Talk:Abortion/Archive 30

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"troubled teens and [troubled] young adults" or "young adults and troubled teens"?

This has to do with the NZ study in the PAS section. I couldn't tell from either the statement or the abstract. Also, I do not see where you get this info from the article. Can you please provide a quote here?LCP 22:36, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Also, I could not find support in the cited refs for, "The New Zealand researchers admitted to not asking subjects if they had previous psychiatric illnesses, and further complicating the study, admit that women must claim psychiatric or physical illness in order to have an abortion in New Zealand." Were they interrogated? To whom did they do the "admitting"?

Also, although in a journal, the first cited source of criticism of the study comes from "Dr Ellie Lee is a ... co-ordinator of Pro-Choice Forum." How is this not POV???LCP 22:59, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Also, the "Journal" in which Dr Ellie Lee's comments were published, "Abortion Review", is published by bpas, "The laading provider of abortion services in the U.K."LCP 00:43, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

[File:Symbol merge vote.svg|20px]] Merged. Just a quick note to anyone else who stumbles upon this and is a little confused (like I was): this might be solved for now per the thread directly below (i.e., Fresh start - revamp of "Mental Health" section). There was a subsequent revision to the article that removed the text in concern, though be sure to double check the current version of the page in order to see if that is/isn't the case, as things might change in the meantime. Cheers =) --slakrtalk / 09:43, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Section retitle

The title of the "Heath effects" section was recently retitled to "Risks and side effects." I realize that there has been some discussion about this above, however, I feel that the change disregards the consensus set almost two years ago in November 2005 (see Archive 13, "mental health section drop off"). The section was formerly titled "Health risks," but was altered to "Heath effects," in order to accommodate the possibility of positive effects related to mental health. The title "Risks and side effects" is a step back in terms of inclusivity as it does not reflect the full scope of the "Mental health" sub-section. I will thus retitle it to "Health considerations" in the hope of addressing some of the concerns over the ambiguity of the word "effects" expressed above. -Severa 14:02, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Fresh start - revamp of "Mental Health" section

With all do respect to the work you've done on the Abortion page, Severa, I believe this particular section needs a fresh look and a overhaul. Undo weight is certainly put on PAS and depression. I agree that the section is too long. But the way to proceed is to write fresh paragraph that is more balanced.

Andrew C had a very good suggestion - we should put the negative and positive mental health effects in context. The following is Andrew C's paragraph with some minor modifications I have made:

The effect induced abortion has on mental health has been studied by the medical community with studies resulting in various conclusions.[1] (reference is to specific page that talks about preponderance of medical evidence) Most researchers have found that there has not been a causal relationship between abortion and depression or stress. Some researchers have found that abortion has a positive mental impact, while others have found abortion has negative effects on women. A handful of studies have proposed a psychological syndrome, sometimes called "post-abortion syndrome" or "abortion trauma syndrome", although the APA does not recognize this syndrome and convened a panel that rejected the existence of the syndrome.

What do others think? --IronAngelAlice 16:58, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

This is all criticism and no helpful suggestions, sorry - and I'll be back later to try to be more helpful. First scan impression:
  1. First sentence is too long and meandering, and lacks flow (studied... with studies? Um, no. Various conclusions? again no, try differing results perhaps?)
  2. Studies don't propose. Ever.
  3. Last sentence suffers from the same run-on syndrome as the first, sorry.
  4. Spell out APA.
Again, I realize this is brief and all critcisms, if my brain were in copy-edit mode I'd be a more helpful and positive, rather than a list of problems - apologies! It is an excellent start, and I don't mean to rain on your effort as badly as it looks. KillerChihuahua?!? 17:23, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Two more suggestions: From what I recall (Yes I'm going off memory right now) studies showed that other factors were highly, some said exclusively, affective concerning whether a woman experienced negative effects post-abortion. Secondly, what about neutral effects? That seems to have been omitted. Btw, feel free to simply edit your rewrite above below, as no one else has commented. KillerChihuahua?!? 17:38, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Revamp per KC's suggestions

The effect induced abortion has on mental health has been studied by the medical community. Most researchers have found that there is no causal relationship between abortion and depression or stress.[2] (reference is to specific page that talks about preponderance of medical evidence) Studies have been conducted in several countries and cultures with varying research methods. As a result, some researchers have concluded that abortion has negative effects on women,[3] [4] while other researchers have found abortion has a neutral or positive impact on women.[5] [6] [7] [8] It has also been suggested that an individual woman's stress level after receiving an abortion is influenced by her economic status, family situation, the status of her mental health before the pregnancy, and the culture within which she lives.[9] A handful of studies have suggested that some women who have an abortion suffer from a psychological syndrome, sometimes called "post-abortion syndrome" or "abortion trauma syndrome." The American Psychological Association does not recognize this syndrome and convened a panel that rejected the existence of the syndrome.

--IronAngelAlice 17:28, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I am ok with I prefer the current version on the page. And I respect Severa’s arguments. The current version has less editorial content. It is more facts based. And I prefer that. However, if other editors feel the text above is an improvement, here are my misgivings.
  • Is it more accurate to say, “Most researchers have found that there is no causal relationship…” or “Most researchers have not found a causal relationship…”? I tend to think the first version makes a statement that is too strong granted the limitations of science.
  • “Studies have been conducted in several countries and cultures with varying research methods. As a result, some…” implies that only research methods (as opposed to the actual fact of the matter) determined the findings that abortion can have a negative emotional effects. Implicit or explicit, this is an interpretation, and interpretations are original research. Whether this is true or not is not for us to suggest. To me, this statement looks like an attempt to editorialize about study results. And that is against the rules.
  • After my little temper tantrum about the POV article from “Abortion Review” (published by “the leading abortion provider in the UK”), I trust that all of the sources will be as close to NPOV as possible. I like research studies in peer reviewed journals best.LCP 21:10, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Revamp per LCP's suggestions

The effect induced abortion has on mental health has been studied by the medical community. Most research has not found a causal relationship between abortion and depression or stress.[10] (reference is to specific page that talks about preponderance of medical evidence) other Most research suggests abortion has a neutral or positive impact on women's mental health.[5] [6] [7].[8] However, other research has concluded that abortion has negative effects on women's mental health[11] [12] Some research also suggests that an individual woman's stress level after receiving an abortion is influenced by her economic status, family situation, the status of her mental health before the pregnancy, and the culture within which she lives.[9] A handful of studies have suggested that some women who have an abortion suffer from a psychological syndrome, sometimes called "post-abortion syndrome" or "abortion trauma syndrome." The American Psychological Association does not recognize this syndrome and convened a panel that rejected the existence of the syndrome.

(I struck the term "other" and replaced it with "most" so that the third sentence is parallel with the second sentence. I also reverted the order so that the paragraph is more clear.)

--IronAngelAlice 21:52, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Anymore comments/suggestions/problems? If no one objects, I'd like to replace the current paragraph either tomorrow or the next day. --IronAngelAlice 21:57, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Is the following a true statement: “Most research suggests abortion has a positive impact on women's mental health”. Because that is one of the things the paragraph says. If it is not supported by the citations, it could be corrected by breaking out positive effects and neutral effects into separate sentences.
  • Tense is prolematic. At one point you use “suggests” (present tense); At another point you use “suggested” (past tense). This could imply that one study is current and the other is passé.
  • In general I think the use of “suggests” is too interpretive and weasely, too weak in both cases. I think in both places “conclude” would be a better alternative. That, after all, is the language in the research itself, yes?
As the risk of sounding like a patronizing ass (which I may very well be), I think IronAngelAlice is doing a fine job crafting this paragraph and getting consensus. However, I still prefer the current version as I prefer directly quoted content to summary. If anyone else agrees, now might be a good time to speak up.LCP 22:43, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Hi LCP. The language in the third paragraph is supported by the citation in the second paragraph. My reason for changing "some" to "most" was for stylistic reasons - so that the third sentence flows from the second sentence. Nevertheless, let me try to accommodate your concerns. Also, I will change "suggests" to concludes" where it is relevant. However, with the Norwegian and Finnish studies, "suggests" is a better term. Last, I understand that you prefer the current paragraph. However, lots of people have suggested that what is currently written is disjointed and presents no context. I hope more people will give input.

Re-revamp per LCP's suggestions

The effect induced abortion has on mental health has been studied by the medical community. Most research has not found a causal relationship between abortion and depression or stress.[13] (reference is to specific page that talks about preponderance of medical evidence) other Many scientific studies have concluded abortion has a neutral or positive impact on women's mental health.[5] [6] [7].[8] However, some research has concluded that abortion has negative effects on women's mental health[14] [15] Norwegian and Finnish researchers have suggested that an individual woman's stress level after receiving an abortion is influenced by her economic status, family situation, the status of her mental health before the pregnancy, and the culture within which she lives.[9] A handful of studies have concluded that some women who have an abortion suffer from a psychological syndrome, sometimes called "post-abortion syndrome" or "abortion trauma syndrome." The American Psychological Association does not recognize this syndrome and convened a panel that rejected the existence of the syndrome.

