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What’s the difference between abortion and miscarriage?

A miscarriage is the sudden loss of a pregnancy and death of the developing embryo or fetus before the 20th week. While the technical medical term for a miscarriage is “spontaneous abortion,” naturally occurring miscarriage should not be confused with abortion as used in common parlance to refer to the intentional killing of a developing embryo or fetus.

See also What is an abortion? and If you ban abortion, women will be denied treatment for miscarriage 


The Mayo Clinic. Miscarriage. Accessed December 19, 2023. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/symptoms-causes/syc-20354298.

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