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Abortion: By the numbers

Abortion: By the numbers
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: January 21, 2013
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KEY TERMS

• Abortion: A procedure to end a pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus. The procedure is done by a licensed physician or someone acting under the supervision of a licensed physician.

• Legal definition: Oklahoma law defines abortion as “the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device intentionally to terminate the pregnancy of a female known to be pregnant with an intention other than to increase the probability of a live birth, to preserve the life or health of the child after live birth, to remove an ectopic pregnancy, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of a spontaneous miscarriage, accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant female or her unborn child.”

• Medical abortion: The use of certain medications to end a pregnancy. Drugs used include mifepristone and misoprostol.

• Surgical abortion: Generally, uses a vacuum to remove the fetus and related material from a woman's uterus, or womb. The procedure is usually done six weeks after the woman's last menstrual period.

• Emergency contraception: A contraception pill that a woman can take generally for up to 72 hours after unprotected sex to prevent or delay an egg from releasing from her ovaries.

Sources: The Mayo Clinic; Princeton University; National Institutes of Health; Medline Plus; Oklahoma State Department of Health; Oklahoma State Courts Network.

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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