--IronAngelAlice 23:20, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I do find it hard to believe that “Many scientific studies have concluded abortion has a positive impact on women's mental health”, but that statement would be easy enough to verify once I can get to the ref, and if it is slightly off, it would be easy enough to correct. Thanks for inviting me to participate and taking my observations into consideration. Nice work. LCP 23:32, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for all the feedback. We've drafted a good paragraph considering the bulk of the information for this section should be contained in separate pages that deal with PAS or mental health after abortion. If there are no further objects, I will replace the current section with the above paragraph. --IronAngelAlice 22:23, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

[File:Symbol thumbs up.svg|20px]] Seems okay. At cursory inspection, my primary concern is with the following unreferenced sentence: A handful of studies have concluded that some women who have an abortion suffer from a psychological syndrome, sometimes called "post-abortion syndrome" or "abortion trauma syndrome." Aside from that, good job so far =). --slakrtalk / 09:31, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Back to the drawing board

The long-standing version of the "Mental health" sub-section is a lot more even-handed than the version which was recently inserted into the article. It weighed the evidence on all sides — positive, negative, and neutral — while still managing to remain both cohesive and concise. The proposed version is a step back, in that it does not really touch upon the subject in much depth, being composed mainly of short, conclusive statements. I think that this is most emphasized by the italicized "not" in the second sentence. I don't think we can achieve any balance through such truncated coverage or afford potential readers an understanding of the topic by brushing it over.

If there are unresolved problems with the long-standing text, then let's try to work around what we already have, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. The main issue at hand appears to be that the "Mental health" section doesn't present the information that the conclusion of most in the scientific community is that there is no causal relationship between elective abortion and poor mental health. This could be easily addressed in a similar fashion as is done in the "Breast cancer" sub-section. All that would be needed would be a single sentence stating what the current scientific consensus is, and, perhaps, another stating that the PAS/abortion-mental health issue is sometimes perceived as being more political than scientific in nature. This solution worked in the "Breast cancer" sub-section, so it could definitely be made to work in the "Mental health" sub-section, too.

I think we should concentrate on writing these two sentences, which can be worked into the existing structure, rather than trying to rewrite it all from scratch. The section has been re-written from the ground up many times in the past two years, and it would be nice for it to have some long-term stability, as that's one of the requirements of a Featured Article. I'd like to see this article achieve FA status one day, and, if Atheism, Global warming, and Intelligent design can serve as any indication, then that's not something that is out of reach for an article on a polarizing topic. There's a lot left unfinished on the to-do list, but, I think we can still improve the article to FA quality if we use our time efficiently. I think we can do this by addressing what needs to be addressed, directly, and avoiding — as the adage goes — "trying to fix what ain't broke." We are never going to have 100% approval from 100% of people when dealing with a topic like abortion, but, if we can get up to 75%, I think we've done our job. -Severa 09:38, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Many of us agree that the older version of the section gives undoe weight to questionable sources. The revised section makes the paragraph far more concise, and is as even handed as possible for such a controversial issue. --Justine4all 16:54, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
I think we could meet a middle ground. As noted above, I am uncomfortable starting with an introductory paragraph so focused on PAS, when the vast majority of the cited sources don't use that term (and many don't even find validity in those claims). I think we could use a modified version of the latest revision for an introductory paragraph. Then we can use most of the text from the long standing version (sans the offending studies and intro paragraph). Sort of blend the old with the new. I agree with severa that the latest version is TOO concise/dumped down/generalized, but it could work if we used it as an introduction to some of the older stuff which went into a little more detail. -Andrew c [talk] 01:56, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
The long-standing version of the "Mental health" sub-section was arrived at through the collaborative effort of many editors, and, as such, the manner in which it has been written takes into account the concerns which some of those contributors have raised. If we gut the section, we are disregarding this past collaboration, and thus it is better to try build upon what we already have. It is possible to accommodate the concerns that Justine4All has raised within the existing structure of the section. This can be done in much the same fashion as was accomplished in the "Breast cancer" sub-section. The paragraph on PAS can also be moved to the end of the "Mental health" sub-section in order to remove the suggestion of primacy over other, medically-recognized conditions. Let's work together to draft a solution like the one employed in "Breast cancer" instead of simply going back and forth between versions. A version which all editors who have worked on this article can live with is a version that is likely to be more stable in the future. -Severa (!!!) 02:35, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Severa, I can understand how you feel some ownership of the material on this page. It's easy to do with controversial pages. However, recently it has become more apparent (with the exposure of Reardon among others) that PAS is given undo weight in this section, along with a minority of studies (the New Zealand study), suggesting there is causal relationship between abortion and depression or poor mental health. It is not analogous, and we should not continue to compare the "mental health" section with the "breast cancer" section. Nor is it appropriate to claim we should not change the section because you would like to see the article be a Featured Article. Instead, we should attempt - as best we can - to present accurate information, and not simply "stable information" that is inaccurate. For this reason, many of us believe we should start fresh with a new section. If you have specific changes to the new, more accurate, Mental Health section, please suggest them here. --IronAngelAlice 16:30, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Severa, I replaced the top paragraph of the "Mental Health" section with the paragraph we crafted here on the talk page. (I left the other paragraphs in place.) You have reverted this change. Forgive me, but I'm confused. Is it that you do not believe that the section should be changed at all (which is what you suggested above), or that you believe what we have written is inaccurate? You suggest we make changes first in the talk page, and I've done that consistently, yet you revert our agreed upon changes. I don't quite understand... --IronAngelAlice 21:47, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

I get the distinct impression I am being bullied :( --IronAngelAlice 00:03, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Don't worry, IronAngelAlice, you're not being bullied. Your work is appreciated. I actually applaud the effort put in to trimming some of the fat from that section, as I found some of the old version's word and factoid choices a little awkward at times, considering the section is kind of supposed to give an abstract of Post-abortion syndrome. In any case, the whole changing consensus process can be a little arduous (especially on controversial pages), but I assure you, your boldness is appreciated. =) --slakrtalk / 04:29, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Justine4all and IronAngelAlice have been confirmed as being a single user and thus the above comments should be interpreted as such. As for the "Mental health" section, I've suggested that we write a couple of short, concise sentences, similar to what has been done in the ABC section. I believe that we should work with what we already have, instead of trying to rewrite the section from scratch, which would be counterproductive. Previous efforts at developing the section have concentrated on addressing the many concerns which have been brought up. We should build upon the foundation that's already been laid; there's no need to tear down a whole house simply because one person has found it to have a leaky roof. Perhaps we should start by isolating the particular areas of the section which need to be addressed. It would also be helpful if we established the information currently not present in the "Mental health" section which would need to be added. -Severa (!!!) 12:24, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I second. And to the extent that is it possible, I would suggest that theories are presented in order of due weight. In other words, theories with the most scientific support should be presented at the top of the section. And within the presentation of each theory, ideas and sources should be presented so that those which are most neutral and authoritative are presented first. By “most neutral” I mean least obviously affiliated with a pro-life or pro-choice cause. It would be good to develop a hierarchical guideline of what out ranks what. For example, while a U of Chicago study bears much weight, an article in the NY Times ranks lower than any peer reviewed study. A study of 1,000 people over the course of 20 years published in a peer reviewed journal holds more weight than a study of 10 people over the course of three months (regardless of where it was published, granted it is published in a peer review journal that does not have an obvious or historically pro-life or pro-choice affiliation). The conclusions of any study would bear more weight than either an op-ed in a medical journal or an article in the NT Times. I would also suggest that studies that come from institutions such as the U of Chicago bear more weight than studies published in journals that historically have an obvious pro-life or pro-choice affiliation (such as the Rockefeller Foundation [4] or Guttmacher Institute).
Here is my (uneducated) first stab at how I would rank sources:
1. Major studies published in peer review journals that do not have an obvious or historical pro-life or pro-choice affiliation.
2. Minor studies published in peer review journals that do not have an obvious or historical pro-life or pro-choice affiliation.
3. Any study published in peer review journal that does have an obvious or historical pro-life or pro-choice affiliation—but which, nevertheless, can make a strong claim to being sound science.
4. Research based news articles.
I do not think that there is any room for Op-ed published anywhere. Finally, the thing we have to really avoid is OR commentary in the form pitting one study against another. In other words, we need to avoid the editorial “however.” Let’s just present the facts as coherently and objectively as possible.LCP 17:19, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone out there have any thoughts about the proposal I made here? Beyond the needs of this page, I wonder if there shouldn’t be a Wiki page for use by all Wikipedia editors. Thoughts? Anyone?LCP 22:23, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Page semi-protection

