Talk:Abortion/Archive 25

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Archive 20 Archive 23 Archive 24 Archive 25 Archive 26 Archive 27 Archive 30


Nightline did a feature on Wikipedia on the night of 12 Sept. 2006. I have not been able to access the transcript from the second half of the report (curse LexisNexis's incompleteness!), but I have been told this page--the Talk:Abortion page, not the main article--was featured on the program. I do not know the length, detail, or context. If anyone has more information, that would be appreciated. Also, is there a template that goes with that? --BCSWowbagger 05:09, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

There is {{High-traffic}} for linking from an Internet site, and {{Notable Citation}}, for an article being used as a cite in published media, but SFAIK there is not one for media mention. KillerChihuahua?!? 09:53, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Hippocratic Oath

History of Abortion Section

Why is there no mention of...

The Hippocratic Oath

'Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion'

Surely if there is mention of a 2nd century Greek...

Soranus, a 2nd century Greek physician, suggested in his work Gynecology that women wishing to abort their pregnancies should engage in violent exercise, energetic jumping...

there should be some reference to Hippocraties 4th century Oath to not provide the means for an abortion

Soranus is obsecure but everyone has heard of Hippocraties and therefore I beleive that a reference to him is just as important if only for a sentence, look how much extra attention is given to its primitive application vs. regulation

I would suggest that the history of Abortion is both its application as well as its regulation. Lets be fair.

Hipprocrates deserves at least a sentence. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Redibaby (talkcontribs).

No time to respond to anything tonight, but moved this from the top of the page where it was unheadlined and just sorta there to its own personal section. And added the unsigned template. --BCSWowbagger 06:14, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Adding a mention of the Hippocratic Oath to the history section would be fine with me. Does anyone else object to it?
Mkaksone 18:45, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

... the History of abortion article mentions hippocrates and soranus in the same paragraph, but only soranus is included in the summary in main abortion article. it does seem that hippocrates could be included in summary as well as soranus. Cindery 18:54, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

This is my first edit, so excuse the fact that I did not sign off the first time and that I put my requested edit at the top.
I came to this page by way of Hipprocrates Oath and was suprised to see that he did not make the summary page. While the Hipprocrates Oath page is not so bold to say that Hipprocrates himself had writted the oath himself and leaves the possiablity that his students may have written it, I was supprised to see on the history page that he, without any question advised women how to self abort.
Lastely while in the history section, a long description of the methods may be warranted I do not see how such a long descriptin is need in the summary section. I have deleted that section my example above.
Again thanks for the patience on my first edit request, it seems like this may be an interesting hobby.--Redibaby 04:16, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
NP, Redibaby. You're following process; this is good. Really good. I just followed the Be Bold policy and added Hippocrates to the section. But, for the first time, I actually went and read the mainarticle, History of abortion, and it is my opinion, that, given the huge span of abortion history, the current section gives undue weight to the practices of Ancient Greece, going into far too much detail on Soranus (whose article also needs *serious* work, BTW) and using up all the space that should be dedicated to the events between the second century A.D. and the eighteenth century A.D. --BCSWowbagger 04:52, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

There was someone on the History page that suggested that we should perhaps use a time line approach. After reading in a little more in depth about Hippocrates there seems to be not much advancement of the next 1000 years in Europe, according at least to the Hippocrates section. Secondly on the History page there seems to be an attempt to negate his opposition to abortion present in the oath with the claim that he gave advice on how to induce a miscarriage. I don't know the reference material used but everything I read about Hippocrates seems to be first an oral history for two hundred years after his death and then only very foggy. Could it be that since he was famous for understanding disease and illness that he may have describe how a miscarriage could occur? I really don't know it just seems to contradict the position well known in the oath.--Redibaby 18:49, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

The Hippocratic Oath was discussed here in June (see Archive 22, "Hippocratic Oath"). The current "History of abortion" summary section of this article predates the creation of the History of abortion article. Most of the information in that article, as such, was the product of research and edits done after the top-tier summary had been written. -Severa (!!!) 23:55, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Ok I pulled your take from Archive 22 and pasted it here...

(Reset indent) The part of the Hippocratic oath which relates to abortion, "Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion," is open to interpretation as either a sweeping ban on all forms of abortion or merely those induced by pessary. As noted at History of abortion, Hippocrates recommended a questionable method for inducing abortion — jumping up and down — to a woman on one occasion, and also gave an account of performing a surgical procedure in documents attributed to him. I think these are facts which would be worth mentioning if we were to discuss the Hippocratic Oath in such a context. -Severa (!!!) 18:03, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Again perhaps I am ignorant but I have been doing a little research on Hippocrates, "The father of Medicine" and his main code was 'do no harm' and that was the purpose of the oath. It goes against reason that he would object to one type of abortion and not another. If the insertion of a pessary was doing harm then certainly an operation would as well. As for the description of a surgical procedue, one could use that procudure to remove a dead fetus. Naturally I could be wrong, and again there is even some doubt that he wrote the oath himself, but I beleive that the stronger argument was that he was against abortion as a pratice, the reason being that is was doing a harm. That is how the oath was interperted untill it was recently altered to fit our times. It was not altered to increase the use of pessaries. Everything changes but the oath was without changes for two thousand plus years and as we changed we had to alter the oath to fit our concept of what 'doing harm' means.

