abor·​ti·​fa·​cient | \ ə-ˌbȯr-tə-ˈfā-shənt How to pronounce abortifacient (audio) \

Definition of abortifacient

: an agent (such as a drug) that induces abortion

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Other Words from abortifacient

abortifacient adjective

Examples of abortifacient in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In one of the cases Walker referenced, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., ADF represented the home goods store from an Obama-era mandate that would require it to buy abortifacient contraceptives. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "New religious liberty battle: Drive-in church services versus pandemic lockdowns," 15 Apr. 2020 And nationwide, antiabortion activists are gearing up for another round of efforts to curb access, with parental-notification requirements and bans on abortifacient medications. Tim Craig, Washington Post, "Abortion. Transgender rights. Voting access. Polarizing issues could dominate statehouse agendas in 2020.," 23 Dec. 2019 The Obama Administration tried to force the Catholic nuns and other religious groups to provide their employees with contraceptives, including abortifacients, in violation of their beliefs. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Little Sisters Back in Court," 18 Jan. 2019 In 2016 the foundation filed a judicial protest, signed by 100 Maltese women, claiming that the nationwide ban of the morning-after pill (which is not abortifacient) was a violation of their human rights. The Economist, "Malta is the last EU country to have a full ban on abortion," 27 July 2019 Nowhere in any of its representations in court does the university distinguish between its sincerely held religious beliefs regarding contraception and those regarding abortifacients. Elizabeth Kirk, National Review, "The Notre Dame Compromise," 10 Feb. 2018 The rule on moral objections cited a case brought against the Obama administration in 2015 by the March for Life, an antiabortion group that contends certain types of emergency contraception could be abortifacients. Louise Radnofsky, WSJ, "Trump Administration Rolls Back Obama Rule on Birth-Control Coverage," 6 Oct. 2017 These groups also alleged that the mandate required them to subsidize abortifacients—even though the contraception in question did not, in fact, induce abortions. Mark Joseph Stern, Slate Magazine, "Our Bodies, Their Choice," 6 Oct. 2017 This fake science also justifies the use of abortifacients and early human embryos in experimental research in human cloning, embryonic-stem-cell therapy, and genetic engineering, including synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and gene splicing. Brooke Stanton, National Review, "Sofia Vergara and the Fraudulent Science of ‘Pre-embryos’," 5 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abortifacient.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of abortifacient

1840, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abortifacient

borrowed from New Latin abortifacient-, abortifaciens, from Latin abortus "miscarriage, abortion" (from aborīrī "to pass away, (of a fetus) miscarry, be aborted" + -tus, suffix of verbal action) + -i- -i- + -facient-, -faciens -facient — more at abort entry 1

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Time Traveler for abortifacient

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The first known use of abortifacient was in 1840

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Cite this Entry

“Abortifacient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abortifacient. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for abortifacient


abor·​ti·​fa·​cient | \ ə-ˌbȯrt-ə-ˈfā-shənt How to pronounce abortifacient (audio) \

Medical Definition of abortifacient

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: inducing abortion



Medical Definition of abortifacient (Entry 2 of 2)

: an agent (as a drug) that induces abortion

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