Royalguard11 unprotected the page stating: Page protected for a while; hopefully protection is no longer necessary. I think by judging by the recent page history, and the controversial aspect of this topic, that this page will always be the target of anon vandals. As WP:PROT says, Indefinite semi-protection may be used for: Articles subject to heavy and continued vandalism, such as George W. Bush, I'd support re-instating semi-protection. But before I am too bold in using my admin tools, I wanted to run it by others to see if there were objections.-Andrew c [talk] 00:16, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I unprotected the page because it had been protected for over 7 months, and the comment is a pre-programmed string (originally used by VoA, then by Steel). As someone who has been involved in discussions about indefinite s-p, I don't think this really qualifies. If you look through the talk archives, you'll see that there's not really a consensus about indefinite s-p, and even less consensus on the criteria. This page had been basically unprotected from June 06 to January of this year (minus 8 days for an edit war), so I don't think you can say it's been going on for a long time (this last one was rare, a combination of being from the time before expiry dates and after admins stopped checking to make sure protection didn't run too long; I just did a huge run through that night on pages that had been protected for 7 months or more). -Royalguard11(T·R!) 00:31, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Support!. Please semi-protect.LCP 00:25, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm just saying that there have been 25 edits since the page was unprotected, however the article hasn't changed at all in that period. 12 of those edits were vandalism by anons, and 11 edits were reversions of those vandals. This is in a 48 hour period. At this rate, we will fill up screen after screen of page histories with this nonsense in just a few weeks. I'm willing to hold off requesting page protection to see if the vandal rate changes, but I'm skeptical that the vandalism will subside to a manageable rate.-Andrew c [talk] 00:43, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Support. Looking at the article's history, in the last couple of days, there has been a significant increase in the number of hit-and-run edits. This, ultimately, just spells a lot of mopping-up for the regular editors of this article as well as for the RC patrollers. I do think that the majority of unconstructive edits like "Jacob ROCKS! West Podunk High FOREVER!" are preventable through indefinite semi-protection. -Severa (!!!) 01:01, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Comment I would support semi-protection for a period of a few weeks, in order to give the regular contributors a rest and dissuade the casual vandals. Can such things be automated? Sheffield Steeltalkstalk 15:34, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

The edit history is nearing a full page consisting almost exclusively of vandalism. Sure, I'm all for trying to make Wikipedia an open, inviting place where anyone is welcome to edit, but this is just open season. I see no benefit to keeping the article unprotected other than to the sort who like inserting things such as a long paragraph full of repetition of the phrase "(copulate) me." -Severa (!!!) 13:44, 5 October 2007 (UTC)


The Abortion page refers exclusively to the (usually) medical practice of aborting/terminating the human fetus. An "abortion", however, might potentially refer to a number of concepts, practices etc - any thing which has been aborted. I'm not an experienced wikipedian so please forgive me if I have missed something, and I do realise that Wiki is not a 'dictionary' - my comment is not purely about linguistic semantics, but should there not be some form of disambiguation and reference to alternate definitions of Abortion? --Te Irirangi 01:47, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

A link to the Wiktionary entry for "Abortion" is included in the "External links" section of this article. Wikipedia:Disambiguation, the relevant guideline page, advises against listing dictionary definitions on a disambiguation page (e.g., the article badger, which does not disambiguate to "nagging") and also recommends that the most common definition of a term be the one which is returned by a search. I do not think there is sufficient risk of confusion to warrant disambiguating to alternate definitions. I've personally encountered the word "abortion" used in the sense of "the process of stopping" or "something incompletely or imperfectly formed" a lot less than I've encountered it used in the sense of "the termination of a pregnancy." -Severa (!!!) 18:55, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Pro-life van photo

Using the new WatchFlickr tool I found the following image:

Pretty disturbing in my opinion, but interesting nonetheless. Would it have a place on any abortion related article(s)? - RoyBoy 800 00:48, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I think the photo is pretty flawed in that the user didn't have the white balance appropriately set (look how blue the photo is). That may be corrected with photoshop though. I think the place that jumps out to me would be in the pro-life article under the activism section next to the "truth display" paragraph. I'm not sure if it would work here. Under the debate section, we balance the sides of the debate with pretty equivocal images of massive protests. Replacing the pro-life image with this wouldn't work because it would look like one lonely car with no one around it represents the pro-life side, while thousands of people at the Washington Monument represents the pro-choice side. Making this an additional image at this article would shift the visual balance to the pro-life side, and there are also space constraints. All that said, it is a good find, and probably has a place at the pro-life article if not more. But because of the graphic nature, we should request permission on each individual article before hand just to make sure there is consensus for inclusion. -Andrew c [talk] 01:40, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
I think a single image of an aborted fetus speaks quite eloquently against any number of pro-choice demonstrators. The main problem is that there is nothing in the pro-choice rhetorical arsenal than can match the horror of an image of an aborted fetus, let alone the idea of tens of millions of them left in dumpsters over the past few decades. The thing I find interesting is that in the name of “neutrality”, Wikipedia editors castrate the pro-life argument by denying the presentation of strongest piece of evidence pro-lifers have to demonstrate that abortion is an abomination. Here’s the irony: If the fetus does not have humanity, is just a blob of tissue that just happens to resemble a baby, then presenting images should be of no consequence to those who are pro-choice. The truth should speak for itself. That those who are pro-choice object to images can mean only one of two things. They either secretly fear that the fetuses are human. Or, they are secretly elitist, feeling the need to “protect” the uneducated masses. I propose the second option is the case, especially in light of the fact that abortion’s most notable proponents, such as Margaret Sanger, have also been strong supporters of eugenics. Unfortunately, this elitism is a profound violation of the spirit of Wikipedia and democracy. So I have to ask, who really is being served by the omission of images of fetuses from the abortion pages on Wikipedia? Granted the way abortion is positively correlated with low economic status across the world, who really is being served by abortion?LCP 18:28, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
That is so well said, LCP! Anyone who is honest with themselves knows that the pro-choice faction must be, inwardly, pleased as punch that the ban on "shock images" also "happens" to give a huge boost the relative strength of the pro-choice argument. (talk) 01:38, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I suggest discussing it on Talk:Pro-life. That seems the most obvious and appropriate page. I imagine it should be well-received. Sheffield Steeltalkstalk 20:48, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Do you think it would be safe to just include the image on that page instead of talking about it?LCP 20:51, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Be bold an' all that :-) Sheffield Steeltalkstalk 22:16, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
I kindly disagree, as mentioned in my first post above. WP:IUP#Rules_of_thumb #10 Do not place shocking or explicit pictures into an article unless they have been approved by a consensus of editors for that article.-Andrew c [talk] 22:52, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

The topic of graphic photos has been raised a lot around here. There is, in fact, a pro-choice analogue to the photos used by the pro-life movement. However, there is a only description of the photograph of Santoro's body at her biographical article — the picture itself is not included. This is basically the same concept with the "Truth display" paragraph in the "Activism" section at Pro-life.

Wikipedia reports the use of graphic photos within the greater context of its coverage of activism for specific causes. The pictures of pro-life and pro-choice demonstrations in this article are intended to illustrate the social movements themselves. Thus, if we have a picture of people at the March for Womens' Lives to illustrate the pro-choice movement, we should logically pair it with a picture of people at a March for Life to illustrate the pro-life movement. The intent isn't to illustrate points which either movement might raise, so, really, there's no need to ensure one image counters or balances another. I imagine this is the reason why Anti-war has pictures of peace signs and anti-war demonstrations and not pictures of, say, civilian casualties of armed conflict. Beyond this, including a photo of an aborted fetus or a woman dead from unsafe abortion would be redundant, because such photos wouldn't convey anything which is not more clearly conveyed by a description of a D&E or mortality figures for unsafe abortion. The purpose such images would serve in this article would really be more argumentative than informative.

