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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  1. Should we add or expand coverage of a particular aspect of abortion?
    It is likely that we have already done so. There was so much information on abortion that we decided to split it all into separate articles. This article is concise because we've tried to create an overview of the entire topic here by summarizing many of these more-detailed articles. The goal is to give readers the ability to pick the level of detail that best suits their needs. If you're looking for more detail, check out some of the other articles related to abortion.
  2. This article seems to be on the long side. Should we shorten it?
    See above. The guidelines on article length contain exceptions for articles which act as "starting points" for "broad subjects." Please see the archived discussion "Article Length."
  3. Should we include expert medical or legal advice about abortions?
    No. Wikipedia does not give legal or medical advice. Please see Wikipedia:Medical disclaimer and Wikipedia:Legal disclaimer for more information.
  4. Should we include or link to pictures of fetuses and/or the end products of abortion?
    No consensus. See the huge discussion on this topic in 2009 here. Consistently, there has been little support for graphic "shock images"; while images were added in 2009 the topic remains contentious, and some images have been removed.
  5. Should we include an image in the lead?
    No consensus. Numerous images have been proposed for the article lead. However, no image achieved consensus and the proposal that garnered a majority of support is to explicitly have no image in the lead.
Former good article Abortion was one of the Natural sciences good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 26, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
January 14, 2008 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article
News This article has been mentioned by a media organisation:
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Abortion:
  • Source and write a sub-section on compulsory abortion for "Social issues" (see To-Do Items for a draft).
  • Discuss potential summary section of Religion and abortion article.
  • CORRECT MAP KEY on main "Abortion Law" page. Right now the dark blue means abortion is illegal in all circumstances and North America, Europe, and Russia are all dark blue (it shows up in the correct colors on the other "Abortion Law" page).Bethlibart (talk) 17:28, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
  • new data available on CDC website for abortions by gestation age
Archive Index
Topical subpages


Notable precedents in discussion

Removal of section[edit]

I find it very interesting and very revealing that the "Art, literature and film" section of the article has now been removed with little protest or comment. It had been in the article for about four and a half years. During that time none of the above editors seem to have taken much notice of it except Roscelese who thought it was a "great idea" at the time. Of course, that was when the entries in the section were either innocuous or implicitly pro-choice, and if you doubt the "implicitly pro-choice" comment take a look at the descriptions of the books Cider House Rules, Braided Lives, and This Common Secret. It was only when I tried to mention the Sexton poem, and give a bit of its flavor, that editors such as Binksternet and Doc James saw any entry as having undue weight or else lacking in sufficient context, or that editors such as Dominus Vobisdu and Gandydancer found the whole "Art, literature and film" section to be unworthy of the article.

