Difference between Abortion and Miscarriages

Key Difference: Abortion is the deliberate act of removing or forcing the fetus or embryo out of the womb before it has had a chance to grow to term. Miscarriage, on the other hand, is when an abortion happens but it is not deliberate or mindful. A miscarriage is usually an accident, when something interferes in the pregnancy and stops the fetus from growing.

One of the miracles of life is the ability of a creature to procreate, to give life. In order to give life, a creature must usually participate in a sexual activity, conceive a child, carry it to term and give birth to a baby. However, there are many things that can interfere in this process. Abortion and Miscarriages are two of the ways that can end a pregnancy.

The main and general difference between Abortion and Miscarriages is that an Abortion is usually mindful. It is the deliberate act of removing or forcing the fetus or embryo out of the womb before it has had a chance to grow to term. Hence, the fetus cannot grow on its own and will in all instances die. 

Miscarriage, on the other hand, is when an abortion happens but it is not deliberate or mindful. A miscarriage is usually an accident, when something interferes in the pregnancy and stops the fetus from growing.

However, a miscarriage can be induced via certain methods. In which case it would be mindful and deliberate, and will be considered as an induced abortion.

An abortion is usually conducted in the first trimester, as there is no heartbeat on the fetus, and it is small enough to be removed without problems. An abortion can be done in the second trimester; however it will increase the risk to the mother. A miscarriage can occur at any time during the pregnancy but is often earlier in the pregnancy. Similar to an abortion, if a miscarriage happens later in the pregnancy, it has more risk for the mother.

An abortion can be conducted for various reasons, including unplanned pregnancy, risk for mother or child, inability to provide for the child, etc. A miscarriage, on the other hand, occurs due to heath factors such as the fact that the woman may not be able to carry the child to term, or has some diseases o genetic factors. A miscarriage may also occur due to environmental factors, psychological factors, such as stress, etc. The miscarriage rate is roughly 15-20% among humans.

 In an abortion, the doctor must remove the fetus from the mother’s body, the process of which may include surgery. However, in most early miscarriages, the fetus is expelled naturally. Surgery might be needed if the fetus is not expelled, which is more likely to happen in miscarriages that occur later in the pregnancy.

Abortion is currently is a lot of debate between people who are pro-life (anti-abortion) and pro-choice (pro-abortion). There are many people who claim that abortion is unnatural and should be banned, as it murder. However, others claim that the mother should have a choice in weather or not she wants to be a mother. Many other claim that abortions should be legal in certain cases, especially when the pregnancy might put the mother or the baby at risk.

Comparison between Abortion and Miscarriages:




Abortion is the ending of pregnancy by the removal or forcing out from the womb of a fetus or embryo before it is able to survive on its own.


The abortion Pill (Medical abortion):

  • Abortion Pill up to 9 weeks
  • Abortion Pill after 9 weeks and up to 24 weeks of pregnancy


Surgical Abortion:

  • Vacuum Aspiration up to 15 weeks
  • Dilatation & Evacuation between 15 – 24 weeks of pregnancy


Historically, a number of herbs reputed to possess abortifacient properties have been used in folk medicine: tansy, pennyroyal, and black cohosh. The use of herbs in such a manner can cause serious—even lethal—side effects.


The health risks of abortion depend on whether the procedure is performed safely or unsafely. Unsafe abortions as those performed by unskilled individuals, with hazardous equipment, or in unsanitary facilities may have risk for the mother. Legal abortions performed in the developed world are among the safest procedures in medicine.

Reasons for

Personal reasons such as not wanting children, unable or unwilling to raise children, unable to afford a child, etc.


Societal pressures such as preference for children of a specific sex, disapproval of single or early motherhood, stigmatization of people with disabilities, insufficient economic support for families, lack of access to or rejection of contraceptive methods, or efforts toward population control.


Health reasons such as risk to the mother or child, cancer during pregnancy, etc.





A miscarriage is the natural death of an embryo or fetus in the womb. It takes place in the early stages of prenatal development before the fetus or embryo is able to survive on its own.

Signs and symptoms

The most common symptom of a miscarriage is vaginal bleeding, which can vary from light spotting or brownish discharge to heavy bleeding and bright red blood. Other symptoms include severe cramps, abdominal pain, fever, weakness, back pain, etc.

Testing / Diagnosis

Miscarriage may be detected during an ultrasound exam, or through serial human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) testing.


Miscarriage may occur for many reasons, not all of which can be identified. Some of these causes include genetic, uterine, or hormonal abnormalities, reproductive tract infections, and tissue rejection.


Miscarriages are also caused by a variety of other factors, including:

  • Infection
  • Exposure to environmental and workplace hazards such as high levels of radiation or toxic agents
  • Hormonal problems
  • Uterine abnormalities
  • Incompetent cervix (the cervix begins to widen and open too early, in the middle of pregnancy, without signs of pain or labor)
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or using illegal drugs
  • Disorders of the immune system, including lupus
  • Severe kidney disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Diabetes that is not controlled
  • Thyroid disease
  • Radiation
  • Certain medications, such as the acne drug Accutane
  • Severe malnutrition


Women may be at increased risk for miscarriage as they get older. There is no proof that stress or physical or sexual activity causes miscarriage. History of smoking and drinking increases the chances of a miscarriage.

Image Courtesy: abortion.uslegal.com, blog.shadygrovefertility.com

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