What does “abolition” mean?
The word “abolition” denotes a legal event, specifically, the formal ending of the legal institution of slavery itself. This formal ending renders slavery a legal impossibility within the given jurisdiction, i.e., “abolishes” slavery. In other words, abolition makes it legally impossible for one sentient being to “own” another sentient being.
Example: Before abolition, Country X’s legal system allows slavery; after abolition, Country X’s legal system does not allow slavery.
Abolition is achieved through the law-making process established by the given sovereign.
Note: Since abolition is a legal event, abolition does not happen to an individual, living creature. Rather, abolition happens to a legal system. But, of course, abolition directly affects all living creatures who are freed from slavery by this legal event.
See also, The Humane Herald, Distinguishing Abolition, Emancipation, and Manumission