Talk:Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act

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Initial comments (2005)[edit]

It would be considerably more balanced if the strong "pro" quote were paired with an equally strong "con" quote - anyone have one?

I've seen several, but they sounded so confused and illogical to me that I recused myself :-)
We could try this:

Pro-choice groups oppose the law on three grounds:

  1. It's the first step in a campaign to outlaw abortion completely, with overturning Roe vs. Wade the apparent next step.
  2. It's unconstitutional in itself <-- not sure why, though, need to research this -->
  3. It's "vague", that is, it's subject to deliberate misinterpretation by overzealous prosecutors trying to punish doctons for types of abortions that the Congress didn't really "mean" to include <-- I'm (nearly) making this up -->

Wait I thought the reason for outlawing 3rd trimester abortions was because the fetus could live outside the womb. Even most pro-choice groups agree with this. This is outlawing killing a baby thats basically been born and can survive outside the womb, I don't see the opposition... Redwolf24 9 July 2005 10:08 (UTC)

There may be no known precedent[edit]

"There may be no known precedent"? Either there is or there isn't, right? Or is there a contested precedent? --Danny Rathjens 04:18, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Can something be said regarding the status of this bill now? ie - So, the bill was declared unconstitutional, but is that the end of it, or is it still somehow in limbo? --SeekingOne 00:08, Feb 7, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it is in limbo. It's in the courts. It will eventually end up in the SCOTUS, for sure. --NCdave 03:00, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC). or affecting interstate commerce.[edit]

What does "...partial-birth abortion made in or affecting interstate commerce." actually mean? Can abortions be made in interstate commerce? Please try to be less opaque about this in the intro.

Peter Isotalo 7 July 2005 19:48 (UTC)

  • While I agree that the statement is vague, it actually follows the language of the Act itself fairly closely. Read the first sentence of the statute, I think it explains why the phrase is in the intro to this article. - Jersyko talk 16:50, September 11, 2005 (UTC)
  • The commerce clause, is a figleaf of constitutional justification for any Federal action that is not one of its enumerated powers. As long as Roe v Wade stands, laws that limit it must have this excuse. It is tenuous, based a decision about five years ago against a federal law limiting the sale of drugs (or was it the use of guns) near schools. That decision said that the commerce clause must really be about interstate commerce, not a tenuous affect on it. Based on this precident, Partial Birth would also be struck down. Arodb 18:20, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Funny how a tenuous judicidial decision is fought by tenuously constitutional laws. I think you are referring to the case in United States v. Lopez which deals with guns. However, that was a very simple case for the justices to decide given that they all adhered to well-defined ideologies regarding federalism. Gonzales v. Raich was a bit more subtle and so would this case be on commerce clause grounds. However, there would unquestionably be a majority which would uphold the Act on that basis. ~ Rollo44 04:19, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
  • I think it would have been very interesting had the respondents argued that the Act was unconstitutional for failing to satisfy the commerce clause. Uncompromising Thomas would have gone the other way, but there still would have been a majority upholding the Act on that basis so it would have been a waste of time. Scalia, Stevens, Breyer, Souter, and Ginsburg would have upheld it; but it's more difficult to say where Roberts, Alito, and Kennedy would have come down on the commerce clause issue. ~ Rollo44 04:07, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Additionally, the definition used in the heading is inaccurate. It currently reads: "Partial-birth abortion is defined in the law as: an abortion in which the person performing the abortion partially vaginally delivers a living fetus before killing the fetus and completing the delivery."

The true definition in the law - beginning Page 17, Line 9 reads: "(1) the term 'partial-birth abortion' means an abortion in which -

       (A) the person performing the abortion deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother for the purpose of performing and overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and...."

A more appropriate shortening of the definition would be: "Partial-birth abortion is defined in the law as: an abortion in which the person performing the abortion partially vaginally delivers a living fetus for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus."[edit]

This article uses the website as either a reference or a link. Please see the discussion on Wikipedia talk:Verifiability/ and Wikipedia:Verifiability/ as to whether Wikipedia should cite the website, jguk 14:09, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

If it does then it should also link the National Right to Life Council's PBA page. --Nerd42 (talk) 18:04, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Neutrality of this article[edit]

I find a few lines in this article that seem to try to lean the article to the government's side. It reads like a White House brief. For example, take a look at this line:

  • The PBA ban enjoyed the support of the American Medical Association and large majorities of the American public.

Large majorities of the American public? Who can neutraly and specifically say that the act was supported by large majorities? My main problem with that line will be the word majorities because no one can certaintly say if large majorites of americans support such act. It seems rather POVish to me.<<Coburn_Pharr>> 12:07, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I cut the passage in question (and the NPOV tag) for the moment. With regards to the public opinion, I found The Washington Times: "A January Gallup poll found 70 percent of Americans favored a federal ban of the procedure." With regards to the AMA, the stated policy is a little ambiguous, and I couldn't find any solid evidence that it officially supported the ban; the gist seems to be that the AMA prefers alternative methods, but hasn't gone as far as outright disapproval. Deltabeignet 22:25, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, whenever I have ever questioned a poll that was used on Wikipedia, I was told I was wrong and that the poll is proof. Yet in this situation, the poll is removed. Wikipedia clearly has an anti-human rights bias. 03:15, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Structure of this article nees work[edit]

Does it strike anyone else that chronology is the wrong way to organize this article? This isn't a timeline; it's an encyclopedia entry!

"Large Majorities"[edit]

The US is a Representative Democracy. That fact indicates that if a majority of our elected representatives vote in favor of a PBA, then by extension, a majority of the people are in favor of it. This is, of course, until such time that new representatives are elected and the law is either changed or amended to reverse the ban. Then the majority would be against it....

- --Drocque 02:02, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

What complete nonsense.Richard75 16:19, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

This is a nice example of why most present systems of parliamentary government are undemocratic. That is, they do not (necessarily) conform to the wishes of the people they govern. I find it very difficult to vote because every party has policies with which I disagree, and I don't want anyone claiming that they have my support because I voted for them. Time for government by referendum? The technology is there to support this (nearly).--King Hildebrand 15:36, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

And then whoever controls the technology controls the country? You'd have to make it open and transparent enough to allow the masses to see that it works fairly, and yet protected enough to prevent hacking. How would such a system work? Applejuicefool 17:55, 30 April 2007 (UTC)


Isn't it rather pointless having the entire content of the divisions posted here - especially without any linkies? If this information is really needed, could we prune this down to a list of Democrats who voted for, and Republicans who voted against? Morwen - Talk 17:15, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

  • It's important to show who supported this law, and who opposed it, that's what most people would like to know. How you make the divisions? By political party, by states, Democrats who voted for, Republicans who voted against, by gender, you name it. If you can see next to the names of every member, indicates the party affiliation(R,D or I) and their respective states. This way covers most information from Congressmen. I just finished writing all the names, making the links will be next, Morwen it'd be great if you could help doing that. Thanks a lot. --Cefaro 00:37, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Merge with Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1995[edit]

Seems to me that the text from the 1995 act could easily be included in the article on PBABA of 2003 -- maybe in a History section

I would support a merge, but perhaps we'd need to change the intro to say something like "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act refers to two different pieces of legislation introduced in the US Congrass, the first in 1995, and the second in 2003. etc"--Andrew c 04:24, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Is there a health exception?[edit]

The intro states that the bill "does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself." But the "Status of the law" part has several mention of there being no health exception. -- 06:02, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

I second this. It seems like the article contradicts itself in these sections. See, "Objections to this statute are primarily because there is no exemption if the health of a woman is at risk." VERSUS "Despite its finding that "partial-birth abortion… is… unnecessary to preserve the health of the mother", the statute includes the following provision: “ This subsection does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself."

