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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
February 21, 2015 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Delisted good article
This article has been mentioned by a media organization:
Archive Index
Topical subpages

Notable precedents in discussion

Conflicting statistics interpretation on miscarriage[edit]

The rate of spontaneous abortion in this page says "Only 30% to 50% of conceptions progress past the first trimester." Meanwhile, on the miscarriage page, the rate of MISCARRIAGE is 30%-50% (section Epidemiology). This seems likely to be a misinterpretation on one of the two pages. Can anyone clear this up? (talk) 18:22, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Abortion. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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YesY Archived sources have been checked to be working

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 08:05, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Paper Abortion[edit]

There is a new Wikipedia article about Paper Abortion. Paper Abortion is about giving men the right to not refuse to become a father in the period of time, where women can have an abortion. It is highly debated and some countries (Sweden/Denmark) think of legalizing it. PS! It's not about giving men the right to force women to have an abortion or not. It is about giving men the right, as women have, to not become a parent. The women's right to her own body is not touched. I think you maybe could link to it? Or tell me which article it should be linked from? --Momo Monitor (talk) 00:37, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

No, never. A "paper abortion" has absolutely nothing to do with an abortion. I've taken a look at the article that you just created, and I think that it should be deleted. I'm very troubled that the Aftonbladet article that you cited specifically said that a subgroup of LUF had proposed the measure, but the claim that you made in the article was that LUF supported it. LUF does not support it, and the Aftonbladet article made that clear.
That is the only source that I checked, just because I noticed that it was Swedish-language and thought that was strange. I'm concerned that if I were to check additional sources I would find additional stretching of the truth. However, even if I didn't, I don't think that the material should be covered under the name "paper abortion." Not least because what you are discussing -- disavowing paternal rights and responsibilities during pregnancy -- has nothing to do with abortion. Abortion is not an alternative to parenthood, it is an alternative to pregnancy. If the material that you want to discuss ultimately finds an article (which, I sincerely hope, will be under another name), it might perhaps be appropriately linked to from articles like child support and deadbeat parent. Triacylglyceride (talk) 04:27, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

Moved to history of abortion[edit]

Have moved this template[1] as IMO it is undue weight here. Others thoughts? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:11, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

Primary source[edit]

Have moved this here as it is a primary source "A 2004 study estimated that modest abortion restrictions reduced the abortion rate by about 25%, and found no evidence that maternal mortality increased as a result of these restrictions.[1]"

We should be using recent secondary sources per WP:RS. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:18, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Is it your contention that there are no other "primary sources" currently used in this "Abortion" article Doc James? No other research-presenting articles from scholarly journals?? Motsebboh (talk) 04:18, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
My position is that we should be using high quality secondary sources. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:29, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
That doesn't answer the question I asked.
Studies aren't primary sources. Raw data is a primary source. Studies are secondary, and generally reliable unless thoroughly discredited by peer scholars. Given that this is in a University of Chicago Law School scholarly journal, I'd say that it's fine unless anyone can dig up some convincing, non-WP:FRINGE, widely accepted sources to debunk it. Jujutsuan (Please notify with {{re}} talk | contribs) 04:39, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
It's a primary source from a non-peer reviewed journal. Per WP:RS we should be using secondary sources. — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 10:17, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Where's the evidence that it is a non-peer reviewed journal, ArtifexMayhem? I'm under the impression that such articles in faculty-produced law review articles are routinely peer-reviewed.
The article in question is substantially cited in other academic works. Research-presenting articles from academic journals abound as sources in Wikipedia. Additionally, the wording in our article presents it as someone's finding, not as absolute fact. Motsebboh (talk) 15:58, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Which academic work cites it? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:03, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
From a Google search: [2] Motsebboh (talk) 20:57, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Okay looked through it and found a good secondary source by WHO [3]
This summarizes the evidence as "Whether abortion is legally restricted or not, the likelihood that a woman will have an abortion for an unintended pregnancy is about the same. Legal restrictions on abortion do not result in fewer abortions, nor do they result in significant increases in birth rates (4,5 ). However, a lack of legal access to abortion services is likely to increase the number of women seeking illegal and unsafe abortions, leading to increased morbidity and mortality (6–9 ). " Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:28, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
The fact that it is "substantially cited" means nothing, it may just as well be cited a lot because it is bad that people are refuting it. Wikipedia does not use primary sources for controversial statements, and this is most assuredly a primary source. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 16:45, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

We specifically do not use primary sources (let alone old primary sources) to refute secondary source per WP:MEDRS. This statement is supported by multiple secondary sources "Countries with restrictive abortion laws have significantly higher rates of unsafe abortion (and similar overall abortion rates) compared to those where abortion is legal and available.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]" Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:30, 19 July 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Levine, Phillip B. (2004). "Abortion Policy and Fertility Outcomes: The Eastern European Experience". Journal of Law and Economics 47 (1): 240. Our estimates indicate that modest restrictions on abortion access reduced abortions by about 25 percent and pregnancies by about 10 to 25 percent. Moreover, we find no evidence of a rise in maternal mortality associated with these modest restrictions, which suggests that this decline in pregnancy was not offset by any substantial rise in illegal abortions. 
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference OBGY09 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference Sedgh_2012 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference berer-who was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Sedgh G, Henshaw S, Singh S, Ahman E, Shah IH (2007). "Induced abortion: estimated rates and trends worldwide". Lancet 370 (9595): 1338–45. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61575-X. PMID 17933648. 
  6. ^ "Unsafe abortion: Global and regional estimates of the incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality in 2003" (PDF). World Health Organization. 2007. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 February 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Berer M (November 2004). "National laws and unsafe abortion: the parameters of change". Reprod Health Matters 12 (24 Suppl): 1–8. doi:10.1016/S0968-8080(04)24024-1. PMID 15938152. 
  8. ^ Culwell, Kelly R.; Hurwitz, Manuelle (May 2013). "Addressing barriers to safe abortion". International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 121: S16–S19. doi:10.1016/j.ijgo.2013.02.003. 

