people for a short time, and some people sometimes don’t bleed. In either case, it is forbidden to have sex before going through it. Because the cervical mouth is in a relaxed state during abortion, the effect of preventing bacteria from entering the uterine cavity is weakened. During sex, the bacteria hidden in the male foreskin and the bacteria in the female vulva, vagina and cervix can take the opportunity to infect the uterine cavity; at the same time, the blood sinus is open after the exfoliation of the embryonic tissue, which is easy to be infected by bacteria.
Pay attention to rest:
After abortion, you should rest in bed for 2~3 days. You can get out of bed later and gradually increase the activity time. Do not engage in heavy manual labour during the second half of the abortion and avoid contact with cold water. After abortion, the uterus needs about a month to recover.
Keep the vulva clean and hygienic:
The uterine mouth has not been closed after abortion, and the endometrium also has a repair process. During this time, special attention should be paid to keep the vulva clean and hygienic. Do not bathe in the second half of the operation to avoid unclean water entering the vagina, leading to bacterial invasion and infection.
Diet attention, strengthen nutrition:
First, to ensure the supply of high-quality protein, adequate vitamins and inorganic salts, especially should be supplemented with enough iron to prevent the occurrence of anemia. Food selection should not only pay attention to nutrition, but also be easy to digest and absorb. Do not eat or eat less greasy and cold food, should not eat radish, hawthorn, bitter melon, orange and other qi, blood circulation, cold food. Eat more food that is easy to digest in order to speed up the body’s recovery.
Adhere to contraception:
If you do not insist on doing contraception well, you will soon become pregnant again. Some women become pregnant again the month they have an abortion, which has a greater impact on the body. Therefore, reliable contraceptive measures should be selected. Abortion can only be used as a remedial surgery that must be taken as a last resort after the failure of contraception. Abortion should not be used as a measure of contraception and birth control to protect women’s mental and physical health.
The hazards of abortion are mainly manifested in the following points:
- It may lead to menstrual disorders, a small number of patients have irregular menstrual cycles, prolonged menstruation, and more patients have increased menstrual flow after abortion.
- It may cause adhesions of the cervix or uterine cavity, which can cause hemorrhage in the uterine cavity.
- May cause infection in the uterine cavity.
- It may lead to habitual miscarriage in the future, the more the number of abortions, the greater the possibility of miscarriage.
- May cause lifelong infertility.
- Uterine perforation: the larger the number of weeks of pregnancy, the higher the risk; the more miscarriages, the greater the chance of perforation. Other uterus such as abnormal uterine position, shape or previous surgery (such as caesarean section or fibroid resection)have a greater chance of perforation.
- Cervical or endometrial morosity: If the doctor’s technique is too rude during an artificial abortion, it is likely to cause injury and inflammation of the cervix or endometrium, which may result in postoperative cervical or endometrial mucus, and can cause menstrual abnormalities, such as no menstruation or too little menstruation. In severe cases, infertility will occur in the future
- Cervical injury: In the process of human flow, if you are not careful, the expansion of the cervix mouth is too fast, which may cause damage to the cervix, and cause later pregnancies to be more prone to miscarriage, especially women who are pregnant for the first time or have not yet given birth are more prone to miscarriage.
- Incomplete abortion: If the operation is incomplete, a small amount of fetal tissue remains in the uterus, which may affect the contraction of the uterus and cause continuous bleeding or sticky, infection and other conditions. It is best to do another surgery carefully to remove the remaining tissue. The position or shape of the uterus is not normal, and it is generally more likely to cause postpartum syndrome.
- Bacterial infection: If the disinfection of the instrument is not complete, or the surgeon himself does not pay attention to the sterile process, it may cause infection in the uterus, and even continue to infect the fallopian tubes and pelvic cavity. In severe cases, it will cause the consequences of easy ectopic pregnancy or infertility in the future.
Abortion can cause people to feel guilty, suicidal impulses, retreat, regret and remorse, loss of self-confidence, lower self-esteem, hostile anger, despair and helplessness, hatred of people related to abortion, end the relationship with their partners, loss of libido, inability to forgive themselves, and cause nightmares and other psychological disorders.
