less than 1 minute read

Abortion

Classical Attitudes And Canon Law, Abortion In English Law, Abortion In American Law: The Nineteenth Century

In criminal law, abortion refers to induced abortion: the intentional destruction of a fetus in the womb, or an untimely delivery brought about with intent to destroy the fetus. An unintended miscarriage, or so-called spontaneous abortion, is not, for legal purposes, an abortion at all. Termination of pregnancy sometimes is used as a synonym for abortion. It is, however, a wider term, since pregnancy can be terminated by live birth: inducing labor, a common obstetrical practice, purposely terminates pregnancy, but would not be considered abortion. Abortion implies killing the fetus. This is what makes it controversial. Probably no contemporary public question has attracted more controversy than the question of whether abortion should be considered a crime or a matter of choice by a pregnant woman about how her body will be used.

EDWARD M. WISE

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal Law