As far as referencing the History of Abortion page I question that resources used as I noted above. It is without question valid (and very little about 400 BC is clear) and fit for a summary put it in, if not leave it out. What would a definition of the Oath looked like, abart from one formed in the last 50 of the past 2300 years.

Hippocrates should be highlighted with a link back to Hippocrates Oath, via the way I found this page in the first place.

Secondly I agian like the idea of a timeline and I would suggest that we include the first country to make abortion legal, the Soviet Union in 1920.

Thank you for considering these edits...--Redibaby 01:01, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

npov fix

I have changed the intro to more accurately reflect god's reality. Freedom of SCREEECH 04:53, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Alas, Wikipedia is not a religious advocate, so you idea of God's reality is not the only one that needs to be reflected in this article. That's not neutral at all, really. LeaHazel : talk : contribs 17:00, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Abortion in Japan

I've heard, but haven't looked into, that on average, every woman in Japan has an abortion in their lifetime, and that there are relatively few restrictions, but there are restrictions on contraception. Anybody want to look into this? Could be interesting. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 18:36, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

On the entry text

"An abortion is the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in, or caused by, its death. This can occur spontaneously as a miscarriage, or be artificially induced through chemical, surgical or other means. Commonly, "abortion" refers to an induced procedure at any point in the pregnancy; medically, it is defined as a miscarriage or induced termination before twenty weeks gestation, which is considered nonviable."

The bolded part has been removed. I have no problem with that (though it does vague it up a little), but I have a feeling the current text has been through a lot of arbitration and consensus. Should I revert or leave be? -Umdunno 04:04, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

You would be correct. I'm pretty sure that the only issue more bitterly arbitrated, discussed, and argued over than the first paragraph (in the long-term) would be the issue of "graphic images" of abortion. The "death" issue has been settled several times even in the short time I've been a Wikipedian. Reverting now. --BCSWowbagger 06:50, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
The removal of the simple biological fact of death is POV pushing, as repeated several times. A whole range of editors of the differents POVs in the matter have come to the agreement to retain this in this form. Str1977 (smile back) 11:52, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Since the undiscussed edit warring over this has hardly stopped, despite several mentions of consensus, I slapped a generic template on top. Shouldn't be too intrusive, but hopefully it'll be enough to force editors over to the Talk page. --BCSWowbagger 18:30, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Let's hope so. Str1977 (smile back) 18:52, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
I feel strongly that the current warning violates self-reference and no-disclaimer templates. These sort of stuff does not need to be in the main article space, because it doesn't effect someone researching abortion, and therefore isn't encyclopedic content. Its only audience is wikipedia editors. Therefore, I would propose leaving the text where it is, but commenting it out, similar to the warnings hidden in the code over at Jesus. Comments? (p.s. I still feel strongly that death is POV, isn't representative of medical definitions, and prefered my two definition solution that covered two perspectives)--Andrew c 15:36, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Andrew, I think so too. It is unencyclopedic. But maybe it will for the moment push those away that want to wreck the intro and do not know or care about the invisible template. The warning should be then removed.
And no, Andrew, "death" is just the mere biological fact on which all further debates, regardless of which side one is on, is based. Leaving it out would be the ultimate POV pushing. Str1977 (smile back) 16:03, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Long rant taken to the subpage.--Andrew c 17:28, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
I'll do the arguing about the issue on the subpage, but, as for the template: Actually, that message *is* commented out and hidden in the source text, and has been for as long as I can remember. Since it obviously wasn't having an effect, I just wrote a template with the exact same text and made it visible. I think we should be able to remove it by the end of the day, but I believe posting it was a good move. Just as cleanup tags and merger proposals often get posted in article space, putting an edit warning can, in some cases, be completely justified. At least, *I* think so.  ;) --BCSWowbagger 20:04, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
PLONKED the template, the note does have an effect since the lead has been fairly stable all things considered. Further, anyone who edits the intro despite the disclaimer can be reverted in quick measure. I should also mention I despise Cleanup tags in the article space, as I feel they are overused and left way too long. (merge proposals are by definition temporary) I've only implemented one Cleanup tag this year, and that's because of the recent mess at Courier. (anyone is invited to help out there rather than rehashing this intro) For some reason I can't bring myself to get started on it. - RoyBoy 800 06:11, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Overall, this a very well-tempered article. Concerning the word "death" as relating to a fetus, I would leave the article as it currently stands (with the word included) so as not to interject a pro-choice bias into the otherwise balanced tone of the article. Fetal death is the medical standard, used universally, in nearly ever textbook, including those that provide instructions on how to perform surgical abortions. Technically, cellular arrest in any type of organic tissue is defined as "death", e.g. "death of bone tissue", "cardiac death", or "death of a tree". Death of a fetus, desserves no special exemption. "Intrauterine Fetal Death Syndrome" is actually the medicolegal term for diagnosis, documentation and billing purposes in the event of a miscarriage. While it is undertsandble that some individuals take issue with the term, perhaps because the word death complicates metaphysical arguuments relating to abortion, fetal death is simply death of fetal tissue, and is not a commentary, one way another, about the "personhood", "life", or "rights" of the fetus etc.... Reference Appleton&Lange "Gynecology" or any seminole OB/GYN medical textbook to see the term's wide use in medical literature. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 09:55, 10 October 2006 (UTC)