Social concepts and legal regulations
Abortion is a controversial behaviour in most countries around the world (especially Western countries). Opinions on both positive and negative aspects are very hotly debated, mainly on moral ethics, religion, women’s physical health and reproductive rights.
On the moral side, opponents believe that the life of the fetus belongs to the fetus, so others cannot arbitrarily deprive the fetus of its right to survive; on the religious side, the traditional teachings of the Abrahamic religion, dominated by Christianity, Islam and Judaism, believe that life is given by God, so only God has the right to retrieve life, not human beings. This idea is particularly strong in countries where most Catholics are majority (Catholic doctrine strongly opposes abortion). In Ireland, in addition to abortion, contraception was also illegal in the past. As for the reproductive rights of the female body, it is believed that the fetus is the continuation of the female body, and when the existence of the fetus affects the mother’s physical health, the mother has the right to abort the growth of the fetus. There is also controversy over whether the fetus is defined as human and enjoys the rights as a human being. Some supporters believe that if the fetus has not yet been born or formed into a human body, it is part of the female body and cannot be defined as human, while opponents believe that the fetus is already human at the time of its formation, and the fetus is life, so they oppose abortion.
In countries around the world, abortion by illegal means is illegal, it is usually banned or restricted, but in some countries, legal abortion also exists. Now about two-thirds of women in the world can legally have an abortion (within the number of weeks of fetuses limited in this country). Abortion laws vary greatly from country to country. Some countries can do so under any circumstances if there is demand and the consent of a doctor, while many countries in the world are not allowed to have an abortion anyway. Abortion laws are still changing frequently and will continue to become a social controversy.
There is no clear provision for abortion in the ancient code. The Hammurabi Code of the Kingdom of Babylon stipulates that “whoever beats a woman so that she loses the fetus will be fined according to her status”, and the Manu Code of India has “whoever kills the fetus by striking a man with a sword……”, all belong to the type of injury crime.
- In the resolution of the Conference of Constantinople in 629 AD, abortion was equivalent to murder. And until now, the Catholic Church has not only firmly opposed any abortion, but it also even expelled women who had abortions in the past. In many countries where Catholicism is the main religion, such as the Republic of Ireland, any abortion (unless the fetus poses a threat to the life of a woman) has been a criminal offence. Both the person requesting the abortion and the doctor performing the operation may be sentenced to prison, and later passed a referendum on May 25, 2018 to amend the constitution to allow abortion. As for other Christian denominations, most of them quote the contents and doctrines of the “Bible” and oppose abortion.
- Judaism according to their “Jewish Holy Law” scripture mentions that the fetus is regarded as a part of life, not an independent individual, before most of the head or body leaves the mother. It was mentioned in a statement announcing abortion-related issues at the 1975 Biannual meeting of Jews.”……The well-being of the mother is our first consideration.”
- Islam advocates that abortion can be performed in order to realize the interests of oneself, family and society without violating the creation of Allah.Various jurists in Islam believe to varying degrees that abortion before four months is possible.
Relevant regulations in Asia
The 1998 legislation stipulates that most couples are only allowed to have one child, except for rural areas or ethnic minorities. In 2013, the “single second child” policy was implemented. One of the couples who is an only child can legally give birth to two children, but if you want to have a second child, you must still apply for a birth certificate issued by the government. In 2015, the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee adopted the comprehensive implementation of the two-child policy, allowing each couple to have two children. National laws do not provide for this, but a few local government regulations have relevant provisions, mainly in order to avoid gender discrimination and rationalize the demographic structure. The Harbin Municipal government stipulates that administrative approval is required for artificial abortion after more than 14 weeks of pregnancy. The Regulations on the Prohibition of Selective Termination of Pregnancy in Guiyang City stipulate that abortion for women who are more than 14 weeks pregnant is prohibited, except for some special circumstances. Otherwise, the maximum penalty for illegal income is not more than 6 times, or a fine of not more than 30,000 yuan. If you become pregnant outside the plan, a fine will be imposed according to the parents ‘ income. Under the one-child policy of family planning, abortion is a common practice of forcibly terminating pregnancy. Moreover, although abortion is legal in the People’s Republic of China, forced abortion manipulated by the Family Planning Office is still nominally illegal.