I've edited the article to make it clearer, for example by adding some words at the end of this sentence: "Objections to this statute are primarily because there is no exemption if the health of a woman is at risk, unless the woman's life is threatened."Ferrylodge 09:20, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

There is an exception here it is from the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003

§1531. Partial-birth abortions prohibited (a) Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both. This subsection does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself. --Kylehamilton 00:57, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

So there is a life exception, but not a health exception, and this difference is considered to be significant.-Andrew c 01:41, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

The medical community and the term PBA[edit]

Recently, the following sentence was inserted or reinserted into the first paragraph: "The medical community does not recognize the term 'partial birth abortion' as an actual medical term or procedure." When I first spotted this reinsertion, it seemed like it warranted at least a footnote, since the "medical community" rarely has a single monolithic view about anything.

Upon further research, I really think that this quoted sentence should either be modified or removed, for several reasons. First of all, it's unclear whether or not this quoted sentence is referring to the word PBA as defined in the federal statute. The definition of PBA in the statute may provide specificity that was not previously provided in the Nebraska statute. The Solicitor General argued to the Supreme Court in November as follows: "[T]his statute, unlike the Nebraska statute, clearly uses an anatomical landmark approach that is based in the text of the statute and clearly distinguishes between the D&E procedure on one hand and the D&X procedure on the other hand." So, it's by no means certain that the entire medical community rejects the federal statutory definition. This is one of the issues in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart.

Additionally, even if the reinserted sentence is talking about PBA severed from its federal statutory definition, still there is some authority that at least part of the medical community recognizes it as a valid term. See Gynecologic, Obstetric, and Related Surgery, at 1043; Sprang & Neerhof, Rationale for Banning Abortions Late in Pregnancy, 280 JAMA 744 (Aug. 26, 1998); Bopp & Cook, Partial Birth Abortion: The Final Frontier of Abortion Jurisprudence, 14 Issues in Law and Medicine 3 (1998).

So, I think the reinserted sentence ought to be removed, or maybe it could be rephrased and put into the body of this Wikipedia article.Ferrylodge 06:20, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

List of Representives and Senators unneccesary[edit]

The vote counts are all that are needed; the actual list of representives and senators is severely breaking the flow of the article. Jon 20:08, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree.Ferrylodge 20:27, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I too agree. I think that having an overview of the course this law took through the courts is interesting though (and because not all of the cases were called Gonzales vs. Carhart, that isn't necessarily the first place a user may look). I have tried to summarize the history here, using text from the other article, and I expanded the other article with the old text from here (a little confusing, I know). I hope there isn't too much redundancy. Feel free to make it more concise, or we can discuss it's inclusion of editors disagree with its existence here. I also reverted a recent change to that section that expanded the section, used a non-neutral source, and blanked information concerning why the courts ruled the way they did. We can discuss that edit further as well. -Andrew c 23:23, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
There's further discussion of this topic at Talk:Gonzales_v._Carhart.Ferrylodge 01:05, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Very biased. How can I flag it for a neutrality check? 02:06, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Before flagging the article, why not discuss the details of your concerns here on talk. Cite examples of bias, and maybe even suggest improvements. The more specific your concerns, the better we are at helping address them. Thanks.-Andrew c 02:49, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

The roll call was reinserted into the article, and I removed it, because no explanation was given. The article provides links to the congressional roll call votes, so I don't see the need to include the whole list of Senators and Representatives in this article. I don't know of any other Wikipedia article about a statute, where the article includes the full roll call.Ferrylodge 02:05, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

As stated above, I agree. However, I wanted to point out that Iraq Resolution lists the complete roll call; Federal Marriage Amendment lists those who crossed party lines in the vote (just the first few I looked up. The Patriot Act, however, doesn't list anyone).-Andrew c 02:24, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
There's a List of United States federal legislation, and it's very unusual to include the full roll call. I'm not dead set against including it here, but I just want someone to explain why it's a good idea.Ferrylodge 02:32, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia differers in format from articles to articles. Personally the more information the better. The reader can easily scroll through a list if they don't want to read it. I can understand how the voting role may not have important in 100 years, but being a current event, I think a role call would be valid to some readers. My suggestion is to make it as condensed as possible and put it at the end of the article. But really I could go either wayMantion 07:39, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I've reinserted the roll call as a set of Appendices at the very end (after the footnotes and external links). That way, the flow of the article won't be interrupted. I hope this will be satisfactory.Ferrylodge 08:18, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
The legislative history itself isn't particularly current (there have been two elections since then), but this is a good compromise. Jon 21:18, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
The inclusion of the roll call interupts to the flow of the article even when place at the end. I don't see any precedent for "appendix sections" under Wikipedia:Guide to layout and I've never encountered one in an article before. Thus I'm going to move the roll call to List of votes for Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and link to it from the "See also" section here. -Severa (!!!) 22:38, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

As I said I could go either way, I don't think a separate page is needed, but see nothing wrong with it. I still think Wikipedia is in it's infancy and style, layout and formats are not set in stone. I have liked a lot of the changes that we have seen over time and I think when speaking of specific bills and policies, role call is maybe the most relevant information. I think going forward we don't need 2 pages about a bill, that seems silly. If the page is about a bill, then who made it a bill is very relevant. Maybe we should have a 3rd page for which president signs it into law, because he is part of the process as well. Oh and a 4th page for who authored it, and a 5th page for the various organizations that lobbied for and against the bill. Having appendices of relevant information at the end of an article doesn't interrupt flow. Mantion 23:28, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Creating an independent list to supplement an article, specifically when the list reaches a prohibitive length and doesn't contribute much in the way of informative content to the article, isn't without precedent. We have List of pregnancy-related topics for Pregnancy, List of twins for Twin, List of cheeses for Cheese, List of grape varieties for Wine, List of wars for War, and — excuse the pun — the list goes on. -Severa (!!!) 07:22, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Mantion. The list has been part of this article for a very long time, and there is no consensus to remove it. Other articles have similar lists. See Iraq Resolution. If the list remains in this article, then I favor making it into a nonstandard appendix that follows the standard appendices.Ferrylodge 07:30, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
There is no precedent in Wikipedia:Guide to layout for "nonstandard appendices." That's why there's a guide on how to format an article. The roll call at Iraq Resolution is integrated into the content of that article in a manner consistent with the MoS; it wasn't simply tacked onto the end of the article, after the "External links" section, with no mind to the MoS whatsoever. -Severa (!!!) 07:48, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
There is Wikipedia precedent for non-standard appendices. For example, Fracture_mechanics.Ferrylodge 08:14, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
That isn't the best comparison. The "Appendix" on Fracture mechanics is a section integrated in along with the other sections — not just tacked onto the very end. It contains informative content beyond just a list of names, including formulas, diagrams, and textual explanations. -Severa (!!!) 09:10, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

