late 14c., from L. abortivus "causing abortion," from abortus, pp. of aboriri "disappear, miscarry," from ab- "amiss" + oriri "appear, be born, arise" (see orchestra); the compound word used in L. for deaths, miscarriages, sunsets, etc. The L. verb for "to produce an
abortion" was abigo, lit. "to drive away." Not originally used to imply forced or deliberate miscarriage; from 14c.-18c. stillborn children or domestic animals were said to be abortive. Also see abortion.