Abortion is a termination of pregnancy. It can refer to a spontaneous process (spontaneous abortion) or to a deliberate termination of an unintended pregnancy, or a pregnancy that threatens the life or health of the pregnant woman, including her social and mental well-being (induced abortion).
The conditions under which abortion is legally permitted differ from country to country. In some countries, access is highly restricted; in others, pregnancy termination is available on broad medical and social grounds, such as pregnancy being a result of rape or incest, where serious malformation of the foetus is medically diagnosed, or on request, the latter recognising the women’s free choice in matters related to reproduction.
(1) World Health Organization – WHO (2012). Safe Abortion: Technical and Policy Guidance for Health Systems;
(2) CEDAW Committee (2014). Summary of the Inquiry concerning the Philippines under Article 8 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.