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Contraception: Abortion

Abortion is a topic that is always tricky to discuss.  Conversations tend to be loaded with misconceptions and intense emotional feelings can override intelligent discourse.

RU-486

This pill is a little more controversial than the previously discussed morning after pill. The brand name is Mifeprex, and unlike the morning after pill, it is an abortifacient. It is an alternative to the more invasive surgical abortion.

Mifeprex can be taken after a positive pregnancy test to chemically abort the fetus, but it can only be taken up to 49 days after the first day of your previous period. Its active ingredient is a steroid that works to block the hormone progesterone. Without the progesterone, the uterine lining will start to break down and shed, just like in a normal period. Mifeprex is often taken in conjunction with a chemical that will help your cervix open and allow the tissue to shed.

Mifeprex cannot be taken without a prescription, and it requires at least one follow-up visit to your doctor to ensure that the pill worked correctly. It causes heavy bleeding and cramping, but any other side effects should be immediately discussed with a doctor.

Abortion

Thanks to the landmark case of Roe v. Wade in 1973, women in the US are able to legally receive an abortion to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. There remains a lot of controversy over this decision, and there are new court cases challenging the legality of this case all the time.

According to Wikipedia, an abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. This means that the fetus or embryo is not developed enough to survive outside of the womb. I recommend looking at the Wikipedia page for descriptions on how abortions work, because there are too many ways for me to explain them all here.

I personally believe in the right of a woman to choose whether or not she wants to carry a pregnancy to term. Before Roe v. Wade, there were women getting abortions from people who were not licensed to practice medicine, and in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

These things still happen in areas that do not legally allow abortion. Due to unsanitary conditions or the lack of medical knowledge by the person providing the abortion, many women die due to sepsis or hemorrhaging of their uterus.

Despite any moral or religious objections regarding abortion, surely everyone can agree that if a woman is seeking to terminate a pregnancy, she should have access to a trained doctor who will perform the surgery in a clean and antiseptic environment, right?

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