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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law [MPECCoL]

Abortion

Radhika Rao

Subject(s):
Abortion — Gender discrimination — Right to life — Individual rights — Women

Published under the direction of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law.
General Editors: Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1. Abortion is commonly defined as the intentional termination of pregnancy with reasonable knowledge that such termination will cause the death of the embryo ( embryos and embryonic stem cells ) or fetus. Yet this definition masks a fundamental ambiguity regarding what qualifies as an abortion. If pregnancy is determined to commence at fertilization rather than implantation, many forms of contraception would be included within the meaning of abortion. Moreover, new methods of early medical abortion by means of a pill rather than surgery further blur the line...
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