The precedent against graphic photos on the top-tier Abortion article works both ways, and, for that reason we don't link to the web sites of either Women on Waves (a Dutch pro-choice organization) or the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (an American pro-life organization) from here. The use of graphic photos is a complex and very specific facet of the abortion debate, and, quite simply, we do not have the space to open up that can of worms here at Abortion. In addition to the ethical debate, we also have to try to summarize the medical, historical, statistical, and legal aspects of abortion. I would say that there is more of a case to be made for the inclusion of the pro-life van photo at Pro-life. This is where the information pertaining to the use of graphic photos within the pro-life movement is located. -Severa (!!!) 05:27, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I have been party to a couple of the debates, and I don’t intend to reopen the debate to include images at this point. I understand what you are saying and think what you are saying is generally sensible. In the past, however, I would have opted for including the most graphic of images from both sides of the debate. I would have said that abortion is inexorably tied in with basic human issues such as the right to life and the right to self-sovereignty, and without images the article fails to conveys that. Now, however, I am starting to think that perhaps it is better for the article to read like a Chilton’s auto manual. In a world in which discussions about abortion are usually highly polemic, Wikipedia provides the reader a place where some attempt has been made to deal with the subject dispassionately. On the other hand, I wonder if abortion, like the Holocaust, should ever be discussed dispassionately. I wonder if attempting to do so isn’t simply just monstrous from the perspective of both women’s rights and the human right to life.LCP 16:26, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I would say that the only way to use the photo is to include the caption (right down to "...Karma's a bitch.") Just kidding. But really, the images on the van are shocking, for the sake of being shocking. They have no edifying value. And the context of the photo? I would argue along the lines as Andrew that it could be seen as a POV violation because it characterizes the PL movement as sensational extremists (like the Genocide Awareness Project). I'm quite confident that the majority of people who oppose abortion aren't using Eric Rudolph as a rallying point. Even as someone who is pro-choice, I find the implication that pro-lifers in general support anti-abortion violence to be extremely troubling, not to mention flat out false. Perhaps this would be more appropriate for the Abortion-related violence page.
I'd also like to point out that some comments are moving away from discussion of the page, leaning toward debate of the subject, itself. The fact that some PLs use visual shock tactics as their main weapon has little to do with WP policies and consensus on the inclusion of an image on the parent page of abortion. General speculation on other editors' motivations for objecting to an image are not appropriate for the talk page, particularly when there are a number of noted legit. reasons and a pre-existing consensus that such images should not be included (judging by the specific mention at the top of the page). Phyesalis (talk) 01:02, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Quote I'd like to add to debate section

This is new from Noam Chomsky and I think it beautifully sums things up, which is why I think it belongs here rather than elsewhere:

"You're not going to get the answers from holy texts. You're not going to the answers from biologists," he says. "These are matters of human concern."[5]

Any thoughts?LCP 22:21, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

It's not clear what he means by "these". I don't see why this should be added. Photouploaded 14:40, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Maybe I'm not so quick on the draw, but I am having a hard time understanding what exactly Chomsky is trying to say here. I'm also concerned that someone who is quite liberal politically and a controversial figure because of it is going to be the face of moderation and common ground. I think there needs to be more context regarding the quote, and also I'm concerned that Chomsky isn't a notable figure in the abortion debate, so why should his opinion matter. Hope this isn't too harsh, but this is just what concerned me on first glance.-Andrew c [talk] 14:57, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Not too harsh at all. Chomsky is a great social commentator with a reputation for thinking outside of the box. When I read the quote, it resonated with me intuitively as it speaks to both sides of the issue. That C is not deeply involved in the debate helps as he can make claims to being a dispassionate observer. I'll take another look at the article in which the quote appears to see if I can't speak more clearly to your concerns.LCP 18:36, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

There is a second half to the quote: "There are conflicting values and taken in isolation each of these values is quite legitimate," he adds. "Choice is legitimate, preserving life is legitimate." You can read it in context in the article: [6]. Again, I think the quote provides an excellent intro to the section and summation of the debate. I don't see that it has pro-life or pro-choice bias.

There is also a good quote by Alan Dershowitz, Professor of Law at Harvard: "Everybody is right when it comes to the issue of abortion."LCP 22:24, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Here’s the quote I would include in its entirety: "You're not going to get the answers from holy texts. You're not going to the answers from biologists. These are matters of human concern. There are conflicting values and taken in isolation each of these values is quite legitimate. Choice is legitimate, preserving life is legitimate." Any thoughts out there on the Dershowitz quote?LCP 22:27, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
There's a lot of very notable quotations about abortion, such as Mother Theresa's "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish",[7] or Florynce Kennedy's "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament".[8] However, this is a top-tier article, and the "Abortion debate" section is essentially intended to serve as a summary of the articles Abortion debate, Pro-life, and Pro-choice. I thus do not think we have the space to include full quotations in this article. Quotations would be more appropriately added to a sub-article like Abortion debate or Philosophical aspects of the abortion debate. Sorry I didn't get around to addressing this topic sooner. -Severa (!!!) 22:48, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I also noticed that neither the Dershowitz nor Chomsky quote are listed on the Wikiquote article Abortion. Perhaps we should start by adding them there before we decide in which Wikipedia article they belong. :) -Severa (!!!) 23:25, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the tip. I didn't know there was such a page.LCP 23:43, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I already added the Chomsky quote for you. :) It took me a few minutes to sign up a new Wikiquote account. -Severa (!!!) 23:49, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks!LCP 23:52, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I also just finished adding the quote by Alan Dershowitz. The documentary both quotes are from sounds interesting. -Severa (!!!) 00:00, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Emergency Contraception

"...although in 2006 the Chilean government began the free distribution of emergency contraception" - I don't see how this is relevant to an abortion article. Abortions are illegal in Chile, and the govt allowing emergency contraception is a separate issue. Or is this going to kick up the "emergency contraception is baby-killing" debate??? --Surfsistah —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:26, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it necessarily follows from the sentence structure that emergency contraception must be a kind of abortifacient. I see it as simply noting that, although Chile is one of only five countries in the world which do not allow abortion when the pregnant woman's life is at risk, it's policy on birth control in general may not be as strict. If other editors think that the information on the availability of EC in Chile is not relevant to the topic of the article, however, I wouldn't reject to its removal. This would certainly be a step toward addressing concerns over this article's length that have been raised in the past. -Severa (!!!) 19:11, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Do we really need all those external links?

The external links section is a hodge-podge of links to groups advocating a specific position. Are those really needed? That section is growing into a linkfarm, and already a few links have appeared to groups that seem rather non-notable, at least to me. If they are needed in this article, why have such a disorganized list? It's simple to create a table with pro-choice and pro-life columns. =Axlq 22:09, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with this. We could probably replace almost all those with a single {{dmoz}} link. --h2g2bob (talk) 23:34, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Are many of the links included in the "External links" section of this article necessary? Yes and no. I believe that, ideally, we would have a much more streamlined link section, which would include only informational sites and would refrain from linking to partisan organizations. The "External links" section as it exists today is actually the result of at least two pruning efforts in the past (see Archive 12, "External Links overhaul" and Archive 14, "Too many links!"). If one removes the partisan links entirely, though, it ultimately just leads back to the disorganization which one is seeking to avoid, as casual readers unfamiliar with the history of the article will notice the lack of such links and feel the need to fill the gap. The goal was to arrive at a sort of equilibrium between having an indiscriminate laundry list of partisan links and having no partisan links at all. We've thus tried to bring the section under control, by creating a system of organization, and by routinely monitoring for and reverting any newly-added links. As this is the English edition of Wikipedia, we've selected two representative organizations — one pro-choice and one pro-life — for each of the five major Anglophone countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States). The links in the "non-neutral" sub-section of "External links" are ordered alphabetically by country. -Severa (!!!) 18:20, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Atheists of Australia

I removed a link (one which has been removed many times in the past) since (i) the frequency with which it appears is evidence of linkspamming, and (ii) it is not a particularly outstanding link in an area for which there are many superior to choose from (and Wikipedia is not a directory of the web). Thoughts? --TeaDrinker 23:11, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

The linked page adds relatively little, and the "periodically removed by the unscrupulous" comment suggests its added in bad faith. Good work in removing it. --h2g2bob (talk) 23:32, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I'm guessing the editor is new and is assuming it is being removed by pro-life editors as part of some nefarious censorship scheme. I added a hidden note in the page, hopefully the user will see it and check in here. We can probably remove it in a few days. Meanwhile, as a traditionalist in the nefarious plan department, I will stroke my black mustache and laugh manically. --TeaDrinker 01:56, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Or perhaps not, the editor continues to add it. I'm at 3 reverts for the day so won't remove it again just yet. --TeaDrinker 03:41, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
The anon editor who added it has gone well past 4RR by now, and I have reported it. =Axlq 04:09, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
At least for the time being, the page semi-protection has been restored, so the disruptive editing threat has been "neutralized" for the time being. I left a similar note at the 3RR report.-Andrew c [talk] 04:16, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

"The linked page adds relatively little, and the "periodically removed by the unscrupulous" comment suggests its added in bad faith." Wrong on both counts guys! Atheists don't have faith, good or bad. ;) And as for adding very little, in whose opinion? I would have thought an atheist perspective, considering the bombardment of religious perspectives would add quite a bit to the debate. AusAtheist 04:36, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't want to sound insulting, since I suspect (given your username) you are affiliated with that site. The fact is, however, there are many many such essays on the internet. Even if it were the best exposition of atheism and abortion, I don't think it would need to be linked since there's no effort to capture religious (or areligious) views on abortion. As it is, however, I believe the essay is more the views of an atheist, rather than the views of atheism on abortion. Please also note that if you're affiliated with the site, you probably should not be adding the link (per policy on external links). Thanks, --TeaDrinker 06:31, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Another thing, if you look at the external links, for the partisan/affiliated organizations, we try to link to the most notable pro-choice and pro-life oraganization from various English speaking countries. Because we already have a pro-choice link from Australia, I ask you, do you think you link/organization is more notable than "Children by Choice", and therefore should replace that link with your link? There is a delicate balance with the links, and would it be fair to the US or the UK to have more links from Australia? Would it be fair to the pro-life side to have more links to pro-choice sites? This is a top tier article, and we should keep linking down to a minimum or else things could get way out of hand. There may be a subarticle where this link is more appropriate. Also, if you are affiliated with the site, please see WP:COI.-Andrew c [talk] 14:43, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
I would consider adding the link to Abortion and religion, where, given its theme, it might be more relevant. Another option is Atheist Foundation of Australia. -Severa (!!!) 19:28, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Future Fertility Risks