The Abortion Act to reform and liberalise the law concerning the practice of abortion in Singapore was passed by Parliament on 29 December 1969 and came into effect on 20 March 1970. The 1969 Abortion Act was reviewed in 1974 and further liberalised. The repealed Act made abortion available to any woman who wanted one and she would no longer require the approval of the Termination of Pregnancy Authorisation Board, which was scrapped under the new bill.
Countries and Regions with Conditional Restrictions on Abortion in Asia
The Eugenics Protection Act promulgated in 1948 made Japan the fastest legal abortion country in Asia. The law was renamed the “Maternal Protection Law” in 1997.
The Maternal Protection Law defines abortion as “artificially discharging the fetus and its appendages from the maternal body during the period when the fetus cannot maintain its life outside the maternal body” and defines the following two as legitimate reasons for abortion. Violators will be prosecuted for abortion. At present “the period when the fetus cannot sustain life outside the mother” is defined as 22 weeks of pregnancy. Doctors designated by the Medical Association of a society established in the prefectural area of Dudao Prefecture may perform abortion after obtaining the consent of themselves and their spouses for persons who meet any of the following reasons:
- Continued pregnancy or childbirth may seriously damage the health of the mother for physical or economic reasons
- Pregnant by adultery because of an atrocity or threat and unable to resist or refuse
According to section 47A of the Crimes against the Person Ordinance
Legal termination of pregnancy surgery must be carried out within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy (if continuing pregnancy poses a life threat to the pregnant woman, it is not subject to the pregnancy period limit), and must be confirmed by 2 registered doctors：
- Continuing pregnancy will pose a greater threat to the life of the pregnant woman or the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman than terminating the pregnancy, or
- The fetus is most likely to have physical and mental imperfections after birth that are enough to cause serious disability; or
- the pregnant woman is under the age of 16; or
- Pregnant women reported to the police within the previous 3 months, claiming to be the victim of incest, rape, forced rape, seduction or rape.
Since the Criminal Law of the Republic of China was promulgated and promulgated in 1934 and came into force on July 1, 1935, Chapter 24 of Part 2 of the previous versions has provided for the “crime of abortion”, but Article 288, Item 3, clearly stipulates that pregnant woman who have abortions due to illness or other reasons necessary to prevent danger to their lives are exempted from their punishment. The Eugenics Health Care Law was enacted and promulgated in Taiwan in 1984. Since its implementation on January 1, 1985, the scope of abortion has been clearly defined in Article 9 of Chapter 3 abortion and Ligation Surgery. However, at the same time, when there is still a dispute between the two laws, according to Article 16 of the Central Regulatory Standards Law, “if the regulations are special provisions on the same matter specified in other regulations, they should be applied first”, that is, the special law is superior to the common law.
A pregnant woman may perform abortion voluntarily if she is diagnosed or certified to have one of the following：
- I or my spouse suffer from hereditary, infectious diseases or mental diseases that hinder eugenics.
- Blood relatives within myself or the four relatives of his or her spouse suffer from genetic diseases that hinder eugenics.
- Those who have medical reasons enough to determine that pregnancy or childbirth is dangerous to their lives or endangers their physical or mental health.
- There are medical reasons, enough to determine that the fetus is at risk of abnormal development.
- A person who is conceived because of forced sexual intercourse, seduction or rape with a person who is not allowed to marry according to law.
- Those who will affect their mental health or family life due to pregnancy or childbirth.
