Glossary of terms

Glossary of Terms

Substance or drug that causes an abortion.

Abortion on demand / request

When a woman can simply ask for an  abortion, without having to give reasons or fulfil criteria.

Age of consent
Age at which it is legal to have penetrative sex (16 in the UK).

Back-street abortion
Abortion performed illegally and secretly, probably in unhygienic circumstances and  without anaesthetic.

Carrying a pregnancy to term
Completing the 40 weeks of pregnancy and  giving birth.

Neck of the uterus.

Conscientious objection
Moral objection (to abortion).

Fallopian tube
Tube from ovary to uterus.

Conception. When the egg cell meets  the sperm cell.

Developing baby.

Process of being carried in the uterus from conception to birth. The length of time a pregnancy has been going on.

When the fertilised egg settles into the  uterus wall.

Induced abortion
Abortion, the intentional ending of a pregnancy.

Inability to produce offspring.

Informed consent
Consent given voluntarily, by a competent  person, able to fully understand the benefits  and potential risks of their decision.

Maternal mortality
Death of a woman due to pregnancy or  birth-related problems

Natural ending of a pregnancy before the fetus  is viable (see spontaneous abortion).

Obstetrics and gynaecology
Branch of medicine that deals with pregnancy, childbirth and the female reproductive system.

Medication inserted into vagina.

State of having a fetus in uterus.

Moment when the woman first feels the fetus move.

Device for opening vagina for medical  purposes.

Spontaneous abortion
Miscarriage (see miscarriage). Still-birth Delivery of a baby/fetus that has died in  the uterus.

Termination of pregnancy  
Abortion, the intentional ending of a pregnancy.

First, second or third period of three months  of a pregnancy.

A hollow muscular organ located in the pelvic cavity of women and female mammals in  which the fertilised egg implants and  develops. Also called womb.

Passage leading out from uterus. Birth canal.

Point at which a fetus could survive outside the woman’s body.