"There are many reasons for abortion. Most of these include one night stands or alien abductions. YES PEOPLE THERE ARE ALIENS!! one person that wishes that abortion was around roughly 14.8 years ago is Ashley Bolger-Heys mother," wtf? So whoever '' is, I'll be taking that little bit off. -- Kerowren 20:54, 10 October 2006 (EST) (wtf is UTC? lol) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kerowren (talkcontribs) 18:02, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I take offense to this, as I am a native of the planet Neptune and we have the lowest incidence of rape in the whole galaxy.

Resonanteye 10:34, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Looks like I'll have to move some of this to BJAODN... user:orngjce223how am I typing? 18:10, 2 December 2006 (UTC)


i want this format of box e.g talk about box to be included in othere article boxes such as Radio Pakistan article.will anyody help me there.Yousaf465

To which "talk about" box are you referring? Please describe the template or its location in this article. Thanks. -Severa (!!!) 10:22, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
:the first box on the top right Yousaf465

pictures of abortion

Why aren't there any pictures of the aborted babies here? It really seems that wikipedia is whitewashing this issue. In the very least we should acknowledge what abortion is and what it does to an unborn child. Whirling Sands 22:05, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

I've never participated in the picture debate, but i'm fairly certain its occured several times, basically ending with "Adding them would be POV no matter what" as far as I could tell. (though, if you want to be technical about it, WP:NPOV seems to only apply to user-written content, and you can't really "write" a picture....) Homestarmy 01:15, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

This is not a very objective article I would say... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 02:19, 1 November 2006.

"basically ending with "Adding them would be POV no matter what" "
wouldn't NOT adding pictures be POV? a picture shows nothing but the hard reality of the situation. i was actually hoping for a picture only because i was interested in learning more about the subject. Sahuagin 14:38, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Read the archives, we've been over this several times. The relevant archives are mostly linked in the box above, under Notable precedents in discussion, Graphic pictures, 2, 3, 4. KillerChihuahua?!? 14:41, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia leans to the left, and although Liberals go about claiming they are pro-choice, they don't like to see the cold, hard reality of the situation because it makes them have second thoughts as to what they stand for. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Zubar (talkcontribs) 00:23, 5 November 2006.

I'm not sure if this has ever been suggested, but we could put a link at the end in the external link section to some pictures. Stanselmdoc 14:24, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
External link to a non-commercial, non-promotional site would probably be technically acceptable. There is a good chance however, that adding such a link would result in a small revert war. Once an article reachs a certain (admittedly subjective) level of content and balance, any changes should be considered very carefully; any new material should be carefully scrutinized as to whether or not it really improves the article. These are just my thoughts, not actual policy, and they're worth exactly what you paid for them :) --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 19:10, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
I would think putting a picture in is uneeded. If you are saying that there should be a picture to give a better understanding of the topic then surely the mastectomy page should have a picture of a removed breast or the area where the breast used to be to increase the understanding of the procedure and what it entails. I'm not trying to equate a foetus with an organ such as the breast, I'm just trying to point out that there comes a point where extra information becomes detrimental to the entry, especially in this case as the entry is pretty balanced for such a contentious topic and a change like this could undo this. If a person wants to look up pictures it is not hard to find them on the internet. Judderman85 19:35, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
I for one would love to see a better photograph of perhaps a mixed/divided protest? The best illustration of the strong feelings on both sides of this debate, and the seriousness some people have about the subject, might be well illustrated this way. This would better express the intensity and meaningfulness of the subject without becoming tasteless. Or perhaps add a link to embryology, or gestation, or fetal growth pages within wikipedia? Something that has a medical illustration, linked within the text. This would avoid offensive imaging and POV and still allow people to view accurate information that is medically verified.

Resonanteye 23:34, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't want to add any new content, but this request might be fairly satisfied by making sure there is a wikilink to fetal development on the page. Perhaps in one of the sections where it mentions what is done in which trimester. If anyone can find an appropriate place to insert it, that might be good.