In creating List of votes for Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, Severa failed to note in the edit summary where it had come from. I agree with the view that only the counts are needed. I have sent the list to AfD. -- RHaworth 07:51, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

I did note where the roll call was being moved in an edit summary on this article and in a post on this Talk page. You'll have to excuse me for forgetting to cross the t's after dotting the i's.
The goal in creating an independent list was to balance the concerns of an editor who thought that the congressional vote results were too important to be removed from Wikipedia entirely against the concerns of others editors who thought that the information was unnecessary. It's kind of a "best of both worlds" solution — the list allows the information to be accessed on Wikipedia, but keeps the main article from being cluttered by an obtrusive list. But, if the AfD outcome is delete, then the list should not be reinserted into this article, and the similar list on Iraq Resolution should probably be removed too. If the congressional vote information isn't appropriate for an independent list under WP:NOT#IINFO, "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information," then it won't suddenly stop being "indiscriminate information" by being moved back here. -Severa (!!!) 08:53, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

WP:EL and NRLC[edit]

As I quoted in my edit summary, Try to avoid linking to multiple pages from the same website; instead, try to find an appropriate linking page within the site. There is a link to NRLC's "linking page" on the topic of PBA. And then there is a link to one specific article found on that linking page. There is no need for two links from the same cite (when we only have 5 external links to begin with), when the second link can easily be accessed from the first "linking page". Does CouldBeeWorse care to explain why we need 2 links from the same source (and one of the links can be accessed from the other), when the WP:EL guidelines suggest otherwise?-Andrew c 03:19, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

The Human Life Review is not an NRLC publication. Yes, the HLR article in question is one of at least 135 separate of documents relating to "partial-birth abortion" that are linked or archived on the NRLC's extensive archive on this issue. It is, as far as I can tell, the only one of those 135 documents that contains extensive verbatim quotes from the actual federal trials on the subject of the Wikipedia article, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, so I think the direct link is warranted. It would be theoretically possible for somebody who already knew exactly what they were looking for to reach a copy of the article via the NRLC archive, or via Google or other routes I suppose, but that does not make the link redundant here superfluous, because few if any would find or even know about the journal article without the direct link.CouldBeeWorse 03:57, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
All 3 of these cases are cited directly in the footnotes. Therefore the "extensive verbatim quotes from actual federal trials" are clearly available to readers. I see no reason to single out one pro-life analysis out of a group of 135. Again, because this file is hosted by NRLC, it is better to link to a broader links page, per the EL guidelines. -Andrew c 06:25, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree Nil Einne 10:58, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I can see CouldBeeWorses point. but I am not an expert on WP:EL Guidelines.Mantion 07:50, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Penalties for violation[edit]

The penalties are mentioned at the top of the article, but I feel the discussion of the penalties should be expanded, perhaps farther down in the article.

The penalties for this law are severe:
for the doctor, up to two years imprisonment and a fine
for the doctor, liability for civil prosecution, with trebel damages, and physical and psychological injury damages, with a wide variety of family members and guardians that can bring suit against the doctor.

There's currently no mention of the civil liabilities section in the article.

The law claims the procedures are permissible to save the life of the woman, but it seems to define this as, go ahead and perform the procedure, and you can then justify the facts of the case to your state medical review board.

There are no penalties for the woman, this also isn't mentioned. How best would an expanded penalties section fit into the article flow? Dbackeberg 14:23, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree that a penalty of violation section should be added somewhere on this is page on a law. In fact, I'd use recomending using much of the factual content in the above but without the commentary. As for placement, check other criminal law pages on the site and see if there's a normal place in these articles. Somewhere the article should also state all the exceptions listed in the text of the law itself. But there's no need to try to list what the law doesn't cover, there's an infinate list of things not in the law. Jon 21:36, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the penalties should be detailed. Therefore, I have inserted the following into the first paragraph of the article: "Under this law, 'Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.'" Not much else to say about penalties, is there?Ferrylodge 04:07, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

"The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not recognize the term "partial birth abortion".[6] The American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), a group within the ACOG, disagrees with the ACOG position on "partial birth abortion.""- This sentence is in the article, and while the information is useful, it would be nice if there was an expansion on this sentence. Explain ACOGs position and why AAPLOG doesn't agree with it. 03:44, 22 April 2007 (UTC) heather

Links are provided for details about the positions of both organizations. There are lots and lots and lots of other organizations that took positions on this legislation, and so I think we'd have to start mentioning them too, if we decide to put in more details about ACOG and AAPLOG.Ferrylodge 04:11, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Not a "Medical Term"?[edit]

Does the fact that partial-birth abortion is not a medical term merit inclusion? I mean, the pro-abortion crowd has been using this as a tactic for some time now, and the response to it is fairly well known. If the term "partial-birth abortion" is not to be used, since it's not a medical term, than the use of the phrase "heart attack" should be discontinued immediately, as it's definatly a "non-medical" term that is used much more frequently by the press than partial birth abortion. SpudHawg948 (talk) (UTC) 02:33, 20 April 2007

I am not sure who posted the above but I have to say no one can argue with his or her reasoning. I guess were done with that debate.Mantion 07:54, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
PMID 12294330, PMID 9673308, PMID 10404899. I don't see how a lawyer turned congressman can coin a medical term for a procedure that already existed years before PBA was first used. And we have sources that say PBA is not a medical term. I'll add them to the article if required. Compare "Partial birth abortion is not a medical term" with "Partial birth abortion is a medical term"-Andrew c 06:00, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Andrew c, what is the purpose of saying that this is not a medical term? The purpose is disparagement, is it not? The term appears in the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, so why do you insist on disparaging it? This article need not say that it is a medical term, and it need not say that it isn't a medical term. Why can't we take that middle ground?
The word "syringe" may be fancier than the word "needle" but does that mean we have to disparage the latter as a non-medical term every time we use it? The term "myocardial infarction" may be fancier than the term "heart attack" but does that mean we have to disparage the latter as a non-medical term every time we use it?
I don't know if it was a doctor, a lawyer, or a janitor who coined the term "syringe" or the term "bandaid" or the term "crutch" or the term "pill". It doesn't much matter, does it?Ferrylodge 06:09, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
See Organ123's comment over at talk:IDX. Saying "non-medical" is more neutral than Organ123's proposal. PBA isn't simply a lay-term for fancy medical jargon. It was a term coined for political framing, like "Death Tax". PBA simple isn't a neutral term like crutch, pill, needle. The term PBA is controversial, and by simply choosing to 'ignore' the controversy, we silently take sides in the issue. The term "Partial birth abortion" itself is used to disparage the medical procedure, so the issue is complex. By using a biased term, but qualifying it as non-medical, we touch on both sides of the debate. We don't go as far as to call the term "biased" or "illegitimated" or anything like that, simple "non-medical", and the term itself is presented. The issue is that PBA is not simply a neutral, lay term for a fancy worded medical procedure, and acting like it is ignores our sources and the history of the debate. Per NPOV, we should attribute and substantiate biased terms.-Andrew c 06:22, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Organ123's comment was on a different point. He said that the IDX article should note the political origin of the "partial-birth" phrasing, and I have no objection to what Organ123 said. I did not attempt to delete any of that historical material from the IDX article. But that doesn't mean the term "partial birth abortion" has to be disparaged as "non-medical." Yes, it had a non-medical origin, but that doesn't mean that it remains non-medical (which is just a euphemism for illegitimate), or that it has to be called non-medical even if it is non-medical. The terms "cocaine" and "suicide" are both stigmatized, but that doesn't mean our Wikipedia articles should attempt to de-stigmatize them by alleging that they are not "medical terms," regardless of whether we cite to drug-legalization or right-to-die sources that say they are not "medical terms".
The statement that "partial-birth abortion" is a "non-medical term" is a red herring (i.e. a classic form of propaganda). Yes, the term itself may have originated partly as an exercise in propaganda by some pro-life groups, but that does not justify counter-propaganda by a Wikipedia article. The term has been accepted by all three branches of the federal government, it appears in medical dictionaries, it is also in common use, and it was formulated to be somewhat descriptive. Why must Wikipedia adopt the pro-choice mantra that it is not a medical term?Ferrylodge 06:57, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
P.S. Especially when pro-life groups dispute that it's a non-medical term.[1]Ferrylodge 07:04, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
P.P.S. The term Intact dilation and extraction first appeared in ACOG literature in 1996. Pro-life groups contend that it was a contrived attempt to legitimize the partial birth abortion technique by wedding it to "D&E" (an ACOG-recognized procedure, a sort of legitimacy by association). Shall we therefore call Intact D&E a "non-medical term" wherever it is used at Wikipedia?Ferrylodge 07:18, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
If I came of having a short fuse on this issue, I apologize for that. This topic was discussed in depth a year ago, and the consensus reached was that the term PBA was POV and it was simply neutral to say it was a non-medical term. Please read Talk:Intact dilation and extraction/Archive 1, and I apologize in advance for how much space the debate took up. To me, this issue was already settled, so it is frustrating to have to go through it again because a new user wasn't here a year ago when the discussion took place. I'd ask you to read the archives, and consider respecting the consensus and moving on. If not, we can discuss this more, but I wouldn't feel comfortable removing a phrasing that was a result of a drawn out content dispute without establishing a new consensus. Thanks for your consideration.-Andrew c 17:22, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

