Medical Reasons for Abortion

By: Dr.Scott Pendergraft

Even though abortion was legalized in the United States in the year 1973, the ethical and moral righteousness of the act is still at large considered immoral. Some argue that abortion is never a solution in whatever circumstances it is taken while others argue it should be solely the decision of the women. The battle ensues and debate is ongoing still on average every year 1.2 million mothers abort in U.S. Majority of these abortions are performed within the first eight weeks of the pregnancy. In some rare cases abortions can be carried out after 16 weeks due to medical reasons.
Not always abortion is because of unplanned pregnancy but sometimes there are relevant medical grounds for taking such a step. Here’s an overview of what all medical conditions can result into an abortion.
Contraceptive Failure
Due to age or financial conditions when a woman is not in position to take care of the child, abortion seems to be a viable option. Sometimes contraceptive failure is attributed to such unplanned pregnancies. As a result women are forced to abort. This makes it necessary to take reliable contraceptive pills that are tested to be effective.
Medical Reasons
Sometimes a mother wants to keep the child but due to medical complications, abortion becomes inevitable. In some cases birth defect or a serious medical abnormality in the child forces women to choose abortion while in other cases there are severe injury risk for the mother if pregnancy is carried out or even fatal.
These reasons make it necessary to abort on medical grounds.
Health of the Baby
For parents it is always devastating to know that their child will be born with some serious birth defect. This is not only problematic for parents but for the child as well. Amniocentesis which is carried out during pregnancy can find out any neural tube defects, genetic disorders or chromosome abnormalities in the fetus with 99.4% accuracy. Mainly following medical complications are detected through amniocentesis:
• Anencephaly
• Cystic Fibrosis
• Down Syndrome
• Muscular Dystrophy
• Sickle Cell Disease
• Spina Bifida
• Trisomy 18
• Tay-Sachs
Not all of these conditions is life threatening and the decision to abort should be based on what quality of life a child will have. There are many aspects to consider to make such a decision and it’s never easy for a family.
Health of the Mother
Some women have health issues that prohibit a healthy pregnancy. There are some medical conditions that make pregnancy or delivering a baby dangerous and even life threatening. When such a situation is faced parents may have to choose abortion. Some medical conditions in women that can lead to complications in pregnancy are:
• Autoimmune disorders
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Heart disease
• Other sexually transmitted diseases
Sometimes abortion in a valid medical reason when preserving mental health of the mother is a necessity such as in case of a rape.
Abortion is not always immoral and there are medical conditions that make it inevitable.

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Dr. James S. Pendergraft opened the Orlando Women's Center in March 1996 to provide a full range of health care for women.

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