Resonanteye 10:31, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Article Length

This article is currently double the optimum size (64kb vs. 32kb). While it's clearly a complex topic, some reduction is really in order here. One of the best ways to start might be streamlining sections that already have a strong Main Article; trim the text and keep the link to the Main. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 21:00, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

I removed several paragraphs of redundant material that is better covered in other Main articles. The length is down to 54kb, which means there is a lot of work left to do. I'll stop for now though, so other editors have a chance to review and respond to this. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 21:42, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm still new to the editing thing so I haven't done anything but

"It is suggested that sex-selective abortion might be partially responsible for the noticeable disparities between the birth rates of male and female children in some places. The preference for male children is reported in many areas of Asia, and the use of abortion to limit female births has been reported in Mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, and India.[46]"

Seems to be covered in an article which covers the topic in depth. Would it not be sufficient to leave the first paragraph and let the reader go to the relevant article if they want to? Judderman85 21:55, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Hi, thanks for participating! I was very ambivalent about the paragraph you mention. It is covered better elsewhere, but I had already removed two para's from that section and didn't want to be too extreme. On the whole, I agree with you; why not be bold and remove it yourself? Consider it a learning experience :) --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 22:05, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Oops, Luna Santin reverted the change because it wasn't explained properly in an Edit Summary. The summary is especially important when removing a block of text, as this can look like vandalism. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 23:17, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
"Oops" is right. ;) My bad, don't worry about it. Luna Santin 23:20, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Severa, I'm more than willing to discuss what to remove. I simply started with what I thought was an obvious step: removing material that is thoroughly covered in other articles. That seemed preferable to removing original content that might be unique to this article. Since this page is double the optimum length, where would you suggest we start cutting? --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 02:21, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

I have restored the sections you removed, Doc Tropics. Given the contentious nature of the abortion topic, it is only natural that there is going to be a lot cover, and, to ensure NPOV, it must be done thoroughly and accurately. Many of these sections have developed through the contributions of multiple editors. Most are stable and do not undergo massive changes or frequent edit-warring over content because of this. I have edited on this article for over a year. There have been disputes, but, all in all, the fact that we've managed to bridge differences of opinion and create a cohesive article on such a divisive subject never ceases to amaze me. Removing these consensus versions, which have managed to satisfy most editors, will create an invitation to unfamiliar users to post longer, less NPOV, and less exhausivetly researched replacements in their absence. It will have a detrimental effect on article quality. While article size might be a concern (it was previously discussed in Archive 23, "Cutting Down the Size"), going through the article with a machete, excising large portions of text, and disregarding previous consensus is not the solution. Summary sections are just that: summary sections. Abortion is a top-tier article, like Dinosaur, so its duty is to cover all the facets of a diverse topic. Besides, 64k is hardly pushing it, compared to Homosexuality (85k), Roman Catholic Church (94k), or Intelligent design (89k). -Severa (!!!) 02:36, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Since it's apparently not possible to improve this article I certainly won't waste any more time trying. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 02:49, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Please mind WP:CIVIL. You honestly seem to misunderstand the issue at hand. This is a top-tier article, and, as such, its purpose is to summarize a wide range of sub-articles in its subsections. So, naturally, information is going to be duplicated; that is the entire purpose of an article like Dinosaur, Homosexuality, Astronomy, or Medicine. The solution to trimming the size of the article isn't to go through it and remove infomation that is redundant with information in other articles — as the entire purpose of a sub-section is to succinctly summarize information that is published elsewhere — but to copyedit the article to streamline the text. If something can be said in less words, edit out the excess. As much as there are certain sections of this article which I would like to see pruned down, or dispensed with entirely, the divisive nature of the topic must be taken into account. Past editors of this article have attempted to strike a delicate balance between various interests (pro-life, pro-choice, middle of the road, deletionist, inclusionist, etc.). When you're working on a topic like this, it's important to try to accommodate all angles of the issue, while sticking to V, RS, NOR, and NPOV.
I do not mean to discourage you from contributing to the article. However, it's important to take past discussions and prior consensus into mind before making any substantial changes. ::-Severa (!!!) 03:19, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
I put a lot of time and effort into reviewing those changes one paragraph at a time. The fact that you blindly reverted them all, en masse, without consideration for their individual merits is rather offensive. Your actions make it obvious that outsiders aren't welcome to edit this article and can expect to be treated like vandals. Ironic, since I've also been reverting real vandalism to this article all week. You're free to reply to this of course, but I'm taking the page off my watchlist. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 03:31, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Just thought I'd note that the edit conflict has been resolved between Doc Tropics and I. WP:SIZE makes an exception for articles "which act as summaries and starting points for a field and in the case of some broad subjects." WP:SIZE also notes that footnotes, references, "See also" sections, "External links" sections, and mark-up are not considered "readable prose" and thus do not contribute to the actual measure of article size. We here at Abortion have an extensive "References" section which probably contributes substantially to the number of kilobytes in the article size. Reducing the article size is still a reasonable goal, especially if we're aiming for FA (at least I am), and so I have added it to the to-do list. A good place to start would be to copyedit the article to cut down on any purple prose. This would not constitute making any changes to the article's content — only simplifying the existing text. If we want to reduce or remove content, we should discuss it here first. I'm not opposed to the notion per se; I just believe we should discuss it and form a consensus first (at least if we're proposing reducing the article as much as in Doc Tropic's original edit). -Severa (!!!) 10:13, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Severa. Due largely to your patience and goodwill we have indeed "kissed and made up" (which is maybe a little icky if we're the same gender, but not of an orientation or background which is conducive to same-gender physical contact, even in a consensual, non-sexual context.). I apologize to all and sundry for my unseemly tantrum. I'll be happy to help in whatever way I can, especially continued anti-vandalism efforts. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 21:13, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
  • waves banner, rejoicing* Um, Doc, you may want to edit your comment so as not to insult same-gender couples who do not find it icky in the least when they kiss. KillerChihuahua?!? 21:37, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
The comment has been edited for content and clarity, but may be unsuitable for young children due to adult content, thematic elements, and graphic imagery.
This edit has not yet been rated by the KCERC (Killer Chihuahua's Editorial Review and Commentary). --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 22:03, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Ha! I've missed you, KC, and our puppy-related banter. I love how Wikipedia causes one to even pass jokes and off-handed comments through the neutrality filter. I appreciate your sense of humour. It's no surprise you're familiar with KC, Doc T., because her positive Wiki-outlook is legendary (in my opinion). And, for what it's worth, I changed my username from Kyd to Severa in the express hope that the "-a" suffix would lend people a clue about what pronoun to use when referring to me. I've still been referred to as "he" no less than three times since then. I guess the whole Latin feminine suffixes thing isn't common knowledge outside the circles of onomastics freaks. :-) -Severa (!!!) 23:53, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
And I still think of you as Kyd. grin... I've recently been referred to as "Mr. Chihuahua" but it was in a compliment on Dalbury's Rfa, so I cannot complain. I have been busy, Kyd-dear, you have no idea. R/L is a monster right now, and when I'm on WP I'm usually dealing with stuff like... well, just check my contribs. Note to Doc - don't take notes, I got testy on Talk:Richard Dawkins. Particularly ignore my somewhat uncivil edit summary of "what are you on?" as Not Appropriate For Emulation. Love the KCERC btw. KillerChihuahua?!? 00:10, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

