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  1. #1
    thedaffodils's Avatar
    thedaffodils is offline Key Member
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    Question abortion vs. termination

    The two daughters were made pregnant 19 times; there were nine births, five miscarriages and five terminations. Seven of the children are alive but suffer genetic deformities.
    Source: the CNN

    Hi! I want to know the difference between termination and abortion about pregnancy. For example, which word is more common in the US/ UK?

    I suppose that "termination" sounds like medical term because the Cambridge Dictionary defines it as "specialized". Am I right?

    Thanks!

    P.S. The definitions are quoted from the Cambrige Dictionary.

    abortion noun [C or U]
    the intentional ending of a pregnancy, usually by a medical operation:
    termination noun [C] SPECIALIZED
    the intentional ending of a pregnancy, usually by a medical operation

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: abortion vs. termination

    As indicated, termination is the word used in the medical profession. Both are used equally in colloquial speech.

  3. #3
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: abortion vs. termination

    Anglika,

    Thank you for your answer. I see.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: abortion vs. termination

    I agree with Anglika. (American English)



  5. #5
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: abortion vs. termination

    As a verb, abort can be intransitive for a miscarriage or transitive where there is an intentional ending, but terminate/termination is unambiguous.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: abortion vs. termination

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    As a verb, abort can be intransitive for a miscarriage or transitive where there is an intentional ending, but terminate/termination is unambiguous.
    Good point, Tdol.
    Abortions can be spontaneous (miscarriages) or "therapeutic". All terminations are "therapeutic" since that's the only sort the law allows.
    "Termination" also sounds less traumatic overall for the patient, and among doctors when discussing the procedure. It sounds more professional. In Australia, the operation is called a T.O.P. tee o pee - "termination of pregnancy."

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