An unmarried minor or a person subject to guardianship or assisted proclamation shall perform abortion in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph and shall receive the consent of a legal representative or auxiliary person. If there is a spouse, abortion shall be performed in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 6 of the preceding paragraph, and the consent of the spouse shall be due. But this is not limited to those whose spouse’s life and death are unknown or unconscious or insanity. For the determination of the abortion situation specified in item 1, the central competent authority may, when necessary, formulate a standard announcement after being formulated by the Eugenics Health Care Advisory Committee.
The Abortion Law was promulgated in 1953. Only when the health of pregnant women is seriously threatened, pregnant due to rape, incest, or the fetus suffers from serious genetic diseases, pregnant women can undergo abortion surgery. After 24 weeks of pregnancy, all abortion operations are illegal. Women who have illegal abortions are sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than 1 year and a fine of not more than 2 million Korean won. Doctors and others who perform abortion operations will also be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than 2 years.
According to Article 14 of the “Mother and Child Health Care Law”, the reasons why artificial abortion can be performed under certain conditions are:
- When I or my spouse suffer from genetic mental disorders or physical diseases prescribed by the Presidential Decree.
- When I or my spouse suffer from infectious diseases prescribed by the Presidential Decree.
- When pregnancy is caused by rape or quasi-rape.
- Pregnancy between kindred or in-laws that are legally unable to marry.
- When maternal health is seriously damaged in health care medicine due to continuous pregnancy.
If a woman applies for an abortion under the above exceptions, the operation must be completed within 24 hours after the application, and the woman undergoing the operation also needs to obtain the consent of her partner.
In 2019, the Constitutional Court of South Korea ruled that the current abortion ban and the provisions punishing doctors who perform abortion operations infringe on women’s right to free choice and are unconstitutional. It is expected that the abortion law will be amended by the end of 2020
Before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Does pregnancy pose a huge risk to the physical and mental health of pregnant women or does the fetus have abnormalities? For pregnant women who are 12 weeks to 20 weeks pregnant to have an abortion, they need to be approved by two qualified doctors at the same time.
Many countries allow women to have abortions in situations where the life of the mother is threatened, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Myanmar, the Kingdom of Oman, Paraguay, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Venezuela, West Bank / Gaza and Yemen.
On January 26th, 2021, the Thai Parliament passed a law amending abortion as a crime by 166 votes to 7 votes, allowing women who are less than 12 weeks pregnant to have an abortion, but those who are more than 12 weeks pregnant will still be punished, with the aim of solving the problem of women seeking illegal abortions by non-professionals.
According to this amendment, those who are more than 12 weeks pregnant are only allowed to have an abortion under certain conditions, otherwise they will be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison or a fine of 10,000 baht, or a combination of both.
“This means that abortion has its conditions and can only be performed by a physician according to law.”
According to the new regulations, if the doctor determines that the risk of fetal deformity is high, the pregnancy poses a life threat to the mother, and the pregnancy is caused by sexual assault, deception, or coercion, under these conditions, women who are more than 12 weeks pregnant can legally terminate the pregnancy.
Retaining penalties will still make abortion labelled. They advocate that abortion is an individual right and believe that punishment will hinder women from seeking safe abortion channels, and harm women’s dignity.
Indonesia law allows abortion in medical emergencies, as well as in cases of severe fetal anomaly. In the latter situation, if the woman is married, both she and her husband must consent. The law was expanded in 2009 to legalize abortion in cases of rape, but only up to six weeks’ gestation.
It is commonly accepted that the vast majority of abortions occur outside these legal parameters and that many occur under unsafe conditions.
The provision of postabortion care is legal and offered in many hospitals. Postabortion care includes services for treating miscarriages, as well as complications of unsafe abortion.
Countries that completely prohibit abortion in Asia
Article 312 of the Criminal Code
Article 312 of the Criminal Code states that any person who voluntarily causes a (pregnant) female to miscarry may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 3 years, or a fine, or both. If the embryo has been formed, the person may be sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment or a fine
“If a woman causes her own abortion, she can also be charged under this provision. Therefore, under this provision, outsiders who help pregnant women miscarry, or pregnant women themselves cause their own miscarriage, can be charged.”