I've moved my response to here so that this article's talkpage can return to its regularly scheduled program. Drop by sometime and we'll have a nice cup of tea. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 00:41, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Is the first sentence entirely correct/appropriate?

The first sentence reads: "An abortion is the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death."

Given that there is no established consensus (scientific or otherwise) as to when life begins, to characterize removal of the fetus as "resulting in death" seems to be a value judgment--the fetus must have been indubitably alive in order for it to die, correct? On the other hand, I'm not certain what an appropriate replacement would be--something along the lines of "non-viable"? I'm sure this is a highly controversial and charged topic, so I don't plan to make any changes without prior discussion! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Traumerei (talkcontribs) 16:08, 17 November 2006.

Oops, I completely missed the earlier discussion on the talk page--never mind! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Traumerei (talkcontribs) 16:09, 17 November 2006.

I'm glad you noticed the talk page discussion. I agree that this exact wording isn't perfect, and you bring up valid points. But this is simply the best compromise sentence that all parties have been able to agree to. Feel free to bring up any suggested changes you may have, but please do so on the talk subpage, Talk:Abortion/First paragraph. --Andrew c 02:14, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Induced Abortion Methods article?

So I was checking out the to-do list (which I think is in need of updating; most of the forms/health effects sections are pretty well-sourced), looking for places to add citations and such, when it occurred to me that we could do a tremendous amount of article shortening and do a specific topic better justice and develop a good "portal" to related subtopics by doing an article on Abortion methods or Induced abortion methods and then linking to it from abortion as a mainarticle. Does anyone else like this idea?

In a related issue, I think that about half of the Spontaneous abortion section is fluff, given that it already has a mainarticle link. I'd like to shorten it, if that's alright. --BCSWowbagger 19:16, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

