Miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies are treated similarly to abortion procedures but differ from an abortion. The difference lies in the definition of abortion, and the reason abortions are sought versus why miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies are treated.


We hope this article assists in better understanding these differences.   

What Is an Abortion?

An abortion is usually an elective procedure women undergo to terminate a pregnancy. This procedure doesn’t require a life-threatening diagnosis behind the decision.

Typically, in these desired procedures, the pregnancy is located within the uterus and viable (healthy). There is no immediate threat of life to the mother, and termination is a chosen, planned, and sought option.

What Is a Miscarriage and Ectopic Pregnancy?

A miscarriage is a sudden, unplanned loss of pregnancy. Most times, this occurs spontaneously without preparation or causative factors. Miscarriages usually are nature’s way of ending a pregnancy when a fetus isn’t developing as anticipated. The body may remove the remaining pregnancy tissue itself or require medical assistance.

Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that takes place outside the uterus. This is not a viable pregnancy and will not have the necessary components to be sustained. Ectopic pregnancies directly threaten a woman’s health and must be medically treated to avoid complications.

What Does the Medical Community Say About Abortion versus Treatment?

Patricia Santiago-Munoz, M.D., states in a UT Southwestern Medical Center post, “Ectopic pregnancy treatment is not the same as abortion. The medical definition of ‘abortion’ is removal of an embryo and placenta from the uterus… Logically, treatment cannot be generalized as “abortion,” particularly because many women with ectopic pregnancies planned to conceive and wanted to carry their pregnancies to term.”

Furthermore, a post from the University of Missouri’s School of Medicine states, “Induced abortions are commonly voluntary (elective). Induced, elective abortion is in contrast to spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage, in which the embryo or fetus is involuntarily expelled because of accidental trauma or disease.”

Thus, medical community members also agree that elective abortions and treatment for miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies differ.

Abortions are usually chosen procedures that women undergo without any medical concerns rooted in their decision. Treatment for pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages are medically necessary interventions women must seek due to life-threatening diagnoses.

Where Can I Go for More Resources?

We invite you to contact us today if you want more information on the available options.

We offer free pregnancy services and decision coaching during a no-cost, always confidential appointment.

This post is for education and information purposes only and does not substitute the advice of a Healthcare Professional. 

Dove Medical offers pregnancy diagnosis, decision coaching, and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however we do not offer or refer for abortion services.