Morality is wonderful, but why doesn't even this article mention the inherrent risks to future fertility that come with abortions? Politics are great and the life/choice sides have their points, but this is an encyclopedia, as in a REFERENCE source for people seeking information. Women seeking information about abortions should know of potential risks, which involve much, much more than simple depression! 22:34, 25 October 2007 (UTC)Adieu

I'll do some research on this, but to help us out, do you have any reliable sources we could site to make these claims? Keep in mind that all content on wikipedia needs to be verifiable. Thanks.-Andrew c [talk] 22:51, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
The information related to health is found under the "Health considerations" section. "Sterility" is one of several potential risks listed in its first paragraph. -Severa (!!!) 22:53, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
It is a bit buried. However, Health Effects is getting bloated. Since fertility alone could have its own sub-section, and there is still more information regarding other health topics, I wonder if a seperate page isn't called for.LCP 04:04, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I can see dividing up the section along the line of expected/unexpected effects as you once suggested (see Archive 28, "Failed Abortions"). We could have a "Typical aftereffects" sub-section for common, expected effects like cramping, and another, "Serious complications," for uncommon effects like organ perforation and infection. I do think individual sub-headings for each effect would be a bit much. A spin-out article might not be a bad idea, though, as this is what has been done with Complications of pregnancy. -Severa (!!!) 04:58, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Critieria for what should go into a “Top tier article"?

I am struggling to understand Severa’s critieria for what should and should not go into a “Top tier article.” S has used the argument, “X should be deleted because it is too Y for a top tier article” on several occasions, and I would be grateful for a clear explication of the criteria. Please note, I respect that S has been around for a while, and I am not saying that I object to S's edits. I am saying that I do not have a acceptable grasp of the criteria and that if S could clearly explicate the guidelines, doing so would be helpful to all. Thanks in advance.LCP 22:20, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

This article basically serves as a hub for all other articles in the abortion series. Its job is to summarize the most relevant of these sub-articles. Because of this prominent position, as well as the likelihood of "abortion" being searched for over other, more obscure terms, this article can act as a kind of inbox. People looking to add information on Y may be unaware of the existence of an article dedicated specifically to the subject of Y and so will default to making their edit here. I imagine our job as being to sort through all of the edits in our "inbox," and, where applicable, to file them away in relevant sub-articles. For instance, if new legislation regarding abortion is passed in New Zealand, information on this law would be better added to Abortion in New Zealand than to Abortion.
Wikipedia:Summary style#Rationale has some ideas on how to go about dividing up information, but, beyond that, there really aren't any set criteria:
"The idea is to summarize and distribute information across related articles in a way that can serve readers who want varying amounts of detail. Thus giving readers the ability to zoom to the level of detail they need and not exhausting those who need a primer on a whole topic."
It's something which should be considered on a case-by-case basis. We've been a bit more permissive on article length, given the complex nature of the topic, but, when it comes to new additions, we've tended to err more toward the side of conserving space. The purpose is to try to reserve a spot for yet-to-be-written sections (namely, the summary of Religion and abortion, "Arts, film, and literature," and "Historical perspectives"). This way we can slot in summarizations of other abortion-related sub-articles here in the future, providing a concise, "zoomed out" view of these topics for readers who only want a brief amount of detail. -Severa (!!!) 18:52, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Severa! That was very helpful, particularly the analogy. Would it be a bad idea to put a brief disclaimer, from Wikipedia:Summary style#Rationale, at the top of the page with all of the other caveats?LCP 16:56, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
This is a very good idea, LCP! I'll try adding a note about article length to the FAQ at the top of this page. -Severa (!!!) 00:02, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Health Considerations: misinterpreted citation?

In the intro to Health considerations, "sterility" is listed as one, however the study listed to support this was a study linking smoking, multiple induced abortions and secondary infertility. Since secondary fertility is when you can't become pregnant after you've already had one child, the study isn't about sterility, per se. I question the use of this study to support the general assertion that abortion causes sterility. I'm going to change "sterility" to "secondary infertility". However, the citation as it stands is unclear at best. Given that the study focuses not on abortion methods as the article states, but on multiple abortions, I question the citation in conjunction with the wording of the statement. I suggest that either the statement is clarified later in the body of the section, that someone find a more appropriate source to cite, or that the ref. be removed. Any thoughts? Phyesalis 04:50, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I do not share your understanding of the study. It appears to me that the study assessed the risk of infertility from abortion and only then added that smoking increased the odds even more.LCP 22:21, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
The study isn't about "sterility" but secondary infertility. They aren't the same things. Scientific definitions aren't interchangable. If the study says it's about secondary fertility, it isn't about sterility. Changing the term constitutes OR as it is counter to the author's interpretation. Phyesalis (talk) 01:21, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Undue weight concerns

The section called Health considerations places undue weight on the risks of abortion. A long list of potential complications is given, without clear indication of exactly how often these risks occur, or what factors make the risk greater or lesser. I cannot find any other article on a surgical procedure that puts such great emphasis on describing the risks of the procedure in detail, and none that do so without clarifying the size of the risk.

The initial paragraphs of the section titled "Health considerations", as it was prior to my edit, are below. The changes I made begin at the top of the Health concerns section, and they end at the beginning of the paragraph that begins with the phrase, "Assessing the risks of induced abortion". Below is the part of the section, as it was:

Early-term surgical abortion is a simple procedure, which is considered safer than childbirth when performed before the 16th week under modern medical conditions.[16][17] Abortion methods, like most minimally invasive procedures, carry a small potential for serious complications, including perforated uterus,[18][19] perforated bowel[20] or bladder,[21] septic shock,[22] sterility,[23][24][25] and death.[26] The risk of complications can increase depending on how far pregnancy has progressed.[27][28]

Dilation of the cervix carries the risk of cervical tears or perforations, including small tears that might not be apparent and might cause cervical incompetence in future pregnancies. Most practitioners recommend using the smallest possible dilators, and using osmotic rather than mechanical dilators after the first trimester.

Instruments that are placed within the uterus can, on rare occasions, cause perforation[27] or laceration of the uterus, and damage structures surrounding the uterus. Laceration or perforation of the uterus or cervix can, again on rare occasions, lead to more serious complications.

Incomplete emptying of the uterus can cause hemorrhage and infection. Use of ultrasound verification of the location and duration of the pregnancy prior to abortion, with immediate follow-up of patients reporting continuing pregnancy symptoms after the procedure, will virtually eliminate this risk. The sooner a complication is noted and properly treated, the lower the risk of permanent injury or death.

Here are the references:

