|based on arbitrary, superficial characteristics rather than natural, organic relationships|
|a cell or organism that is genetically identical to the individual from which it was derived|
|1.||an operation or other procedure to terminate pregnancy before the fetus is viable|
|2.||the premature termination of pregnancy by spontaneous or induced expulsion of a nonviable fetus from the uterus|
|3.||the products of abortion; an aborted fetus|
|4.||the arrest of development of an organ|
|5.||a failure to develop to completion or maturity: the project proved an abortion|
|6.||a person or thing that is deformed|
abortion a·bor·tion (ə-bôr'shən)
The expulsion of an embryo or fetus before it is viable.
An aborted organism.
Cessation of normal growth, especially of an organ or other body part, before full development or maturation.
The arrest of an action or process before its completion.
|abortion (ə-bôr'shən) Pronunciation Key
The deliberate termination of a pregnancy, usually before the embryo or fetus is capable of independent life. In medical contexts, this procedure is called an induced abortion and is distinguished from a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) or stillbirth.
Note: Abortion laws are extremely controversial. Those who describe themselves as “pro-choice” believe that the decision to have an abortion should be left to the mother. In contrast, the “pro-life” faction, arguing that abortion is killing, holds that the state should prohibit abortion in most cases. Feminists (see feminism) and liberals generally support the pro-choice side; Roman Catholics and Protestant fundamentalists generally back the pro-life side. (See Roe versus Wade.)
The ending of pregnancy and expulsion of the embryo or fetus, generally before the embryo or fetus is capable of surviving on its own. Abortion may be brought on intentionally by artificial means (induced abortion) or may occur naturally (spontaneous abortion, which is commonly referred to as a miscarriage). (Compare stillbirth; see also family planning and population control.)