What is meant by abortion? Abortion is defined in the dictionary as, “Theexpulsion of a foetus (naturally or by medical induction) from the womb beforeit is able to survive independently (around 28 weeks). ” This simply meansthe foetus is removed by either a natural or medical procedure before the timeof the natural birth would have occurred, before the foetus could support itsown life. Their are in fact three types of abortion. They are: Voluntary – whenthe mother decides to have an abortion out of choice, Therapeutic – carried outwhen the mothers health is in danger and Spontaneous – when the foetus diesduring the pregnancy (the same as a miscarriage). The Abortion Act is what isused to determine whether an abortion is justified, it was passed in 1967 andthen amended in 1990.
Currently it states that: 1967 Abortion Act An abortionmay be performed legally if two or more doctors certify that: 1. The mental andphysical health of the woman, or her existing children, will suffer if thepregnancy continues. Or. .
. . 2. The child, if born, would be seriously physicallyor mentally handicapped. 1990 amendment As the 1967 Act, except that the timelimit for when an abortion can be carried out was reduced to 24 weeks.
This Actmeans a pregnant woman has the right to an abortion if: 1. Upon keeping thepregnancy, and therefore having the child, the mother and/or any children shealready has would be harming their physical or mental well being. 2. The foetushas been shown to have either a physical or mental disability and thereforewould be born handicapped. If two doctors both agree that the woman suffers fromeither of the points, then abortion is a legal option, as long as the pregnancyhas not gone more than 24 weeks after conception.
A 15 yr. old girl is pregnantand has requested and abortion without her parents knowing and with no intentionto do so. The girl would be allowed an abortion even though she is too young(under 16) to give consent for the medical procedure to take place. The groundsthe girl would be allowed the abortion under would be under the first section ofthe 1967 Act, the pregnancy if continued, would pose a risk to the mothersown mental health.
An amniocentesis test shows that the baby has a seriousdeformity. There is no doubt that an abortion would be legal in thiscircumstance, it falls exactly under the second section of the 1967 Act, becausethe baby, if born, would be either seriously physically or mentally handicapped. The pregnancy was a result of rape. An abortion would be permitted to themother, because keeping the pregnancy would cause the mothers mental healthto suffer, this the first section of the 1967 Act. The Abortion Act allows formost abortions to go ahead, as it is open to various interpretations (especiallyin the first section). One scenario where an abortion would not be permittedwould be: A scan has shown that the baby is female and the parents want a boy.
These would not be significant grounds for an abortion to be said to be legal. However it could be argued that it would cause the mother mental distress, butit is does not really pose a serious threat to her health. However there hasbeen a case of a mother who had two abortions on the NHS because she didntlike the looks of either of the fathers.