  1. ^ Bazelon, Emily. The New York Times. Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?
  2. ^ Bazelon, Emily. The New York Times. Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Gomez, Lavin C., & Zapata, Garcia R. (2005). - "Diagnostic categorization of post-abortion syndrome". Actas Esp Psiquiatr, 33 (4), 267-72. Retrieved Setepmber 8, 2006
  5. ^ a b c Zabin, L.S., Hirsch, M.B., Emerson, M.R. (1989). When urban adolescents choose abortion: effects on education, psychological status and subsequent pregnancy. Family Planning Perspectives, 21 (6), 248-55. Retrieved September 8, 2006.
  6. ^ a b c Russo, N. F., & Zierk, K.L. (1992). Abortion, childbearing, and women. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 23(4), 269-280. Retrieved September 8, 2006.
  7. ^ a b c Schmiege, S. & Russo, N.F. (2005). Depression and unwanted first pregnancy: longitudinal cohort study Electronic version. British Medical Journal, 331 (7528), 1303. Retrieved 2006-01-11.
  8. ^ a b c Sexual behavior during the first eight weeks after legal termination of pregnancy
  9. ^ a b c The course of mental health after miscarriage and induced abortion: a longitudinal, five-year follow-up study - Norway
  10. ^ Bazelon, Emily. The New York Times. Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ Gomez, Lavin C., & Zapata, Garcia R. (2005). - "Diagnostic categorization of post-abortion syndrome". Actas Esp Psiquiatr, 33 (4), 267-72. Retrieved Setepmber 8, 2006
  13. ^ Bazelon, Emily. The New York Times. Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ Gomez, Lavin C., & Zapata, Garcia R. (2005). - "Diagnostic categorization of post-abortion syndrome". Actas Esp Psiquiatr, 33 (4), 267-72. Retrieved Setepmber 8, 2006
  16. ^ Henshaw, Stanley K. "Induced Abortion: A World Review, 1990" International Family Planning Perspectives 23:246-252, 1991.
  17. ^ Grimes, D.A. (1994). The morbidity and mortality of pregnancy: still risky business. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 170 (5 Pt 2), 1489-94. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
  18. ^ Legarth, J., Peen, U.B., & Michelsen, J.W. (1991). Mifepristone or vacuum aspiration in termination of early pregnancy. European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, 41 (2), 91-6. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
  19. ^ Mittal, S., & Misra, S.L. (1985). Uterine perforation following medical termination of pregnancy by vacuum aspiration. International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 23 (1), 45-50. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
  20. ^ WHO Health Organization. Medical Methods for termination of pregnancy. WHO Technical Report Series 871, 1997
  21. ^ "Abortion, Complications". eMedicine. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  22. ^ Dzhavakhadze, M.V., & Daraselia, M.I. (2005). Mortality case analyses of obstetric-gynecologic sepsis. Georgian Medical News, 127, 26-9. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
  23. ^ Tzonou, A., Hsieh, C.C., Trichopoulos, D., Aravandinos, D., Kalandidi, A., Margaris, D., Goldman, M., et al. (1993) Induced abortions, miscarriages, and tobacco smoking as risk factors for secondary infertility. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 47 (1), 36-9. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
  24. ^ “Association of induced abortion with subsequent pregnancy loss”. A. A. Levin, S. C. Schoenbaum, R. R. Monson, P. G. Stubblefield and K. J. Ryan. JAMA Vol. 243 No. 24, June 27, 1980.
  25. ^ “Ectopic pregnancy and prior induced abortion”. Levin AA, Schoenbaum SC, Stubblefield PG, Zimicki S, Monson RR, Ryan KJ. Am J Public Health. 1982 Mar;72(3):253-6.
  26. ^ Lanska, M.J., Lanska, D., & Rimm, A.A. (1983). Mortality from abortion and childbirth. Journal of the American Medical Association, 250(3), 361-2. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
  27. ^ a b Pauli, E., Haller, U., Zimmermann, R. (2005). Morbidity of dilatation and evacuation in the second trimester: an analysis. Gynakol Geburtshilfliche Rundsch, 45 (2), 107-15. Retrieved December 26, 2006.
  28. ^ Bartley, J., Tong, S., Everington, D.,& Baird, D.T. (2000). Parity is a major determinant of success rate in medical abortion: a retrospective analysis of 3161 consecutive cases.... Contraception, 62(6), 297-303. Retrieved December 26, 2006.

The feel of the section is that abortion is terribly dangerous. To give a long list of potential complications without putting the risks in context constitutes undue weight on the risk of abortion. We must either leave the section as it is right now, or we must clarify the size of the risk of each complication, and of all complications. Photouploaded (talk) 14:40, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Serious undue weight. And what the !!!! does fetal pain have to do with the health risks of abortion? PAS and ABC have no legitimate scientific backing (Weldon of PAS noteriety got his degree in bioethics online afetr being an engineer) and ABC has been repeatedly refuted by the international scientific community. Phyesalis (talk) 20:12, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

ABC discredited

First, wasn't my word choice, but I support it. There has never been any credible evidence for a causal relationship. While many studies have been done on correlative relationships, the majority of studies have shown that there isn't even a correlative relationship. International consensus (first established by the 2003 NCI consensus workshop, subsequently upheld by every major cancer and gynecology org, and further verified by numerous studies after the fact, and canonized by a body of peer-review literature on the subject of junk/B.A.D.(biased, agenda driven)/pseudoscience politics) on this matter is well-established. This isn't a debate. It is an incredibly well-documented fact. Please provide some top-tier tertiary sources to back up your claim that it isn't discredited. Phyesalis (talk) 01:30, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Some correlative studies that show no link have been discredited as flawed. Some of the organisations opposing a link are dominated by agenda-driven liberals and leftists. One of the refs that supports the link being discredited is Planned Parenthood, hardly a neutral source. The latest study of correlation has not been discredited scientifically, just criticised by a Horizon writer. rossnixon 00:40, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Please read the Abortion Breast cancer hypothesis talk page - the rejection of this theory has been well-documented by NCI, supported by the director of epidemiologal research for the American Cancer Society: “This issue has been resolved scientifically . . . . This is essentially a political debate.”, the Committee for Oversight and Government Reform, the ACOG, the RCOG AND EVERY OTHER REPUTABLE CANCER ORGANIZATION. No reputable study (that is by an epidemiologist in a well-respected peer-review journal) has ever supported a causal relationship. The ABC hypothesis posits a causal relationship, which would require a well-established correlative relationship. No legitimate epidemiologist or cancer org even recognizes a correlative relationship. Only pro-life actuaries, engineers and 3 scientists with no epidemiological background support this theory. You're just flat wrong. I've got miles of documentation on the fact that this theory is refuted. A couple of crack-pots publishing in questionable pro-life sources does not mean the rejection of the theory is overturned. I'll be happy to update the sources. It's not in my timeframe today but I'll update it tomorrow. Phyesalis (talk) 01:51, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I've changed "discredited" to "controversial". And I've asked a question under "Parick Carroll" here[[9]] rossnixon 01:25, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
rossnixon, if you want to change this, then debate the proposal on the appropriate talk page at Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis first. If such a change is ultimately approved there, then it'd only make sense to change it here too, otherwise please stop toying with the wording here. Erth64net (talk) 03:04, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Erth64net, but he can save his time. It's not up for debate. It is a well-documented fact that no major cancer org or expert (or even credible scientist) buys ABC. Furthermore, Carroll is not a scientist, he is an actuary, not an epidemiologist. Even if he were a legitimate scientist - one study in a pro-life journal of ill-repute does not topple the National Cancer Institute, the Netherlands Cancer Institute, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, New England Journal of Medicine, and the head of Epidemiology for the American Cancer society. Also, his 2001 study was labelled as "mischief-making". And this study hasn't been reported much in the mainstream media (read all the pro-life rags bitterly complaining about it), because he isn't a legitmate epidemiologist. Phyesalis (talk) 03:16, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Until I see the appropriate change at Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis, or sufficient logic/references explained, I'm going to continue reverting such changes, as I've done here and here. I see absolutely no reason why the wording of this paragraph should differ from what's found on the actual Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis page. Such differing messages are simply unnecessary, and confusing, for a reader. Erth64net (talk) 02:02, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree (though we shouldn't edit war over this, either side). Per our summary style and spin out article guidelines, a top tier article should summarize content of the more detailed articles. The two articles should not contradict each other, and I agree that the place to take up major changes is the more detailed article. -Andrew c [talk] 02:26, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I have addressed this on Rossnixon's talk page. This should be the end of it. Phyesalis (talk) 03:23, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I disagree strongly with framing the ABC issue from the first sentence as a "discredited" or "rejected theory." This has been attempted in varying forms in the past (see Archive 19, "Breast Cancer bias") and it is just as inappropriate now as it was then. That said, though, I am not at all opposed to noting the direction of majority opinion on the ABC hypothesis, so as to avoid undue weight. I believe that last sentence of the first paragraph of "Breast cancer" does this. -Severa (!!!) 21:42, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Severa. - RoyBoy 800 01:04, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

ABC Hypothesis wording

It says in the ABC hypothesis article, "The abortion-breast cancer (ABC) hypothesis (also referred to by supporters as the abortion-breast cancer link) is a rejected theory[36][37] that posits a causal relationship between induced abortion and an increased risk of developing breast cancer. In early pregnancy, levels of estrogen increase, leading to breast growth in preparation for lactation." I don't believe that the ABC hypothesis is a theory. Is there any scientific source that says that it is anything more then a hypothesis? That it is actually a theory? champben (talk) 11 December 2007 (UTC)

It isn't a theory, it is an hypothesis that has been discredited.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 23:41, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Post-abortion syndrome

Much work has been done by several editors on this article. The work done should be reflected on the abortion article, no? Here's what the PAS article says:

Post-abortion syndrome (PAS), post-traumatic abortion syndrome and abortion trauma syndrome, are terms used to describe a set of adverse psychopathological characteristics which are proposed to occur in women following an induced abortion.[1] Primarily a term used by pro-life advocates,[2][3][4] PAS is not a medically recognized syndrome,[5] and neither the American Psychological Association nor American Psychiatric Association recognize it. Some physicians and pro-choice advocates have argued that PAS is a myth created by opponents of abortion for political purposes.[6][7]