Under this law, if a pregnant woman consults a qualified medical staff, the medical staff has good intentions, or with professional medical knowledge, and believes that continuing to conceive will lead to a threat to the life of the pregnant woman, including physical and mental conditions, then abortion surgery is legal.
Even if the child’s condition in the mother is not good, such as pregnant women suffering from the Zika virus, resulting in the child suffering from microcephaly, abortion is still not allowed under this law.
As for pregnant women who are not pregnant voluntarily, such as rape, which leads to pregnancy, at present, China’s law remains silent on this topic.“Under section 312, it is not specified that pregnant women can have an abortion as a result.But as far as I know, there are shelters in Malaysia to adopt these children.”
“If a pregnant woman falls into a coma and cannot express her will but continuing to conceive can endanger the life of the mother, then the family can make a decision on behalf of the pregnant woman.”
Article 313 of the Criminal Code
In addition, article 313 of the Criminal Code states that any person who causes a woman to miscarry without the consent of the woman may be sentenced to up to 20 years ‘ imprisonment and a fine if convicted.
Article 309A of the Criminal Code
In addition, according to Article 309A of the Criminal Code, any woman who causes the death of a newborn with malice or negligence may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine if convicted.
Regardless of whether the woman’s body and mind are disturbed after giving birth, it can only be used as a reason for intercession in the end, and it does not mean that she can get rid of the crime.
Philippines , Palau
The Catholic Church also opposes abortion and contraception, because God does not allow murder (contraception is also murder). Even an embryo in the womb is considered a life. Since it is a human being, there are human rights, and others are not eligible to deprive him of the right to be born, so women in the Philippines & Palau cannot have an abortion.
Relevant regulations in Europe
The Constitution once prohibited women from having abortions, and after a referendum in November 1992, women were allowed to have abortions in countries other than Ireland. In 2014, pregnant women were allowed to have abortions legally if their health was seriously threatened. In 2018, the amendment to the Constitution prohibiting abortion was deleted in accordance with the “Article 36 Constitutional Amendment”.
Abortion is allowed for women within 12 weeks of pregnancy, or under conditions such as endangering the life of the pregnant woman and causing serious harm to the health of the pregnant woman.The new law also allows abortion of abnormal fetuses that may lead to death before childbirth or death within 28 days of birth.
Legislation in the 1970s allowed women to choose abortion unconditionally within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Since 1970, women within 18 weeks of pregnancy can choose to have an abortion in a hospital without holding any reasons,which is the most lenient country for abortion.
Using the abortion law enacted in 1937 for a long time,those who perform abortions will be sentenced to five years in prison and a fine. Until 2001, the Swiss parliament passed allowing pregnant women to choose to have an abortion within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.In the following year’s referendum, 72% of voters voted in favor of the reform proposal to decriminalize abortion.
Legislation passed the abortion law in 1989, before that illegal abortion in the country caused the death of half a million women.
Women can choose abortion unconditionally within 90 days of pregnancy.
In the era of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in 1803, the world’s first anti—abortion bill, the Lord Ellenborough Act, was passed, which regarded abortion as an illegal act with a maximum penalty of death. The Personal Injury Act of 1861 reduced the maximum sentence to life imprisonment, which was later inherited by the United Kingdom and Ireland. In 1929, the Baby Protection Act was passed, which regarded abortion as equivalent to infanticide, and prohibited the end of the life of any possible living fetus. In 1967, an abortion law was enacted to protect women’s right to choose an abortion and allow conditional abortion within 28 weeks of pregnancy. In 1990, the provisions on abortion in the Human Fertilization and Embryo Law were amended and relaxed.
Abortion can be legally performed within 24 weeks of pregnancy. The approval or signature of two doctors is required (only one doctor is required in case of emergency), the pregnancy does not exceed 24 weeks, and the following may be the reasons for abortion:
- Saving the life of the pregnant woman
- Protecting the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman,
- Signs of abnormal development of the fetus, social or economic reasons, etc.