(undent) :Andrew c, I've reviewed the PMIDs you cited. The three PMIDs ( PMID 12294330, PMID 9673308, PMID 10404899 ) you cite are from the 1900s. As for the first of the three, it's an article from "Reproductive Freedom News" (1998) and it does not list its authors, so it does not seem like a neutral or authoritative source. As for the second, the abstract of the New England Journal of Medicine (1998) article does not state whether PBA is a "medical term". And, regarding the third of the PMIDs (JAMA 1999), it says "neither the phrase 'late term' nor 'intact dilation' and evacuation is present or defined in any of the partial-birth abortion laws passed in 27 states or in the federal bill," so the author seems to be implying that "intact dilation" is a non-medical term (and no reference is made to the 2003 federal statute).

The term “partial-birth abortion” appears in the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary. The term had a non-medical origin, but that doesn't mean that it remains non-medical, or that it has to be called non-medical even if it is non-medical. The term appears in medical dictionaries. Why must Wikipedia adopt the pro-choice mantra that it is not a medical term, especially when pro-life groups dispute that it's a non-medical term?[2] We can include the pro-life etymology of the term without endorsing the view that it’s “non-medical.”

Please note that the term "intact dilation and extraction" first appeared in the literature of a pro-choice organization in 1996, and pro-life groups contend that it was a contrived attempt to legitimize the partial birth abortion technique by wedding it to a then-recognized procedure using a sort of legitimacy by association.

Wikipedia should adopt neither the pro-life nor the pro-choice mantra. Saying that PBA is a "non-medical term" is the pro-choice mantra. The article can say that pro-choice groups believe it is a non-medical term, but the article should not say (as it now does) that Wikipedia believes it is a non-medical term. Pro-life groups deny that PBA is a non-medical term. Wikipedia should not take sides[3], by saying that Wikipedia believes PBA is a "non-medical term". Not only do pro-life groups deny it, but also the term appears in medical dictionaries. And, it has no less of a political origin than IDX. All of this can be explained in the article (or not), without taking sides.

I have also reviewed the archives that you asked me to review. I do not understand your argument there: "if PBA is simply a synonymn for IDX, then there is no reason for this article to exist." In any event, even if PBA is a "non-medical term" (a highly contested point), there is no reason for Wikipedia to choose to draw attention to that. We don't draw attention to the non-medical nature of many terms (stroke, heart attack, et cetera). And just because a term had a politicized birth (pun intended), does not mean Wikipedia has to consider the term forever tainted.Ferrylodge 02:02, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

You are missing the point. PBA is not only a "non-medical" term, it is a biased and highly politicized phrase created SPECIFICALLY for the promotion of a political agenda. Anti-choice groups invented and use the PBA term to rally support for their cause (similarly, they describe the banned procedure(s) as "late term," which is also incorrect) because using the correct medical terminology would not be as politically expedient.
The term itself is propaganda. To not acknowledge this in an article violates Wikipedia's standards of NPOV. Viciouslies 02:59, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to change "non-medical" to "colloquial", if no one has any objection. This will avoid the pejorative connotations, as well as remove Wikipedia from one side of a controversy where we don't belong. Alternatively, I'd support just deleting the term "non-medical."Ferrylodge 02:52, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I object strongly. Why don't we instead change "non-medical" to "political?"Viciouslies 03:00, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
This is an article about a statute. There's another article about partial birth abortion that discusses the etymology of the term, and its medical aspects. I do not think we need to repeat everything that is in that article here in this article. As everyone knows, it's unusual when Congress passes a statute that does not contain politicized language, and this fact really need not be re-explained at every article that deals with a statute.
The pro-choice forces who call this term "non-medical" are in essence saying that the doofuses who use the term don't know what they're talking about, and that doctors who do know what they're talking about would never use such ignorant terminology. Those are the connotations of calling this term "non-medical" in this context. The fact is, whether the term is "non-medical" or not (whatever that means), it is defined precisely in the federal statute.
If pro-choice groups say it's "non-medical" and pro-life groups say they're wrong, can't Wikipedia simply report that disagreement, instead of saying that the pro-choice groups are right and the pro-life groups are wrong?
The lead sentence of this article currently says: "The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (Public Law 108-105, HR 760, S 3, 18 U.S. Code 1531)[1] (or "PBA Ban") is a United States law prohibiting a form of late-term abortion called intact dilation and extraction, or what the law defines as the non-medical term partial-birth abortion. Under this law...."
We could change it to this: "The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (Public Law 108-105, HR 760, S 3, 18 U.S. Code 1531)[1] (or 'PBA Ban') is a United States law prohibiting a form of late-term abortion called intact dilation and extraction, or what the law characterizes as partial-birth abortion. Pro-choice groups assert that 'partial birth abortion' is not a medical term, but pro-life groups disagree. In any event, under this law...."Ferrylodge 03:28, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
You keep asserting that this is a "disagreement" between pro-choice and anti-choice groups, as if it is a matter of opinion. It is not. It is a matter of fact. PBA is a political term, not a medical one. To say otherwise is to give weight to an argument that is factually false.
Anti-choice groups could also assert that the world is flat. But this would be incorrect, and should not be included in a Wikipedia article on the shape of the planet. Such is also the case here. Viciouslies 04:08, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
This is not a black and white issue analogous to whether the Earth is flat. The definition of a "medical term" is not 100% clear, and this is a matter of definition rather than a matter of fact. If the statute has a definition of PBA that is clear to doctors, then it's arguably a medical term. Even assuming that what you call the "anti-choice groups" are wrong about this, it's not necessary or helpful to identify lots of other words that are non-medical as such. This article should simply note the controversy about whether the term is "non-medical" or should be called "non-medical", and leave it at that, without taking sides.Ferrylodge 04:38, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
How is the definition of "medical term" unclear? A medical term is one used in the practice of medicine, by medical practicioners. Can you show me one medical text or medical school that teaches how to perform a "partial-birth abortion" procedure? Can you find a doctor or clinic that performs "partial-birth abortions" and refers to the procedure as such? There is simply no basis in fact or reality for calling PBA a "medical" term.
This "controversy" is simply a ruse on the part of anti-choice groups to confuse and obfuscate the truth. This IS a black and white issue. PBA is a political term, not a medical one. My counter-proposal is that we label it as such. Viciouslies 04:55, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
The procedure is now illegal, so it is not taught or practiced anywhere. It is not a legitimate medical technique anymore, even if it ever once was. So, in that sense, you're right that PBA is not a medical term. But by that same standard, neither would IDX be a medical term.
On the other hand, if the practice of medicine includes reading and abiding by the law, then the term "partial birth abortion" will be used in the medical profession. You can argue all you like about this, and your arguments may be correct, but they are still pro-choice arguments, and should be identified as such if they are included in this article.Ferrylodge 05:05, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