With as much respect as possible, I am going to disagree with you. I feel the Spontaneous abortion section is fairly concise as is. It may be able to be shortened a tad, but not by much. It really doesn't take up that much space. As for creating a spinout article, I think that is not the best thing to do. Most of the individual method articles are stubs as it is, so I don't believe we are dealing with TOO much content. Maybe it could be made more concise and some content possibly merged with the individual method articles, but I do not think we have enough content to merit a spinout. I also think, since this article isn't the abortion debate article, but instead a more general overview of the medical procedure, I think it is good that a significant portion of the article goes into describing the many types of abortion. Just my two cents.--Andrew c 06:37, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
In Archive 13, "Article Move Proposal," Tznkai proposed that we split all the content relating to induced abortion into a new article, Induced abortion, and turn Abortion into a disambiguation page. He argued that cutting out the information on spontaneous abortion would help to streamline the article. It was a good idea, in my opinion, although I had some reservations, which I noted (as user Kyd):
"Abortion," to most people, means more than just "induced abortion." It means this whole embroilment over laws and ethics and statistics, etc., etc. Most people would not think to search for "induced abortion" when looking for such information."
I also think having the summarization of Miscarriage within this article helps to establish the fact that many terminations of pregnancy occur naturally. But you think we should revive Tznkai's proposal?
As for a seperate "Abortion methods" article, it would be a good idea, but I'm in agreement with Andrew c — most of the articles in Category:Forms of abortion are just stubs. These articles would probably need to be expanded before an "Abortion methods" section were developed. But I don't think we're dealing with so much information in these sections currently that it needs to be pruned down. -Severa (!!!) 07:10, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
After my recent education about parent-article length, I have to agree with Severa about non-pruning. Regarding the dab proposal, "induced abortion" really isn't a commonly known term, the current arrangement seems much more intuitive. --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 07:18, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I am going to scan the article for grammar and simplification of sentences. I have no opnion to throw in, I'm merely proofreading, but I'd like it if anyone who is interested could double-check me afterward and fix me, if I change any content's meaning unintentionally.

Thanks. Resonanteye 12:19, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

word count and grammar

I did some grammatical shifting to simplify some parts of the article. The only edit that made me nervous was removing the words "tiny" and "large" in referral to two studies. I felt that the adjectives were probably unecessary so I cut them. Someone may disagree; each was giving its sentence a skewed feeling, I thought. If anyone disagrees I'm on the fence, so fix it. Other than that I think just doing a few more grammatically simplifying things here and there can make this article more concise and readable, though it's really good already. Resonanteye 13:01, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm on to other pages for a little while but next time I'm in a mood to copyedit I'll try to take a second whack at it. Let me know if I've made any glaring faux pas or mistakes, since I'm new to this and could use the feedback. Resonanteye 23:43, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Your copyedits are a step in the right direction. They have trimmed down some of the excess wording without altering the context of what is being said. Thanks! -Severa (!!!) 04:12, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm back for an hour or so, I'm going to see if there is any more (non-content related) fat to trim. Resonanteye 09:18, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

"artificially induced" sounds redundant, but isn't. I think it's just really awkward. I'm going on a thesaurus hunt in a moment, if I find an appropriate term I'll be bold and change it, and if it won't work for any of the (much argued) reasons, just anyone go on and revert. Also, an infant that "survives" is "alive", so I cut the redundancy. lots of extra "A"s and "the" and repetitive use of nouns in lists of descriptive terms for said noun... It's easier on the reader to hear the terms, with the noun only once in the sentence. This cuts the word count and makes the text easier to scan for those descriptive terms, I hope.

However, "brought about by" is a windy way of repeating "induced" in several places, and not quite often enough repeated to scan badly. this cut some fat too. I also cut out the word "pregnancy" in some sentences that refer to "first, second, third" trimester. No need to state it, as after the first few repetitions it is redundant.

Also, pain receptors do not begin to form in the seventh week of pregnancy (I'm pretty sure I felt my hangnails before I ever got preggo) but in the seventh week of gestation. Fetusses gestate, women get pregnant-that refers to the fetus' pain receptors, not the woman's, so...

then switched a negative phrase to the positive statement a few sentences later- same paragraph,about pain receptors. I kept the original sense and meaning.

Several times I removed "in women" or "women" because, if you have had an abortion, I think that you must be female, ... yes? I could always be wrong ;) If any of this causes rancor, go on and fix it back. Moving on to copyedit elsewhere. Hope this helps! I hope some of this helped yet again! Resonanteye 10:19, 21 November 2006 (UTC) ps, I love the word "skewed"

Out of date Study

Health Effects in the Abortion article: Why is a study published in 1978 (citation number 22 under Health Effects) being used to back up the claim that abortion is safer than childbirth??? I would imagine that a great deal has changed in the medical field since 1978 and that giving birth is a significantly safer event for women with modern medicine available to them.

Also a revision should be considered for the use of the word "safer." Should mortality rate be the only thing considered when assessing the safety of a procedure?? If the statement intends to say that there is a smaller incidence of death, than that should be said rather than using "safer" in a vague way. --Goldsmirth 06:22, 4 December 2006 (UTC) Goldsmirth (talkcontribs) 06:21, 4 December 2006 (UTC).