- If the life of a pregnant woman is seriously threatened by continuing her pregnancy or the fetus is at risk of obvious abnormal development, abortion is still allowed regardless of how long she is pregnant.
Abortion for babies less than 14 weeks old was legalized in 2010. If the pregnant woman has health risks and fetal deformities, the abortion will be legalized in 2010. If the pregnant woman has health risks and fetal deformities.
Abortion is also legal when the number of weeks of pregnancy is less than 22 weeks.
Countries with Conditional Restrictions on Abortion in Europe
Women are allowed to have abortions only if rape or incest leads to pregnancy, a serious threat to the life of a pregnant woman, and a serious deformity of the fetus.In 2020, the Polish Constitutional Court ruled that further restrictions on abortion and prohibitions on abortion with fetal deformities were equivalent to a total ban on abortion.
Abortion can only be performed because of rape or serious threat to the health of the mother.
Abortion is illegal. Abortion can only be performed within 12 weeks of pregnancy due to rape, embryo deformity or maternal health threat
Countries that completely prohibit abortion in europe
Malta, which is mainly Catholic, is the only EU country that completely prohibits abortion, and if it violates the law, it will be sentenced to 18 months to 3 years in prison. European countries that are not part of the European Union, such as Andorra, the Vatican and San Marino, also prohibit abortion.
Relevant regulations in North America
Before the 1940s, Connecticut was the first U.S. state to pass an abortion law; in the 1960s, a woman was pregnant due to taking a certain drug to cause deformity of the newborn, and suffering from German measles during pregnancy, resulting in severe disability of the newborn. After the incident, states began to relax the laws on abortion; on January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, recognized that women’s right to abortion is protected by the constitutional right to privacy, and surgery can be legally performed in the first stage of pregnancy (within three months). The ruling is still controversial in American society. There are still anti-abortion organizations calling for the ruling to be overturned, while major political parties, including the Democratic Party, advocate respecting and upholding the Supreme Court’s decision. Some states in the United States have also proposed a heartbeat bill to restrict abortion (heartbeat bill).
- South Dakota Governor Mike Lowndes signed a bill banning abortion in the state on March 6, 2006, with the aim of taking the case to the Federal Supreme Court through litigation so that the conservative-leaning Supreme Court at the time could overturn the decision in Roe v. Wade, but the state bill was annulled by a voter referendum in the November 2006 election.
- If the fetal heartbeat is detected after 6 weeks of pregnancy in Iowa, abortion cannot be performed.
- Abortion is illegal in Mississippi for those who are more than 15 weeks pregnant, except for the serious deformity of the child or the danger of the mother.
- Iowa’s abortion restriction bill, the Heartbeat bill, stipulates that abortion is illegal once the fetal heartbeat is detected,and the fetus will have a heartbeat about six weeks into pregnancy.
- Alabama passed a bill on May 15, 2019, requiring women not to have an abortion from the beginning of pregnancy, even if they are pregnant due to rape or incest.Abortion is only possible when a pregnant woman’s life is threatened due to pregnancy.
All stages of pregnancy are legal.
Relevant regulations in South America
On April 24, 2007, a bill passed in Parliament pointed out that pregnant women can voluntarily decide whether to terminate their pregnancy when they are less than 12 weeks pregnant.If pregnancy poses a threat to the life of the pregnant woman, the pregnancy after rape of the woman, fetal deformity, and unauthorized artificial insemination, etc., the pregnant woman may perform an abortion before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Cuba, Guyana and Uruguay
Countries that allow free abortion
Countries with Conditional Restrictions on Abortion in South America
In September 2017, the strict abortion ban that had been in place for decades was terminated, and then-President Michelle Bachelet signed the abortion decriminalization Bill.
The fetus is harmful to the mother, the fetus is determined not to survive, and the mother is pregnant because of rape.
Articles 124-127 of the Criminal Code indicate that abortion will not be sentenced if pregnant due to sexual assault and there is no other way to save the life of the mother.
Guatemala, Venezuela, Paraguay, Ecuador
Allow women to have an abortion in cases where the life of the mother is threatened.
Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico and Panama
Pregnancy due to rape can be a reason for legal abortion.
Countries that completely prohibit abortion in south america
Dominica, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Suriname
Relevant regulations in Africa
Women can have an abortion within 12 weeks of pregnancy;if it is due to rape or the health of pregnant women and other factors, they can have an abortion within 16 weeks of pregnancy.
Countries with Conditional Restrictions on Abortion in africa
South Sudan, Uganda, Somalia, Côte d’ivoire
Women are allowed to have abortions in cases where the life of the mother is threatened.
Countries that completely prohibit abortion in africa
Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mauritania, Senegal
Relevant regulations in the Middle East
Countries with Conditional Restrictions on Abortion in middle east
The Israeli Criminal Code of 1977 designated a special committee to decide on matters related to the termination of pregnancy. This committee consists of three members,at least one of whom must be a woman:an expert in obstetrics and gynecology, or an expert in related medical subjects (which can be obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine,psychiatry, etc.), or a social worker.
Afghanistan, Jordan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman
Women are allowed to have abortions in cases where the life of the mother is threatened.
Speaking of the issue of abortion for middle school students and college students, Wei Aimin, a representative of the Beijing People’s Congress and a lawyer at Beijing Contemporary Law Firm, believes that this is a social issue that must be paid attention to. He has done research on this phenomenon. He said it is worrisome that these middle school students are afraid of being discovered by parents, teachers, and other acquaintances. They are not well-off and often can’t afford to go to large hospitals. Instead, they choose some for-profit hospitals in the society to perform artificial abortions. Some still go to small rural clinics without qualifications, which are prone to danger. Some students even buy their own abortion pills to have an abortion on their own. Many unscrupulous hospitals in the society exaggerate the so-called “painless abortion” and “harmless abortion” to solicit business, while there are few public service advertisements that really teach students to properly protect their bodies.
Schools set up sex education classes to popularize common sense
“These pregnant children are children worthy of adults to care and love. When they encounter difficulties, parents, society, and the government should lend a helping hand to care for them and take care of them, help them solve their difficulties, and help them learn how to deal with them in the future.”
Wei Aimin said that he hoped to use the Beijing Morning Post to send a few words to parents, society, and the government:
- when parents encounter children making mistakes, they should talk to them more, rather than blindly complaining and criticizing.
- society should give children more tolerance; and the government needs to come up with more ways and policies to guide and help children.
Wei Aimin suggested that before the winter and summer holidays each year, all kinds of schools focus on opening one-time education courses. Teaching materials can be compiled first by districts and counties, and based on gaining experience, the city will carry out unified compilation. One of the more critical issues is to popularize basic common sense of contraception and protect children’s physical health. At the same time, the school installs and sells condom boxes, and it is recommended that the condom boxes be placed in places without probes to facilitate students to buy them.
Public hospitals waive fees for students
Wei Aimin suggested that the implementation of a free system of student abortions in public hospitals throughout the city, or only charging treatment fees of not more than 100 yuan, would play a certain economic inhibitory role, to avoid pregnant students choosing to visit private hospitals with relatively cheap fees because they do not have enough abortion costs to suffer secondary injuries. He also suggested that:
- A conversation system should be implemented for abortion girls, and medical personnel should talk to abortion girls for not less than a certain period.
- The contents of the conversation are specific and clear, including postoperative care, psychological grooming, contraceptive knowledge, and mental health knowledge during development.
- The personal privacy of abortion students must be fully protected and must not be disclosed to others.
- For the guardian’s confidentiality problem, it is recommended to solve it through legislation.
In addition, Wei Aimin suggested that various media outlets should be firmly prohibited from publishing abortion advertisements. On the contrary, public hospitals take appropriate measures to publish public welfare appeals in the mass media, and must not do misleading advertisements like painless flow, which do not affect learning, work, etc.