From the AMA PDF: "The term 'partial birth abortion' is not a medical term. The AMA will use the term "intact dilatation and extraction"(or intact D&X) to refer to a specific procedure comprised of the following elements: deliberate dilatation of the cervix, usually over a sequence of days; instrumental or manual conversion of the fetus to a footling breech; breech extraction of the body excepting the head; and partial evacuation of the intracranial contents of the fetus to effect vaginal delivery of a dead but otherwise intact fetus. This procedure is distinct from dilatation and evacuation (D&E) procedures more commonly used to induce abortion after the first trimester. Because 'partial birth abortion' is not a medical term it will not be used by the AMA."-Andrew c 17:16, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure why the phrasing in the lead was changed. I thought we had reached a happy medium. We do not use negative language that is associated with "non-medical", and instead used a less abrasive phrasing to get the same point across. The cited source does not say that the Act doesn't contain term X or Y, the cited source states While the 2003 Act does not specifically refer to any medically recognized procedure by name, the procedure that would most likely be affected is what is known as "dilation and extraction" or "intact dilation and evacuation," or simply "D&X.". The largest organization of MDs in the US, the AMA says "The term 'partial birth abortion' is not a medical term." and then the organization that makes up 90% of board certifies OBGYNs, the ACOG says "'partial-birth abortion' is not a medical term and is not recognized in the field of medicine." The changes gave undue weight to the so far unsourced, minority that PBA is a medical term.-Andrew c 21:21, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Andrew c, the editor "Mantion" objected again today to the language about PBA not being a medical term; he put his comment in a separate section below this section (that's what prompted my recent edit). I object to your statement that "The changes gave undue weight to the so far unsourced, minority that PBA is a medical term." On the contrary, according to the changes that I made, the article did NOT say that PBA is a medical term, nor that PBA isn't a medical term. Since this is a controversial matter, and since the meaning of a "medical term" is highly ambiguous, it would be better to just leave this whole controversy out of the article, and not say whether it is or isn't a medical term.
I would be interested to know what you think a "medical term" means. If one term is completely synonymous with another term, and the first term is a "medical term" then does that mean the second term is also a "medical term"? Can something be a "medical term" if it is accepted by one medical organization (e.g. the AMA) but rejected by another medical organization (e.g. ACOG)? Even if something is not a "medical term", what is the purpose of pointing out that fact? If you would clarify this matter by kindly responding to these questions, then it would help me to understand your position.
As far as your assertion that I have not “sourced” what I’ve said, that’s not true. As I’ve previously informed you, PBA is listed in medical dictionaries. Pro-life groups deny that it’s a non-medical term. The AMA cannot agree with the ACOG about a medical name for this procedure. The U.S. Supreme Court says that “The medical community has not reached unanimity on the appropriate name for this D&E variation.” The Supreme Court further says that PBA, as defined in the federal statute, “is not unconstitutionally vague on its face. It satisfies both requirements of the void-for-vagueness doctrine....[I]t provides doctors of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited, setting forth relatively clear guidelines as to prohibited conduct and providing objective criteria to evaluate whether a doctor has performed a prohibited procedure." A pro-life group representing thousands of ob-gyns says that the name preferred by ACOG (IDE) was selected as a contrived attempt to legitimize the abortion technique in question. Abortion provider Warren Hern said in 2003 that the term preferred by the AMA (IDX) has been the subject of "No peer-reviewed articles or case reports...." Additionally, the PBA term was coined at a time when no name for this procedure could be found in medical texts. All of these sources support the notion that this controversy about whether PBA is (or is not) a "medical term" can be left out of this article without diminishing the value of the article.Ferrylodge 21:58, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
P.S. Also, as I previously mentioned, PMID 10404899 says that the term "'intact dilation' and evacuation is [not] present or defined in any of the partial-birth abortion laws passed in 27 states or in the federal bill," so the author seems to be implying that the term preferred by ACOG is a non-medical term.Ferrylodge 22:34, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Your first source and second source are the same. Next, it's not "dictionaries" it's a single online dictionary which does not have a unique entry for PBA. And as I pointed out before, something being in a medical dictionary does not mean it is a medical term, i.e. heart attack, funny bone, etc. Based on this, it seems like MedlinePlus has changed their entry, I wonder why. Next, the Oxford Reference Online has a usage note for their entry on PBA "USAGE The term partial-birth abortion is used primarily in legislation and pro-life writing about this procedure. Pro-choice, scientific, and medical writing uses the term D&X, for dilation and extraction." and the OED states "partial birth abortion, abortion by the technique of dilation and extraction (originally and chiefly a term used by the anti-abortion movement in the U.S.)" The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 2004 notes that the term is "not in technical use".
The fact that the AMA and the ACOG use slightly different terms doesn't matter, because it is what they do NOT use: they explicitly state that PBA is NOT a medical term. The Supreme court case did not rule that PBA was a medical term, it ruled that the definition of PBA in the law was not overly vague like previous struck down laws. The fact of the matter is there isn't any medical controversy over this matter. The two largest and most relevant medical organizations have made there position clear, and we shouldn't hide there position because one pro-life activist used an online dictionary. The view of theses organizations are notable, and comparatively much more notable than these minor points you have mentioned, so I find your reasons for exclusion not compelling.
I personally believe we should clearly state that PBA is not a medical term (per the previous wikipedia consensus from a year ago), but I thought what we had reached, a similar wording found in the Harvard law journal, was an adequate compromise for this article. All I am saying is, it's clear what the leading relevant medical organizations say on this matter, and that their view is notable.-Andrew c 22:47, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Ok, here is a thought. Why not remove the sentence that says "The Act does not refer to any medical procedure by name, instead using the term "partial birth abortion" and replace it with "The term "partial-birth abortion" is not medically recognized by the American Medical Association, nor by the American College of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists." This way we attribute the claim. I even think we probably don't need the names of the associations, and we could move that to the footnote, but I have a feeling Ferrylodge may object to that :) So how does this proposal sound?-Andrew c 23:00, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Andrew c, ACOG was heavily involved in the Gonzales v. Carhart litigation, and they were opposed almost every step of the way by AAPLOG. Therefore, I don’t think it’s fair to view ACOG as a neutral party regarding whether PBA is a “medical term”, much less to cite ACOG while excluding AAPLOG.
Regarding the AMA, you suggest that we say that they don’t “medically recognize” the term PBA. That may be true, but so what? Does this mean the AMA will refuse to obey the statute, now that it’s been approved by SCOTUS? Does it mean that the AMA believes PBA is not synonymous with IDX? The import of the sentence you suggest is (like the current language) very opaque.
Assuming that IDX, IDE, or PBA is not viewed as a “medical term” by ACOG, AMA, or AAPLOG (whatever the phrase "medical term" means), what is the importance of mentioning that fact at Wikipedia? Also, can a term be a “medical term” without being “in technical use”, as Stedman’s puts it? I don’t know the answers to these questions, and so I don’t see why it’s worthwhile to say in this Wikipedia article whether or not PBA is a “medical term”.
I hope you will also keep in mind that the whole notion that IDX is a “medical term” is very controversial, in the sense that “medicine” is often understood as pertaining to the treatment of diseases and injuries. I don’t think Wikipedia should endorse the idea that IDX is used to treat any disease or injury. After all, the pro-life community hotly disputes that terminating pregnancy (especially late-term pregnancy) is treating a disease or injury.Ferrylodge 00:04, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I still do not find your arguments convincing. Regarding the AAPLOG vs. ACOG: 5% vs 90% does not mean each gets an equal say, per NPOV. I'm going to wait overnight and see if this discussion generates any more comments, then I think we should either go for a 3rd opinion or a RfC to discuss whether "non-medical" should be used to describe PBA, or whether we shouldn't mention anything at all, or whether we should use one of the in between wordings.-Andrew c 00:31, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
The article says what the statute calls it, says what the AMA calls it, and says what the ACOG calls it. That should be more than sufficient. Even if the AAPLOG did not exist, why is an assertion of ACOG considered neutral, when ACOG was an amicus on behalf of Carhart?Ferrylodge 00:37, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

