Using a well know resource, Steadmans Medical Dictionary on can come up with the following medical terms are used to categorize abortion:
A. Spontaneous abortion (miscarriage): An abortion due to accidental trauma or natural causes. Most miscarriages are due to genetic abberations or errant duplication of the chromosomes (genes); they can also be caused by environmental factors, such as toxixs.
B. Induced abortion: Induce Abortion is what we are most familiar with in the public discussion and has been a contentious issue. This type of Abortion has been caused by a deliberate human action. Induced abortions are further subcategorized into therapeutic and elective:
1. Therapeutic abortion: An abortion performed either…
i) to save the life of the pregnant woman
ii) to preserve the woman’s physical or mental well being and health
iii) to terminate pregnancy that would result in a child born with a congenital disorder that would be fatal or associated with significant morbidity
iv) to selectively reduce the number of fetuses to lessen health risks associated with multiple pregnancy.
C. Elective abortion: Abortion performed for any other reason. In common usage, the term “abortion” is synonymous with induced abortion. However, in medical texts, the word ‘abortion’ might exclusively refer to, or may also refer to, spontaneous abortion (miscarriage).