Posted by MRK on 13th April 2012

How Many Weeks After Getting Pregnant Can You Terminate Pregnancy

The termination of pregnancy or abortion is legal in most states.  Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by removal of the embryo or fetus before it reaches viability.  Regulations differ with regards to how long into the pregnancy can an abortion be performed.  According to medical experts, pregnancy can be terminated safely at any given time during pregnancy.  The only cause of dispute is that the fetus’ viability increases the longer one waits to get an abortion.  It is generally viewed that the earlier one makes the decision to pursue an abortion, the safer and easier the procedure will be.

Up To How Many Weeks Can You Terminate A Pregnancy?

Most states consider termination of pregnancy until 24 weeks to be legal. There are different time frames that coincide with the termination of pregnancy.  Guidelines in termination of pregnancy measured in weeks are as follows:

  • 2-5 days. Conception results in a rapidly growing cell that is in constant state of multiplication. This is called a zygote which will soon turn into a blastocyst, ready for implantation. The morning after pill can be used effectively 2 to 5 days following unprotected sexual intercourse.  Development of the cell will cease and it will be eliminated together with the lining of the uterus.
  • 7 weeks and below. Pregnancy can be terminated through abortifacients or medications that cause the expulsion of the embryo.  The embryo at this time frame is fully attached to the wall of the uterus and the umbilical cord is formed.  The major organs begin to take shape, with the heart starting to beat and primitive brain activity starts to fire up.  Later on this stage, the embryo will be capable of motion.  The eyes and facial features will begin to form.  Length upon expulsion may reach up to 2.5 centimeters.
  • 8 to 24 weeks.  Termination of pregnancy through surgery or induction of labor may still be done legally.  Organs are fully complete and limbs have taken form.  The gender of the fetus is distinguishable in appearance.  Movements of the fetus are strong enough to be sensed.  The size upon removal may be anywhere from 3 to 35 centimeters.
  • 25 weeks until term.  This is considered illegal in most states.  It cannot be performed without dire reasons that involve grave harm to the mother. The fetus may be fully viable when labor is induced during this time frame.  Termination of pregnancy at this stage is also referred to as partial birth abortion.

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