(undent) Instead of the sentence in dispute, I've added the following at the end of the lead:

This should be at the end of the lead, because all this fuss about nomenclature would make the readers' eyes glaze over if it were in the first paragraph which already talks about nomenclature. Anyway, I could live with this paragraph, although I really don't think it's necessary. It's not clear what the AMA means when they say it's not a medical term, and that's why it's also necessary to explain that the Act indisputedly DOES regulate a medical procedure.Ferrylodge 01:10, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

[edit conflict]:::::::Why focus on the ACOG, when the AMA is larger, more notable, and not an amicus? I think it is more important to note these organizations' opinions on the terminology used in this act then to mention the terminology that these organizations have adapted themselves. The act IS called the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, not the Intact Dilation and Evacuation Ban Act. The only reason we have the information regarding what these organizations call the procedure is because you didn't like simply wikilinking to the article without mentioning the alleged naming controversy between the two organizations. All interesting stuff, but I find it not that important to include in the lead. Just a link to the article on the medical procedure (whatever you want to call it) would be fine by my. What is more important is what these notable medical organizations say about the terminology used in the title of the act. Namely that PBA is not a medical term. And now that I look, why was the background information on how the term was coined removed from the lead?-Andrew c 01:22, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Regarding your quoted text, I oppose adding that original research to the lead. It may be notable to mention the courts finding, but your wording is very misleading. You have little asides and commentary stuck all throughout. The two sentences are non-sequitor. Whether the court found the phrasing vague or not has no being on whether the term is a medically recognized term. -Andrew c 01:22, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Andrew c, I am having much difficulty understanding what you've said. Do you understand where I'm coming from, here? Saying that PBA is not a "medical term" is ambiguous. Readers may easily conclude that the AMA is saying that the Act is medically meaningless. What the AMA is saying I don't know exactly, but they most certainly are not claiming the Act is medically meaningless, and that needs to be explained in our Wikipedia article (if you want to insist on including the ambiguous assertion that PBA is not a "medical term"). I've asked you repeatedly in this discussion what you think it means to say that PBA is not a medical term, but you have steadfastly declined to respond.Ferrylodge 01:32, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I know how you get when you feel like people are ignoring you, however my personal definition of "medical term" is irrelevant because it is OR and not verifiable. We must go to our sources. ACOG says The Act purports to ban so-called "partial-birth abortions;" however, "partial-birth abortion" is not a medical term and is not recognized in the field of medicine. The Act defines "partial-birth abortion" in a way that encompasses a variation of dilatation and evacuation (D&E), the most common method of second-trimester abortion, in which the fetus remains intact as it is removed from the woman's uterus. The Act's definition also encompasses some D&E procedures in which the fetus is not removed intact. and ""The term 'partial-birth abortion' was purposely contrived to be inflammatory," while AMA says The term 'partial birth abortion' is not a medical term... Because 'partial birth abortion' is not a medical term it will not be used by the AMA. So what do we have? PBA is not a medical term. It does not necessarily equal any medical term (in the case of Carhart, the court ruled that it did, but in other cases, the courts have ruled that they are not equal). The field of medicine does not recognize the term PBA. The term was worded in a manner to purposely be inflammatory. I personally, having read this, have a basic understanding of what is meant when these organizations says the PBA is not a medical term. I apologize that you do not. Do you have any suggestions on how to rephrase this to make it more clear?-Andrew c 01:51, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Andrew c, all the AMA’s statement tells me is that a “medical term” is a term that the AMA is willing to use in its publications and statements. That’s it. Beyond that, the AMA is completely vague about what else it means (if anything) when it says that this term is not a “medical term.” The mere fact that the AMA prefers not to use a particular term in its publications does not seem like something that belongs in our lead, but I’m willing to keep it there if you want. The AMA also might not like using the term “boobs,” but that fact surely does not belong in the lead of our article about the human breast. If we stick to our sources, as you urge us to do, there is just not much content in the AMA’s statement.
I admit that there is more content in the ACOG statement. ACOG appears to be saying that PBA is not a medical term because “The Act's definition also encompasses some D&E procedures in which the fetus is not removed intact”. The ACOG’s amicus brief on behalf of Carhart likewise made this same argument that the Act is overbroad or vague, and the Supreme Court rejected that argument. As you know, the Supreme Court said that a straightforward reading of the Act only refers to the intact procedure.
So, basically, the way I see it, you are mentioning in the article a statement from the AMA that merely addresses the terms they prefer to use in their publications (without mentioning that that’s all they clearly meant), and a statement from the ACOG that was rejected by the Supreme Court (without mentioning that ACOG was deeply involved as an amicus on the losing side of this very argument about what PBA means).
Regarding the particular language that you have just inserted into the article, it is as follows:
While the term "partial-birth abortion" itself is not recognized as a medical term by the American Medical Association[2] and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists,[3] the Supreme Court found a straight forward reading of the Act outlaws a specific late-term abortion procedure sometimes referred to as intact D&E.[4] Under this law, "Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both."
I don’t think it’s appropriate to cite ACOG like this. They were on the losing side of the Carhart case, and their basis for saying that PBA is not a medical term was squarely rejected by SCOTUS. Your language does not provide this info, and I just think it’s inappropriate. Also, the language you rely on from ACOG predates the Carhart decision, so it’s impossible to know how ACOG’s position has been affected by the Carhart decision. I just don’t see why we can’t focus on the AMA here. The AMA wasn’t on one side or the other of the Carhart case, so there’s no need to explain in the article that the AMA was on one side or the other. And, since the cited source merely indicates that the AMA meant by a “non-medical term” that it’s not a term that they prefer to use in their publications, I would re-write your language. So I’ll edit what you wrote, and we’ll see what you think. (And I agree with you that this has gotten way out of hand.)Ferrylodge 02:33, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Public opinion on 2nd tri in lead[edit]