A number of studies have concluded that abortion has positive or neutral effects on women. Others have found a correlation between clinical depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors, or adverse effects on women's sexual functions and abortion. Various factors, such as emotional attachment to the pregnancy, lack of support, and conservative views on abortions, may increase the likelihood of experiencing such feelings. No studies have established a causal relationship between abortion and negative psychological symptoms experienced by women.[8]

Fetal Pain

I moved the "fetal pain" section as it basically constitutes a POV violation. All effects in the section and subsection pertain to the woman. Inserting a section about fetal pain suggests a pro-life stance that the fetus is a person who experiences effects and thereby has considerations about their health. A fetus has no standing of personhood and is not the patient. This, I feel, is inappropriate. The section is "Health considerations", I think the fact that the fetus is killed kind of makes pain a side issue. If we discuss fetal pain, then we would then have to mention that the fetus is killed as that would seem to be more significant than disputed issues of pain. This I think that including it in the social section is more appropriate as it is not a medical issue (it has nothing to do with the patient's health) but a social one. I'm changing it back. I would appreciate discussion of this matter. Phyesalis (talk) 20:28, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

There is no precedent in this article for limiting the content of the "Health considerations" sub-section in the fashion that you are suggesting, and, from the existence of the article Fetal surgery, I do not see any grounds for the conclusive claim that a fetus can never be a patient (or be the subject of medical side effects). "Fetal pain" is included under "Suggested effects" — a section which was carefully titled so as not to take sides on matters which are widely disputed. While putting information on fetal pain in the main part of the "Health considerations" section would probably be POV, the word "suggested" leaves open the question of whether a fetus can be subject to medical considerations, but, in going out of our way to move "Fetal pain" out of "Health considerations," we throw off that balance and now are taking sides. The point is that the issue you propose to solve by moving the section is already addressed by the title "Suggested effects." Also, let's please stay on track, and avoid making personal observations like "A fetus has no standing of personhood and is not the patient." -Severa (!!!) 21:14, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
(Edit conflict)As I see it, this article isn't FA, which means there's a lot of room for improvement. The argument of precedence is lacking for me. When I originally changed it a few weeks ago, no one had a problem with it. Does this establish precedent? Either way, I think precedent must take a back seat to NPOV. The subject of an abortion is the woman who receives the abortion, the object of the abortion is the fetus. The woman, not the fetus, is the subject/patient. Fetal pain is not a health effect for the patient. The fact that the fetus has no standing of personhood (which is why abortion is legal and not considered murder) is not a personal observation. It is relevant to the argument. If the fetus had standing as a person, and was not being killed, then the health effects of abortion would be relevant. Placing "fetal pain" in the health effects section seems to be a POV violation as it implies that a)the fetus is a person (unsupported by legal, philosophical and medical data) and b) that person is the subject(patient) who receives the abortion. Phyesalis (talk) 21:57, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Regarding this related edit by Photouploaded, a failed abortion is indeed a health consideration for the woman, because, if a woman is still pregnant after having had an abortion, it means that something went wrong with the procedure she underwent. It's clearly belongs in the main body of "Health considerations." -Severa (!!!) 21:54, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Again, precedent does not determine a WP article. Policy does. Placing "fetal pain" under the "Health considerations" section (which discusses the woman's health considerations) in the "Suggested effects" violates NPOV, citation requirements and commonsense.
  • It implies that fetal pain is a health consideration for the woman. This is unsupported by documentation and commonsense. Logically, since it is not a woman's health issue, it should be in the social section.
  • This is a social issue over whether or not fetuses should be given anesthesia, it is not a "health" consideration since the fetus is going to be killed.
  • The sources that support "fetal pain" are primarily sources that should not be used to support scientific claims: A press release from an unreliable website (press releases aren't even reliable sources for non-scientific info), a website on religious tolerance (not appropriate source of sci. info),
  • The legitimate scientific sources do not contextualize fetal pain as a medical health concern for the fetus in the context of abortion, but either as an issue in ensure the fetus' death (not health) or in the case of fetal surgery, thus it would appear to be a violation of SYN/OR:
  • The scientific study Fetal Surgery: The Anathesia Perspective about fetal pain does not mention abortion, as it is discussing fetal pain in terms of anesthesia and fetal surgery and would seem to violate WP:SYN.
  • The article on fetal awareness Fetal Awareness has this to say in it's conclusion about the context of abortion: "the working party will consider the implications for abortion practice - a matter raised recently in Parliament. In this context, the gestation period in terminations from Jan.- Mar. 1996 is shown in Figure 2; 27 out of 45,385 were later than 24 weeks, and the majority (87%) were in the first trimester. Current guidance by the RCOG is that specific methods to ensure fetal death in utero should be taken whenever there is a possibility of the fetus being able to breathe after delivery. Such procedures should be routine at gestations over 21 weeks.." Not health considerations for the fetus or the woman, but as a consideration to make sure the fetus is actually dead.
So let's talk turkey, this is hardly a reliable social section, let alone a reliable scientific/medical section. It should be rewritten in accordance with source standards and moved to social. There is no reason for it to remain in the section on a woman's health considerations. Phyesalis (talk) 04:25, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
In my expercience on Wikipedia, I've found that consensus is often the final word in terms of editorial decision-making, even to the exclusion of other policies (according to WP:CON, "Policies and guidelines document communal consensus rather than [create] it)". Policies and guidelines help to determine content that is suitable on a broad, site-wide basis, while consensus helps to determine content that is suitable to a specific article on a case-by-case basis. At this article, consensus allowed us to reach the decision to not include graphic photos and to use the word "death" in the introduction, although many have observed that the absence of one or the presence of the other is evidence of an NPOV violation.
As for the statement ""The fact that the fetus has no standing of personhood (which is why abortion is legal and not considered murder) is not a personal observation," this is a classic example of begging the question. It fails to account for the fact that abortion is illegal in some parts of the world, and that some people do attribute personhood, or some equivalent quality, to fetuses. The argument against the current structure is thus founded upon a presupposition (i.e., it begs the question), as the conditions for personhood are not defined, nor why a fetus does not meet them. We aren't here to answer philosophical questions so we shouldn't begin our examination of the article from the definitive position that X is (or is not) Y — we should simply ask whether the article conclusively presents X as being (or not being) Y.
The point is that the current article is completely silent on the matter of fetal personhood, because "Fetal pain" is a sub-section of "Suggested effects," a title which only implies that a fetus may or may not be a subject of health considerations related to abortion. There is a thin line to be walked between definitive statements that a fetus is a subject (e.g., "safer for woman") and definitive statements that it is not. The point is to avoid taking sides, and, by moving the "Fetal pain" section out of the carefully-constructed neutral zone that is "Suggested effects," we would essentially be making the definitive statement that a fetus is not a subject. -Severa (!!!) 19:28, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

You haven't addressed the citation issues. This section does not comply with WP:V regarding scientific sources. I may have missed something but none of the sources discuss fetal pain as a health consideration in the context of abortion only in the context of fetal surgery (that is, wherein surgery is being performed on the fetus to save its life, not kill it). This is a SYN violation. Phyesalis (talk) 23:19, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

I've added the citecheck tag to fetal pain (see issues above) and am moving it to social. I'd ask that we leave it there until the citations/SYN and the dispute can be resolved (as I made this change weeks ago). Phyesalis (talk) 01:07, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Last I checked, you were the only one who objected to the current structure, which has been in place for two years. One person's opinion does not form a consensus so any move to change the article before consensus has been secured will be regarded as edit-warring and treated accordingly. -Severa (!!!) 01:15, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually, this change has been in place for weeks, there wasn't much of an issue then. As I am the only one actively defending the change and you are the only actively objecting, it seems about even. Except for the fact some of my objections haven't been addressed (if I have not addressed any of yours, please let me know). The change has been in place for some time, precedent is not policy (is there even a policy on precedent? If so, would you mind pointing me in the right direction? Thanks.) So, where do we go from here? Phyesalis (talk) 01:37, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Phyesalis on this one. Fetal pain is not a health consideration, some people consider it a social/ethical issue. Whether it feels pain or not has no bearing on the health of the patient; therefore, this absolutely does not belong under "Health considerations". Photouploaded (talk) 01:55, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I also agree with Phyesalis. --IronAngelAlice (talk) 01:59, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

If the article Fauna of Brazil gave the information, "The north of Brazil is home to a thriving population of pandas," and listed a citation which did not support that claim (or no source at all) — this would be OR. If the the article listed a source which mentioned a couple of pandas in a zoo in Rio de Janeiro, and ran away with this fact until it arrived at a "thriving population," then this would be SYN. But, from how I read the statement "[the] sources do not contextualize fetal pain as a medical health concern for the fetus", your claim of OR/SYN seems to be an extension of your concerns over possible implications of fetal personhood in the article structure. This issue has already been dealt with above, and I don't we're going to find anything new in that regard, even if we try approaching it from a different angle. -Severa (!!!) 02:06, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

