IATE Term of the Week: Abortion

abortion feature

In the recent few years, abortion has been a sensitive societal topic across the world. While some countries have accepted to legalize it, some others keep either full or partial restrictions.

The process represents the expulsion of a fetus from the uterus before it has reached the stage of viability (in human beings, usually about the 20th week of gestation). An abortion may also occur spontaneously, in which case it is a miscarriage, or it may be brought on purposefully, in which case it is often called an induced abortion. abortion IATESome techniques were developed back in 1550 BC as Ebers, the first Egyptian medical text, advocated the vaginal insertion of plant fiber, covered with honey and crusted dates, in order to help perform the process. There were other known methods to complete, or at least attempt, an abortion. For instance, those included the use of sharpened implements or the use of abortifacient. In addition, Rome and Greece also allowed women to abort. Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, wrote that this proceeding could “be procured before life and sense have begun”. Nonetheless, the prosperity over the practice ended in the latter days of the Roman Empire, believed to be a crime against a husband, miscarrying the opportunity to become a father. Nowadays, an abortion can be either medical or surgical. For more info about those two methods, click here. abortion mapThe map above illustrates countries within Europe that allow, restrict or ban abortion. You notice that most countries there authorize this practice, although laws can differ from a country to another, whereas some others approve it with some restrictions. Moreover, both the Republic of Ireland and Poland prohibit the procedure, except in certain cases. Those laws are partly enacted depending on whether the government is pro-choice or pro-life. More than personal, abortion has become political. Debates between those two main movements are likely to be heated. As insight of a debate on abortion, I suggest you to watch the following video:


– Abortion. IATE. https://iate.europa.eu/search/standard/result/1581072368981/1 (Accessed on 07/02/2020)

– Abortion. Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/abortion-pregnancy (07/02/2020)

– What facts about abortion do I need to know? Planned Parenthood. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/considering-abortion/what-facts-about-abortion-do-i-need-know (Accessed on 07/02/2020)

– Abortion Laws Vary significantly across the EU. France 24. https://www.france24.com/en/20180525-abortion-laws-vary-eu-ireland-malta-poland-termination (Accessed on 07/02/2020)

– History of Abortion. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_abortion (Accessed on 11/02/2020)

– History of Abortion. ProCon. https://abortion.procon.org/history-of-abortion/ (Accessed on 11/02/2020)

Samira Joineau

Written by Samira Joineau

Communication Study Visitor at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament in Luxembourg. She holds a Bachelor degree in Languages, Literature and Foreign Civilizations (English). She is a student of the Master in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts at the University of Luxembourg.