This was added a few months ago before the court decision was released, and before this article had all the attention, so it sat untouched for a couple months. It has been removed by a couple different editors, and I would like to discuss removing it here. I think it would be a good edition to have a section on public opinion regarding the PBA Ban. But it makes no sense to mention public opinion in the lead when we don't discuss it later in the article, and it makes no sense to discuss public opinion on a different issue. As noted in the rest of the paragraph, this law wasn't about all 2nd/3rd trimester abortions, but instead a specific procedure. The purpose of that sentence almost acts to editorialize, implying that perhaps the law should have banned all late term abortions. Also, it isn't acceptable to cite wikipedia. While it may seem like a hassle, we need to use the citations found on the linked to page instead of simply linking to the page. I propose removing the mention of public opinion on 2nd tri abortion from the lead, and if we every get a public opinion section that deals with PBA, perhaps mention it there (and mention public opinion regarding the Ban in the lead).-Andrew c 15:49, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I would be glad to include a cite about public opinion from the other article. However, I'd rather not spend time doing that if it's going to be deleted. I think the text is fine, because public opinion about second trimester abortion applies to partial birth abortion, which after all is a form of second trimester abortion.
As far as where in the article this info should go, note that the lead also includes info about penalties, whereas that is not detailed later in the article either. If there's significant miscellaneous info (such as a sentence about penalties) that does not require a separate section, then I don't see a problem with mentioning it in the lead.Ferrylodge 17:17, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that it's bias of inclusion and omission. One could just have easily said "While over 30 years of judicial precident supports the right of women to obtain a second trimester abortion, this act bans some such procedures." Why does one "factoid" get included here and another doesn't? Bias, pure and simple. Let's cut it. Viciouslies 20:38, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
P.S. I offer a friendly amendment to Andrew c's suggestion: If someone wants to create a section on public opinion regarding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, I would think that would make sense. Viciouslies 20:50, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I've inserted language in response to your suggestion about mentioning judicial precedent.Ferrylodge 21:20, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
In a completely biased way, and completely ignoring the request, made by both myself and Andrew c, that this NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE LEAD!!!
I'll fix your POV problem and leave the movement to a new section for another day. Viciouslies 01:51, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Here is a page with 2 sourced, but the latest info they have is from 2000, which is before the topic of this article even existed. Then there is this which has one poll from 06, and a few from 03.-Andrew c 15:06, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I'll see if I can put together a section on public opinion, when I get a chance. In the mean time, I'll leave the public opinion stuff out of the lead, as requested.Ferrylodge 18:28, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Factual Accuracy of First Graf[edit]

I have changed the first graf to be factually accurate. The previous version said that the PBA Act outlawed IDX. It did not. IDX is not found anywhere in the text of the Act. The law outlawed "partial-birth abortion" which is not a medical procedure. The graf is now accurate.Viciouslies 20:38, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

The article by Warren Hern to which you link says, "No peer-reviewed articles or case reports have ever been published describing anything such as 'partial-birth' abortion, 'Intact D&E' (for 'dilation and extraction'), or any of its synonyms." Therefore, why do you pretend that the latter are so much more "medical" than the former? An article in Slate from 2003 by someone who performs abortions is not an authoritative source anyway. Check out Ginsburg's dissent in the Carhart case, and see if you can find anything there about the alleged vagueness of this law.Ferrylodge 20:53, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Ferrylodge - by reverting my edits, you have reinserted information into the first graf which is factually inaccurate. The PBA Act does NOT outlaw "intact dilation and extraction." It outlaws "partial-birth abortion." Before reinserting any assertion that the PBA Act outlaws "intact dilation and extraction" please show me where, in the text of the act, the phrase "intact dilation and extraction" appears.

Second, you assert that "partial-birth abortion" is just as legitimate a medical term as "intact dilation and extraction." Here's a link to an abstract of an article, which appeared in a peer-reviewed medical journal, and defines the medical procedure known as intact dilation and extraction [4] Please show me an article in a peer-reviewed medical journal or medical text that defines the medical procedure known as partial-birth abortion. If you cannot, please stop asserting that it is a "medical term." Viciouslies 01:58, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I found a source in a Harvard Law journal that says directly what that article is getting at. I just wanted to note that this discussion has been spread out over two different talk pages, and that we may want to consider sticking to one place. It doesn't matter where. See Talk:Intact dilation and extraction.-Andrew c 02:08, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Viciouslies, is the following sentence correct? "Decades of judicial precedent support the right of women to obtain second trimester abortions without regard to the woman's reasons." If it's factually correct, then can we please leave it that way? Thanks. And I don't recall that I put anything into the article asserting that "partial-birth abortion" is a medical term. I've repeatedly said that there is no need for the article to say one way or the other.Ferrylodge 02:26, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

No, sorry, we can't. First, it DOESN'T BELONG IN THE LEAD!!! Second, this statement is also factually correct: "The Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act was championed largely by anti-choice elected officials and organizations who wish to overturn Roe v. Wade and outlaw abortion for any reason." Yet, it's completely biased and not very pertinent to the issue being discussed. The "without regard to the woman's reasons" coda is 100% weasel wording.
I'm taking it out until it can be inserted in a more appropriate place. And in NPOV language.Viciouslies 02:57, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Viciouslies, I really think it's important to let readers know up front that women get second trimester abortions for health reasons but also for other reasons. As you may know, health reasons only account for a very tiny fraction of second trimester abortions. Therefore, I hope you will not object to the following sentence at the end of the lede: "Health is one of several reasons why women get second trimester abortions." This is very relevant, it is very closely related to the sentence that precedes it, and it links to another very relevant Wikipedia page.Ferrylodge 03:20, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I'll see if I can put together a section on public opinion, when I get a chance. In the mean time, I'll leave the public opinion stuff out of the lead, as requested.Ferrylodge 04:33, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I do think that including information on why women get second trimester abortions - whether medically necessary or elective - is acceptible. I'm not sure if I think it needs to be in the lead, but before I rush to judgement, why don't you explain to me why you think it should be. My main concern is that this article is NOT about second trimester abortions. It's about a law. The law prohibits specific methods of abortion. These methods are sometimes used in the second trimester (more often, other methods are used). So the topic of second trimester abortions is somewhat removed from the topic of the article, making me unclear on why it needs to be discussed in the lead. But I'd like to hear why you think otherwise. Viciouslies 04:57, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
The lead already says that this law applies primarily to second trimester abortions. And the lead also says that objections to this statute are primarily because there is no health exemption. Adding twelve more words would clarify that health reasons are not always involved in such situations. As you can see from the linked material, women most often get abortions after 16 weeks because they simply were not aware they were pregnant or were not aware of the gestation (and then they may choose PBA for grieving purposes). Anyway, we're only talking about 12 words here, and I think they would really clarify the preceding sentence.Ferrylodge 05:39, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I think info on why women get 2nd trimester abortions would be much more at home in a section in the main abortion article than any place on this article which is about a law banning a specific type of an abortion. Jon 19:13, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the main article to describe why American women get abortions should be at abortion in the united states, and indeed there is a great deal of info on that topic in that article. All we should do here is very briefly refer to it, which is what this article now does.Ferrylodge 19:29, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Subject of article.[edit]