"A reason for suicide"[edit]

Recently Doc James added this sentence to the end of the "Mental health" subsection of the article "Not having access to abortion is a reason for suicide among those who do not want to be pregnant." [4]. From what I can gather this edit is based on a single sentence from the source here [5] : "Maternal suicides are known to happen in the context of undesired pregnancy, inability to access abortion, and postpartum depression." The problem is that this statement does not represent a formal finding from the study. Rather, it is a parenthetical; part of an explanation of the difficulties in quantifying maternal deaths. The authors say that deaths under these circumstances sometimes are, and sometimes are not, classified as maternal deaths. They never assert, much less demonstrate, that "not having access to abortion" is a significant cause of suicide. Thus I am removing the edit in question from the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Motsebboh (talkcontribs) 06:34, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

I concur. Jujutsuan (Please notify with {{re}} talk | contribs) 07:19, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
It is based on a high quality review from the Lancet. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:56, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
It exaggerates the claim the source makes. "Happening in the context of..." does not make "undesired pregnancy" a reason. The source only stated correlation; it did not claim causation. Jujutsuan (Please notify with {{re}} talk | contribs) 00:09, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
And we have "This is consistent with other reports that increasingly young people resort to unsafe abortion or even commit suicide because of unwanted pregnancy"[6] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:38, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
From what I gather this wasn't cited in the article before the claim was removed. However, the original studies that drew that conclusion should be cited if available, to avoid the possibility of the study that mentions them misinterpreting their results. Jujutsuan (Please notify with {{re}} talk | contribs) 01:42, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
James is correct here, this is a valid source for the statement and also highly relevant to the article. If you have concerns with the specific paraphrasing you can lift that, but it needs to be paraphrased, we can't use the same wording as the review article. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 01:56, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
@CFCF: Sorry, but a shift from correlation to causation is entirely unacceptable as a "paraphrase"—it's dishonest. Jujutsuan (Please notify with {{re}} talk | contribs) 02:13, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Doc James: Regarding your "This is consistent with other reports . . . " quotation -- this comes, of course, from an interview with Namibia's Minister of Health and is therefore anecdotal. You've presented no reliably sourced evidence that lack of access to legal abortion causes a notable number of suicides. A "pro-life" advocate could just as easily claim that remorse following abortion was a cause of suicide. Actually, I suppose, more easily [7] Motsebboh (talk) 02:49, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

We do not play peer-reviewer to academic sources. A review in the Lancet is a MEDRS, and meets requirements of WP:V. Lifenews is not MEDRS and the parallel is a poor one at best. EvergreenFir (talk) 03:02, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Have you been following the discussion thread here?? Jujutsuan and I are not saying that Lancet is an unreliable source. We are saying that Lancet does not support what Doc James claims it supports. Saying that suicides have been known to occur in the context of lost tennis matches is not the same as saying that lost tennis matches are a significant cause of suicide. Motsebboh (talk) 03:20, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
And by the way, unless lack of access to legal abortion can be shown to be a significant cause of suicide it should not be mentioned at all. Otherwise editors are really engaging in pro-choice polemics -- putting as much material into the article as possible that might bolster the "pro-choice" case and leaving out as much material as possible that might bolster the "pro-life" case. In the instance under discussion, Doc James cherry picked one sentence from a lengthy article and then used it improperly. Motsebboh (talk) 03:33, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I read a little slower this time. I was more replying to your critique of the source. The jiasociety source seems good and does explicitly support Doc James' edit. You appear to be arguing that the edit is WP:UNDUE though... that it's not a commonly discussed effect of abortion restrictions. So we'd need to establish that suicide something that sources regarding effects of abortion or restrictions thereof talk about in some significant way. (Am I summarizing your position correctly?) Regarding polemics and political positions, I imagine most of us here has a position, but I don't want to assume that the intent of the edit here or those discussed in other sections is meant to further a particular political agenda (i.e., I'm trying to AGF). So let's see if we can find more secondary MEDRS that support this statement. If not, exclude it. If so, include it with additional sources. EvergreenFir (talk) 03:49, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
I think we're on the right track now. In the meantime, can we please get rid of the sentence until/unless a good source comes up and we can all agree on it? Jujutsuan (Please notify with {{re}} talk | contribs) 03:51, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Okay. I've removed it as I agree the Lancet piece does not adequately support the statement. For the record, the removed material can be found in this edit. EvergreenFir (talk) 03:59, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Not finding much, but what I found is:
Again, not my area of expertise. EvergreenFir (talk) 04:11, 22 July 2016 (UTC)