I agree "safer" is a rather vague expression. Besides, as a matter of fact the incidence of death isn't smaller for women who have abortions than for women who give birth - actually, it's the other way around. The incidence of deaths directly related to the pregnancy is indeed higher for women who give birth than for women who have abortions, due to the risks related to cesarean deliveries. The mortality directly related to a cesarean delivery is 53 times higher than for a legal abortion, but the mortality directly related to a legal abortion is almost twice as high as the mortality related to a vaginal delivery. [1]
Either way, these obstetric deaths form only a very small portion of all pregnancy-associated deaths. According to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2004, the mortality among women who have abortions is more than three times higher than the mortality among women who give birth, when all pregnancy-associated deaths are taken into account [2]. Merely the incidence of suicides committed by women within a year after the abortion exceeds the incidence of deaths from all causes during the pregnancy and within a year after the delivery for women who give birth [3]. Deaths indirectly related to the pregnancy, deaths due to other natural causes, and deaths due to accidents or violence are also more frequent among women post-abortion than post-delivery. The reasons for these differences can be discussed, but considering that the pregnancy-associated mortality is de facto lower for women who give birth than for women who have abortions, I don't think it's warranted to claim that abortion is safer than childbirth. Mkaksone 21:22, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I suggest changing the first paragraph of the Health effects -section as follows:

"Early-term surgical abortion is a simple procedure. When performed by competent doctors — or, in some states, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants — the incidence of deaths directly related to the abortion is lower than the incidence of deaths related to childbirth[1], although the total pregnancy-associated mortality is still higher for women who have abortions than for women who give birth.[2][3]"

Would this be all right with everyone? Mkaksone 14:52, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I think this gets a little confusing and we have to be careful how we word it. Adding qualifications can easily make it seem as if abortion is safer, or that childbirth is safer. We need to make sure that we aren't padding one side more, but instead accurately reflecting the conclusions of these studies (instead of cherry picking information).--Andrew c 22:31, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree we shouldn't be padding for abortion or childbirth, and currently the Health effects -section claims abortion is safer than childbirth - that's why I think the change I suggested would be an improvement, even if the wording may not be the best possible. Would it make it less confusing to change the end of the sentence to "although the total pregnancy-associated mortality, i.e. the total mortality during pregnancy or within one year of its termination, is still higher for women who have abortions than for women who give birth."? As for "accurately reflecting the conclusions of these studies (instead of cherry picking information)", I think we should focus more on accurately reflecting the results relevant to this issue rather than the conclusions drawn from these results by the authors of the studies. For instance, the conclusion of the Southern Medical Journal study that "Higher death rates associated with abortion persist over time and across socioeconomic boundaries. This may be explained by self-destructive tendencies, depression, and other unhealthy behavior aggravated by the abortion experience" is in my opinion too speculative to add - there may be other reasons for the higher death rates associated with abortion, and it isn't clear what is cause and what is effect. I think we should focus on the actual results of the studies rather than their interpretation. Mkaksone 13:08, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Concur - wording is better as it is. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:29, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
In the AJOG study of Finland, they found that those who underwent elective abortions (i.e. early abortions) had even lower rates than the childbirth group, so it was the medically necessary abortions (i.e. late abortions) that scewed the numbers. This finding goes along with our current phrasing, that abortion prior to 16th week is safer than childbirth. The word safer is not entirely a technical term, so I wouldn't oppose changing that, but other than that I see nothing wrong with the current version. It isn't misleading, because it has the 16 week qualifier. And because the vast majority of abortion procedures occur before the 16th week, it is fine to make this generalization (as a number of our sources do).--Andrew c 23:44, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

No, those who underwent elective, early abortions didn't have lower death rates than those who gave birth according to the AJOG study. [4] They had a slightly (15.9/100000 vs 16.3/100000) lower death rate from natural causes, but natural causes only constituted a small portion of all pregnancy-associated deaths among women who had abortions, with the death rate associated with abortion from other than natural causes being 60.0/100000 and the corresponding rate associated with childbirth being 9.6/100000. This still makes childbirth "safer" than early abortion, if merely death rates are to be taken as an indication of the safety of a procedure. And as stated earlier, if all abortions are taken into account, even the death rate from natural causes is clearly larger for the abortion group (22.3/100000 vs 16.3/100000), although abortion-associated deaths from natural causes are still much less common than abortion-associated deaths from other causes. The 2005 review on pregnancy-associated mortality in the Finnish Medical Journal concludes the results of the study by stating that women who give birth have a mortality rate less than half of that of non-pregnant women of the same age, whereas women who have induced abortions have a mortality rate 45 per cent higher than non-pregnant women of the same age. [5]

The Southern Medical Journal study also suggests higher death rates associated with abortion than with childbirth, including a higher death rate from all causes, from suicide, from accidents, and from natural causes. [6] Consequently, I think it would be POV to only include studies suggesting that abortion would be "safer" than childbirth, particularly since studies suggesting this tend to only take into account obstetric deaths, although obstetric complications are extremely rare causes of both abortion- and pregnancy-associated deaths in developed countries. Mkaksone 13:13, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

"Natural causes" covers a lot of ground. Are you saying more women who had abortions were shot, committed suicide, and the like? This does not affect the safety factor of abortions. KillerChihuahua?!? 13:53, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, suicide was the most common cause of death - as I said earlier, the incidence of suicides within a year of the abortion was larger than the incidence of all deaths, from any cause, during the pregnancy and for a year after it among women who carried to term. The second largest cause of death was injury. In my opinion, this does affect the safety factor of abortions - a woman dying due to suicide or injury afterwards is just as dead as a woman who dies due to obstetric complications directly related to the procedure. Besides, as I said, according to the Southern Medical Journal study, there's also a higher incidence of deaths due to natural causes among women who have abortions than among women who carry their pregnancies to term. Mkaksone 17:54, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