Am I confused. Isn't this article about a specific bill that passed? If the bill doesn't refer to a term, why include it. It also isn't a place to debate the reason for the people to get an abortion. Or when a women might get an abortion. The bill doesn't care the age of the fetus. I have nothing wrong with describing the procedure specifically banned in the bill but see no reason to include terms not relevant to the bill. I suggest we remove the different terms not used in the bill and explain the actual procedure that is banned. Diagrams might be useful in the description of the act made illegal. This article is about the Bill that became law, not the procedure or why it might be done.Mantion 03:41, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Mantion, the procedure is described in detail at intact dilation and extraction, which is the main reason why I think it's okay to mention that term (IDX) here in this article, and to not include more detailed descriptions of the procedure here in this article. Also, I don't see any problem with giving a little bit of background, such as including a mere single sentence regarding why a woman would get such an abortion (with wikilinks for people who are interested).
Your comment suggests that this article should "explain the actual procedure that is banned. Diagrams might be useful in the description of the act made illegal." But then you add, "This article is about the Bill that became law, not the procedure...." This seems a bit contradictory. Anyway, I have no problem the way the article now briefly describes the procedure, and refers people to intact dilation and extraction for more details.
This article is certainly not as I would have written it. However, some people were very insistent on mentioning that PBA is not a "medical term" (whatever that means). Therefore, I thought it would be useful to point out that not even the medical people (i.e. AMA and ACOG) can agree on a name for it. I know this is kind of tangential, but that's how these things sometimes go. The most important thing is to have all essential info in this article, and it doesn't really matter if there's a little surplus stuff too, IMHO.Ferrylodge 03:56, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
This article is about a law not a medical procedure. The term PBA is now a legal term. PBA is also a valid medical term as it appears in medical dictionaries. If people say it isn't a medical term, they are wrong. People are wrong a lot. Simply remove the incorrect content and move on. Additionally PBA is a common term that the average reader is familiar with. I have nothing against defining the procedure in the view of the law itself. We don't need to go into specific medical terms which only confuse the average reader and distract from the subject of the article.
Additionally, I have to insist that the voting roll be returned to the article. After further thought it is a critical part of an article dealing with a law. It should have it's own section and not be as an appendix. Going forward all articles pertaining to bill should include the voting roll as standard practice. Laws are created by men and women. Just like paintings are created artist. If there were a large mural which 100 people equally participated in, then all 100 people should be included in the article (if they wanted to be).
I think an article about a laws should include a description of what is illegal, an exact quote of what is illegal, penalties for breaking the law, who made it law (roll call and who ratified it), when it was made law, and any significant actions that effected the law directly. If needed it should explain things not known to the common reader. It should have summaries that the common reader can understand. It should include pictures, graphs, diagrams or examples that best explain the laws. It should include background of the law but not necessarily in the Lead. It should also contain opposition to the law in a specific section with possible rebuttals if logical. This isn't about a moral debate, it is about an illegal act. Speeding is illegal, we don't need to list possible reasons why people speed, nor do we need to use complex scientific terms that aren't included in the law.Mantion 08:37, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the roll call, please see here. It looks like the separate Wikipedia article containing the roll call is going to be deleted. From the looks of it, most people think that the roll call shouldn't even be in this article, though I don't feel strongly either way. Your mural analogy doesn't quite work. If this were an article about a referendum, we wouldn't list the names of all the citizens who voted for the referendum; we'd only list the authors of the referendum.
Regarding whether this is a medical term, I think the best approach is for the article to not say whether it is or it isn't, so as to put that controversy to rest. Also, regarding speeding, it's common knowledge why people speed: because they want to get to their destination sooner. It is not common knowledge why people would get a second trimester abortion, or why they would choose this particular technique. If you follow the links regarding reasons, you'll see that health concerns are very rarely the reason.Ferrylodge 13:12, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Too me this naming controversy is "you say toh-may-to, I say ta-mah-to". Jon 13:46, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Expansion of "Defined by Law" Section[edit]

The section on the federal legal definition has just been considerably expanded. This section now includes etymological and definitional material that is not directly related to the federal statute.

These etymological and definitional issues are already covered in the article on Intact dilation and extraction; if there's a need to include some or all of that stuff here in this article, then it could just be copied, instead of starting this whole controversy from square one. Can't we just keep this controversy at one article, instead of having some kind of Content Forking here?Ferrylodge 22:17, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm a little confused. I came to talk to see what you had to say before I looked at your changed. I read this and thought "yeah, I guess we don't need to go into that much detail about what happened before the PBA Ban Act. I just think it's important to mention that PBA has multiple legal definitions". So then I went to check out your changes, and you kept all of the stuff dealing with pre-PBA Ban Act legislation, but deleted the criticisms of the actual act in question. I can understand removing things that are off topic (i.e. pre-2003), but removing one of the reasons why the plaintiffs sued to try and get the Ban Act ruled unconstitutional makes no sense to me. And I also see that you removed that the AMA and the ACOG do not consider PBA to be a medical term. The version before my changes made reference to the ACOG view. So why were they removed now, but not before?-Andrew c 23:03, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
The version before your changes did not say anything about the AMA or ACOG not believing that PBA is a "medical term." I think this whole controversy about what the AMA and ACOG think (or thought) is treated well and fully at the article on Intact dilation and extraction.Ferrylodge 03:22, 4 May 2007 (UTC)


An anonymous person recently deleted some info about reasons for late abortions. The edit summary said: "I deleted the explanation of reasons why women would have this procedure, as it is NEVER done out of convenience or due to not wanting a child, and to imply otherwise is inflammatory." The deleted material is as follows:

There are two wikilinks here, and there has been no assertion that either one of them contains inaccurate or irrelevant information. Both of these wikilinks seem to contain accurate and relevant information. Therefore, I'll revert the edit, and would encourage further discussion and explanation.Ferrylodge 01:18, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

"Effect" section is now "Clinical response" section[edit]

I have changed the title of the last section from "Effect" to the more meaningful title "Clinical response". The section describes the response to the PBA Ban by clinicians, who now induce fetal demise before beginning any late-term abortion procedure in order to avoid violating the ban, which only bans the procedure if it is done on LIVING fetuses. I have also updated the section with more info on how fetal demise is induced, and with a reference to a medical review article on the subject. Goblinshark17 (talk) 07:56, 2 October 2014 (UTC)