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CMDA Today | CMDA Ethics Statement on Abortion

[1 hour]
This course is available for physician, dentist, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner continuing education. A general attendance certificate is also available.

This article is featured in the Fall 2021 publication of CMDA Today.
Release Date: September 1, 2021
Termination Date: August 31, 2024

The active termination of pregnancy has existed since 1550 BCE, with the first documented abortion occurring in Egypt. The School of Hippocrates included the following prohibition against abortion in the oath named for him in approximately 400 BCE: “I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion.” The attitude toward abortion throughout its 3,500-year history has varied from general acceptance to criminalization of the act, including the death penalty in certain circumstances. That range of perspective, except for the death penalty, remains today with the overall trend worldwide toward increasing cultural acceptance of abortion. The Christian Church from its earliest recorded Patristic writings outside of the New Testament condemned abortion as murder. This statement outlines and supports CMDA’s affirmation of the historical prohibition against abortion.


  • Discuss the biological evidence of when life begins.
  • Cite the ethical reasons for opposition to abortion.
  • List recommendations regarding care of women with unwanted pregnancy.