The Finnish study was discussed in Archive 20, "Finnish study: induced abortion mortality rate higher than natural birth." This is what I had to say about it at the time:

"Were these deaths the direct consequence of abortion-related medical complications? No. The study's authors mined the Finnish database and compared data on women who had undergone abortion, birth, or miscarriage within a year of dying for other reasons — evidence of correlation, if anything, but certainly not causation. It would thus be highly inappropriate to refer to this as the 'abortion mortality rate.'"

The study does not address deaths from medical complications — it is not an indication of the actual mortality rate associated with birth, miscarriage, or abortion — and as such it cannot be used to ascertain the "safety" of anything. It's like a hypothetical study which proves that bird-watchers are more likely to drown than stamp collectors: interesting, but in no way conclusive. We certainly could not misrepresent its findings to suggest that stamp-collecting is safer than bird-watching. -Severa (!!!) 14:39, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I never said there was evidence of causation, but there is evidence of a correlation. A pregnancy-associated death, by definition, is a death occurring during pregnancy or within a year after its termination, regardless of the cause of death (this is how the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines it, at any rate). At least we should change the end of the second sentence of the Health effects -section from "it is safer than childbirth" to "the incidence of deaths directly related to the abortion is lower than the incidence of deaths related to childbirth". I agree it would be misleading to claim abortion is less safe than childbirth based on the studies I quoted, just as it is misleading to claim abortion is safer based on studies on the incidence of obstetric deaths, but I still think they should be mentioned. Since the incidence of obstetric deaths is very low regardless of pregnancy outcome, and since the total mortality of women carrying their pregnancies to term is by far lower than that of women having abortions and even that of non-pregnant women of their age (the so-called "healthy pregnant woman effect"), I believe the article would be biased against childbirth, if only studies emphasizing the negative effects of childbirth are mentioned. Mkaksone 17:54, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

In any case, the health section should be started with this text like this:

"Early-term surgical abortion is a simple procedure. When performed before the 16th week by competent doctors — or, in some states, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants — it is safer than childbirth."

This reads a bit like an advertisement. All facts should be mentioned but the section should not start with blunt, pro-this, anti-this statements. Str1977 (smile back) 18:07, 8 December 2006 (UTC) reading like and advertisement

Applause For Wikipedian Civility

The Abortion page is (to my experience) the most commonly-referenced Wikipedia article when giving an example of high-tension, debate-prone, reversion-war-susceptible Wikipedia pages. With that, you could imagine my surprise to find the article open for public editing, without so much as a warning box indicating flammability. To me this says that there are a lot of people cooperating to work on it, and that the number of trolls trying to spoil the peace enjoyed thereby is very close to zero. Y'all get a pat on the back. 23:40, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Oh, thank you so much - Severa and the gang work very hard here to keep things civil. The trolls, I am sorry to report, number considerably more than zero. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:26, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
From my experience, I concur with KC. We get more than our share of dubious edits on day-to-day basis. But I appreciate the encouragement all the same. -Severa (!!!) 14:01, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't find deleting a post which points out that the very definition of abortion is wrong very civil. This is analogous to totalitatrian regimes putting opponents in prison. Such regimes are also often applauded for keeping the streets safe and clean. Sorry if this sounds a bit over the top, but even if exaggerated, the analogy seems fitting. DirkvdM 08:06, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
What are you talking about. Your post was moved to Talk:Abortion/First paragraph, because several months ago, the editors at this page agreed that discussion relating to the first paragraph would be carried out there. The edit summary of the move and the following post from the editor who moved it made it clear where you could continue the discussion. Why is that a problem? There may be some editors who don't like having discussion broken into different pages, but it was agreed before you arrived at this article, and in any case, I don't see what it has to do with civilty. AnnH 09:24, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm talking about moving dissenting views out of public view. This way it becomes invisible how many people disagree or that there are such people in the first place. DirkvdM 10:02, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I moved your thread to the appropriate location and politely notified where it could be found. I fail to see how this could be deemed "uncivil," or what you hope to achieve in making sarcastic posts to random topics, as demonstrated above, and in "Featured article?" below. If you want to get something done, cooperation is a more effective tool, compared to hostility. -Severa (!!!) 11:34, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

"Death" relocation

I have moved another topic dealing with "death" in the article introduction to Talk:Abortion/First paragraph. Please pick up the discussion there. Thanks. -Severa (!!!) 02:39, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cates W., Jr, & Tietze C. (1978). Standardized mortality rates associated with legal abortion: United States, 1972-1975 Electronic version. Family Planning Perspectives, 10 (2), 109-12. Retrieved 2006-01-28.
  2. ^ [7]
  3. ^ [8]