Speaking of context, I notice that Doc James has salvaged the material on the Angkor Wat relief carvings and added it to the History section of the article. What was not included in that information when it was in the Art section of the article, and what is still not included in it, is any mention of their primary anthropological significance. According to scholars they were made either to show people the tortures of hell, or, more likely, to show people actions that would put them in hell. KatieHepPal (talk) 20:41, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for heads up User:KatieHepPal. Yeah, if I recall I just Googled notable examples; unsure if the website I relied on or "art" generally leans to the progressive. Probably both in this case. If the section was going to be fossilized pro-choice leaning (though Citizen Ruth isn't exactly glowing on abortion or its advocates), perhaps its best to be left out... at least during the GA review. My first instinct would be to refactor into a shorter section saying "abortion has appeared numerous times with variable consequences" with an abundance of footnotes. - RoyBoy 22:18, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
User:KatieHepPal, I think you're looking for a conspiracy that isn't there. The section has always contained numerous negative examples. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 00:28, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
No, I am not looking for a conspiracy, Roscelese. I don't think that the above mentioned editors are passing emails or text messages to each other about blocking my edits. Rather, what I am seeing is an interesting confluence of interests at play. Editors such as Binksternet and Doc James are so determined not to have any meaningful quote from the Sexton poem in the article that they are quite willing to see the whole section jettisoned, though they had no qualms about it prior to the dispute.
As for your "numerous negative examples" ("negative" about abortion, I presume), where are they? I really can't count the "writer" who claims to have had fifteen abortions in seventeen years because this is more of a Ripley's Believe It or Not! kind of item, interesting because of its obvious excessiveness. The only other item I saw was the rather milquetoast reference to the film Alfie which was added after the RoyBoy original. If I remember correctly, he calls himself a murderer after seeing the aborted fetus, whereas our article merely says "he was deeply affected" by it or some such thing. So, no, I really can't agree that the section has always had negative items about abortion. KatieHepPal (talk) 20:51, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't really see the point of this. Are you interested in collecting secondary sources in the hopes of rebuilding a section or article in the future, or do you just want to use the talk page vent about "liberal bias"? –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 03:23, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
"Vent about liberal bias"? My Fabian forebears would be either amused or appalled. Please don't make unwarranted assumptions. My politics tend to be moderately liberal outside of certain issues concerning the family unit.
As for the removal of the arts, literature and film section, my concern is probably more about the manner of its removal than about the fact of its removal. I'm not sure that I agree that this section was a "great idea" but I do think that it was at least an acceptable idea. Dominus Vobisdu complains that it "has no equivalent in reliable secondary sources," but, of course, that is true of any material of any length here unless it has been plagiarized. Facts and opinions from a variety of sources are paraphrased and combined to form something new.
It is unlikely that any particular source will provide an all-encompassing commentary for "abortion in art, literature, and film," but, as Binksternet's above sample shows, individual sources can provide commentary for parts of the topic. Binksternet was utterly wrong, however, in opposing the use of quotations from poems. This, of course, is standard critical practice in literature. I raise the point here because if the section is revived, this will surely be an issue again. Take Care. KatieHepPal (talk) 18:43, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
You used an orphaned quote, devoid of context or analysis, to deliver your negative view of abortion. An orphaned quote presentation is not encyclopedic. Binksternet (talk) 19:28, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
If you think that the quotation was "orphaned" then you certainly had the means of providing it a home. Instead you eliminated it. A metaphor for the issue of abortion, perhaps?
Looking at your sample paragraph above above, you tend to speak around Sexton's poem rather than about Sexton's poem. The "very likely drawn from her own experience" is fine, but the "early 60s when abortion was rarely mentioned in poetry" is filler, and the "fairy-tale style poem" though coming from your source is quite misleading. We associate fairy tales with happy endings. This is more of a very dark folk tale in style. Mentioning Rumpelstilskin only helps if the reader knows or is told that Rumpelstilskin gave gold and took babies in exchange. KatieHepPal (talk) 00:18, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm going to have to ask you again to put the brakes on the dramatic rhetoric. Stick to the content. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 01:22, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Unfortunately didn't get'er fixed enough for GA push. Can we put back the section? When I read back, an orphaned quote isn't sufficient cause to remove a whole section, although poetry does seem to be notable abortion subtopic. What should done... notable pro-life, pro-choice, pro-conflicted mentions? - RoyBoy 19:03, 29 March 2015 (UTC)


This "In 2007, the average cost of a first trimester abortion was $372. [1]"

Depends on where and it depends on what method is used. A paragraph in the body of the article is needed first before putting it in the lead. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:44, 13 April 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Alesha Doan (2007). Opposition and Intimidation: The Abortion Wars and Strategies of Political Harassment. University of Michigan Press. p. 138. ISBN 9780472069750. 
I concur with Doc James assessment. The sentence by itself is too specific to one moment in time and place to tells one very much. If it can be put into a wider context that would be more useful to a reader. MarnetteD|Talk 18:34, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Birth control[edit]

The sentence "Birth control, including the pill and intrauterine devices can be started immediately after an abortion" in the lead looks counter-intuitive. I propose changing it to something like "Birth control, including the pill and intrauterine devices can be used in some cases to avoid abortion". Brandmeistertalk 20:57, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

But that is not the meaning of the sentence. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 20:58, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
The contraceptives and the birth control in general are by definition designed to be used before abortions, not after. From what I see, the article makes a very brief mention of the abortion prevention, so it would be better to mention it in at least two-three sentences. Brandmeistertalk
No, they can be used following an abortion. That sentence is not about abortion prevention, it's about use of birth control devices after abortion. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 21:09, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

New York. First state to legalize abortion for convenience or not?[edit]

I always thought New York was the first state to legalize abortion. Maybe I thought this because the Governor who signed the legalization, Nelson Rockefeller, was so closely identified with the pro-abortion or pro-choice movement. But I read in a book on google books about Ronald Reagan that California Governor Reagan signed legislation legalizing abortion in 1968, that was two years before Rockefeller did, so I changed my reference to New York being the first state to legalize abortion for convenience. Was New York the first state to legalize it or was I mistaken when I put that edit in?--PaulBustion88 (talk) 17:32, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Talk:Abortion/FAQ should be WP:Abortion/FAQ[edit]

Please see this thread to comment - thanks. Wnt (talk) 12:35, 21 April 2015 (UTC)