Induced abortion or the deliberate termination of pregnancy is one of the most controversial issues in legal discourse. As a legal issue, abortion is usually discussed in light of the principles of criminal law. Depending on circumstances, however, abortion can also be discussed from the standpoint of constitutional law.
In the former case, the issue usually takes the form of criminalizing or decriminalizing the act, while in the latter, the issue becomes whether a pregnant woman has a constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy. The issue thus usually involves the competing arguments in favour of the "right" of the fetus to be brought onto life (i.e. personhood) vis-à-vis the right of the mother to abortion based on her interests and choice.
In May 2005, Ethiopia's new Criminal Code came into effect. The government revised the code to permit abortion for an expanded range of indications. These include: when the pregnancy results from rape or incest; when the health or life of the woman and the fetus are in danger; in cases of fetal abnormalities; for women with physical or mental disabilities; and for minors who are physically or psychologically unprepared to raise a child.