Terminate the life of the fetus after pregnancy and before birth. This matter may be man-made or natural, although man-made abortion is a matter of moral philosophy discussion. Conservatives or “pro-life” believe that intentional abortion is not allowed; liberals or “pro-choice” see such behaviour on various occasions as permissible. The liberal attitude can even be extended to every situation where the mother wants an abortion, and they also make a lot of restrictions on abortion, such as the age of the fetus. The neutral side has made restrictions on the circumstances in which abortion is allowed, but the result of the debate is not biased towards neutrality. Abortion also involves issues of human nature, as well as the beginning of life; the right to life, the fragile concept of “holiness of life”, the way to deal with conflicting rights, and political and social issues that may propose moral and legal policies and implement them. Abortion has been a controversial social phenomenon since ancient times, and as an objective fact, it has always existed in people’s lives.
In some countries, it is believed that the human “soul” enters the embryo 14 days after the egg is fertilized. Currently, the embryo is “human”, and killing the embryo thereafter is equivalent to murder. Some European countries prohibit abortion on this basis. But there are many religions in the world that have different interpretations of this process.
In general, the Christian tradition emphasizes respect for all human lives, and intentional or direct killing is prohibited for the lives of innocent people (including fetuses). Abortion has never been seen as a kind of good, nor as a morally neutral behavior. The godfathers of the ancient Church attacked abortion; Clement of Alexandria (circa 140-217) regarded abortion as sexual immorality. Dale Duriang (Q.S.F. Tertullian, about 160-230) rebuked the practice of using abortion to hide the fact of pregnancy. Although Augustine (354-430) advocated delayed ensoulment, he believed that all abortions (including unborn fetuses) were serious crimes. Thomas Aquinas (circa 1225-1274) also accepted the argument of delaying the teaching of the spirit,but argued that when the fetus after the teaching of the spirit fell, he committed homicide. Reformers such as Martin Luther (1483-1546) also mentioned that the fetus has a soul; Calvin (J. Calvin, 1509-1564) more directly rebuked abortion as an irrepressible crime. The Anglicans and Puritans of the seventeenth century also regarded abortion as sexual immorality. After the 18th century, the Church’s position changed, arguing that the embryo has human life from the time of conception, and therefore must be respected. This position has always been the official position of the Catholic Church today.
Reference : “Catholic Catechism (1996)”, “Catholic Catechism (1992)” No. 2270-2275, No. 2322; Pope John Paul II, Encyclical “The Gospel of Life (1996)”.
Many people mistakenly think that abortion is a “religious” issue, but it is not. It is a scientific issue, especially a biological issue. To ask when life begins, biologists are the scientific authority, but when we are seeking an answer to this question, we often end up asking these people.
Biologically speaking, when pregnant, there are two different bodies coexisting, which is a scientific fact. One is the woman’s own body, in addition, there is a body that is child’s. Many pregnant women and fetuses have different blood types, which shows that they are two different bodies. If a person has two different blood types, this is medically impossible.
In Western countries, abortion is a big thing. Before the mid-19th century, although abortion was considered inappropriate, most states in the United States allowed abortion before fetal movement. After the mid-19th century, a group of professional surgeons began to push for restrictive abortion legislation. In 1845, Massachusetts was the first state to criminalize abortion. By 1910, except for Kentucky, abortion was criminalized in all states. Most states stipulate that abortion is allowed only if it is to save the life of a pregnant woman. Those who introduce abortion, provide abortion, or perform abortion for others without a surgeon’s license are in violation of the criminal law. However, women who have abortions are not punished.
Human Nature Views
The state also has some restrictions on abortion. Mainly to limit the time of abortion, restrict or prohibit late-term abortion. These restrictions not only consider the interests of pregnant women, but more importantly consider the right to life of the fetus. On the other hand, there are also many unmarried pregnant women in Western countries who are happy to give birth to their children. There is no family planning problem there, birth registration is not difficult, and people do not regard unmarried pregnancy and childbirth as a rebellious thing. You don’t have to get married to have children, and you don’t have to have children to get married, so there are many unmarried mothers and unmarried fathers. And in China, having a child brought about by an out-of-wedlock sexual relationship can be a lot of trouble.