No, the personhood issue, I see your point, however, the point that the fetus' health isn't a consideration still stands, also the issue of using texts that do not talk about fetal pain in the context of abortion seems pretty SYN to me (it's hard, there seems to be some grey area between the two, often looks SYN in an effort to promote OR or non-notable opinions, just saying that articles often contain this kind of thing). So, now that we have a few more editors input, where should we go from here? I'm going to leave it wherever it is right now, as Severa and I keep going around in cirlces, because I don't want to edit war. But I think we need to find some other way to resolve the issue. Any suggestions? Phyesalis (talk) 02:34, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I see the point that the subject of "fetal pain" probably belongs under another section -- it is more an ethical issue than a health issue. Although there is a such thing as "the health of the fetus," that's not the context here, and the pain felt by a fetus during dismemberment isn't really a "health consideration." LotR (talk) 15:36, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Abortus argument

I agree that fetal pain during abortion is not really a "health consideration" as much as it is part of a description of what is aborted. This article contains virtually no information about what is aborted, also called the "abortus" (defined broadly as the "product or products of an abortion"). So, I would suggest creating a separate section titled "The abortus." I probably won't have time to contribute to editing this article in the near future, but I hope to be able to chime in here at the talk page every now and then.
If a section is created regarding the abortus, there could appropriately be a section on fetal pain. Also, I hope that some thought will be given to including a non-shock image of a typical fetus before it is aborted, so that the image is not a shock image. Susan Faludi, in her book "The Undeclared War Against American Women" (1991) said: "The antiabortion iconography in the last decade featured the fetus but never the mother." In contrast, the present article now features iconography of the mother but not of the fetus, and I think this situation needs some balancing.Ferrylodge (talk) 18:02, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
How would the "abortus" page be different from the "fetal pain" or "fetus" pages? There is no doubt an "abortus" page is going to come with a huge amount of political baggage. We will all have to be extraordinarily vigilant against too much political "crap," for lack of a better word, being inserted to an "abortus" article. In fact, I'm not sure it can be done - I think that an "abortus" page will be extraordinarily problematic. The "fetus" page and "fetal pain" pages already deal with the fetus adequately.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 23:06, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I didn't suggest a "page" to describe an abortus, only a section. It's wrong for an article about abortion to not describe what is aborted, and that silence may itself be construed as a political slant. It's true that a section on the abortus might contain some info that is already elsewhere at Wikipedia, but that is exactly what a summary style article is supposed to do.Ferrylodge (talk) 23:38, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
An abortion is a procedure, I fail to see how a discussion of the "abortus" would add to the medical discussion of an abortion. I also do not see how discussing an "abortus" is different from the politically charged "fetal pain" sections, etc.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 23:44, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Abortion is not just a medical procedure. It is also a moral issue for those who decide whether to get one, and it is a political issue as well. To treat it as a purely medical procedure does a disservice to Wikipedia readers. Treating it as equivalent to a tonsillectomy is a very slanted way of discussing the subject, IMHO.Ferrylodge (talk) 00:26, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Getting back to the topic at hand, I agree that the "fetal pain" section ought to be moved out of the "health considerations" section. This is a topic that is best dealt with under the category "abortion debate." Along with Photouploaded, LotR, and Phyesalis, I would support reverting that section back to the Nov. 25, 2007 version. --IronAngelAlice (talk) 23:21, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Incremental, non-consensus edits accruing since the move of 'Fetal Pain'

OK, the topic of Fetal Pain has been moved out of the Health Considerations section as discussed, but some editors have used this a stepping stone toward pushing a POV. I have reverted back to the last reasonable version. The edits occurring since then are not what I would call minor -- please discuss them here before making any further changes of this magnitude. LotR (talk) 14:49, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't have any problems with the new headers introduced by Photouploaded -- they seem an improvement to the article. LotR (talk) 16:57, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Would you please clarify which edits you consider to be improvements? You reverted me, later Severa reverted me, and I'm not clear on which edits either of you consider OK/problematic. Would you review the edit history and provide diffs? Thanks! Photouploaded (talk) 17:03, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
This one. It had an edit summary stating that you were replacing the headers as there was no reason given for their removal. LotR (talk) 18:51, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

The idea that the fetus cannot experience pain is absurd. If a premature baby born three months early experiences pain, the same baby would have felt pain in the womb. Just because a man who is a physician suggests it, that does not make it so. Thomas Verny and Arthur Janov have evidence to the contrary. The doctor who says a fetus does not feel pain has no evidence at all. Being a physician does not make a suggestion scientific. Evidence is necessary. You think a suggestion should be allowed but erase actual evidence? davidio, 1 February, 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Daviddaniel37 (talkcontribs) 07:27, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Breast cancer link

I may have missed it. Where does the Breast cancer page provide an overview of ABC? I'm thinking that since ABC has been rejected, there really isn't much of a reason to link to breast cancer, this seems kind of POV. I didn't see an overview over there, so I'm going to remove link. If the overview is there, maybe, but I don't see what the point would be since the actual article of ABC gives the whole view. Thoughts? Phyesalis (talk) 21:08, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Your reasoning sounds reasonable to me :-) The only mention of abortion that I could find was this occurence in the footnotes: "Arthur, Joyce (2002-03). Abortion and Breast Cancer — A Forged Link. The Humanist." I agree that there's no need to provide anything more prominent than the existing wikilink to Breast cancer in the body of the paragraph. Sheffield Steeltalkstalk 21:20, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
The article Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis does not provide detailed medical information related to breast cancer (how it is diagnosed, incidence, risk factors, etc.). Thus, by linking prominently to the article Breast cancer, the hope was to offset the narrow presentation of the disease which the ABC article offers. It is the same idea that has been put into action with the supplementary link to Mental health under the "Mental health" section. -Severa (!!!) 21:24, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Of course the article has a narrow view - it's a rejected hypothesis. There is no reason to discuss or link to info about diagnosis, incidence or risk factors because there is no link between abortion and breast cancer. Phyesalis (talk) 21:57, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
The point of prominently linking to the article Breast cancer is provide a medical overview free from the trap of politics. Removing that link does the opposite of what it sets out to do, because it could give the impression that breast cancer is a charged issue, like abortion, when that is not the case. -Severa (!!!) 22:10, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Severa, I can't find the logic in your argument. ABC was a hypothesis, not even a theory, that has been debunked. Abortion has nothing to do with Breast Cancer. The problem with the ABC hypothesis is that it is used almost entirely in a political way, not a medical one. Therefore, to "provide a medical overview free from the trap of politics" about ABC is not possible. It would be best not to confuse breast cancer and abortion.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 23:46, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

The ABC hypothesis is not "debunked", you could try "disproven"... but that's incorrect as well. The NCI "rejecting" the hypothesis does not make it bad science (debunked) nor does it disprove its proposed mechanism. Scientists may say the evidence is overwhelming against it, but that isn't the same thing. Take care not to misconstrue or oversimplify a complicated issue. I have no opinion on the Breast cancer wikilink... I'd hope a Wiki style guide would be helpful. - RoyBoy 800 03:44, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I see no reason for excluding another main link from the "Breast cancer" sub-section if Mental health is included as a second main link under "Mental health." The politicization which applies to the ABC issue also applies to the case of PAS. -Severa (!!!) 02:37, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
The reasons for not linking are:
  • There is no relationship between abortion and breast cancer, therefore no reason to link to breast cancer.
  • Because there is no link, the breast cancer page doesn't even discuss it, so it would be strange to direct a reader to a page which sheds no light on the subject. This would seem to be a violation of the spirit of the manual of style that states that links should only be for relevant subjects. Breast cancer pertains to abortion only through the tenuous and refuted link of ABC, breast cancer is not relevant.
  • Linking to breast cancer would be implying that there is a link contrary to scientific consensus and thus be a violation of WP:NPOV. Phyesalis (talk) 03:32, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I would note the burden of "taking it slow" automatically falls upon those being bold and changing established articles. It's not about ownership, but of maintaining article quality and stability during periods of negotiation/disagreement; further it's my understanding "edit wars" start from the first re-revert... meaning Original -> Good Faith Bold edit -> Good Faith revert -> Bad faith re-revert. This is especially applicable to stable articles. - RoyBoy 800 04:00, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Roy, I chose the word "debunked" because ABC is used as a political tool, not a medical one. My word choice was reflecting the political reality. But "debunked" also holds true for the current medical reality in the context of those who are trying to force political views on to science. According to the National Cancer Institute (among others), early research on ABC was "flawed," and "The newer studies consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions and breast cancer risk." Therefore, when folks with political aims make medical claims (including Brind et al), I think it appropriate to use the word "debunked." It is especially important to women who may be at risk for Breast cancer to understand the true risk factors. To distract them with the ABC hypothesis seems almost cruel.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 01:55, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Extraordinarily well put, however its clear misuse should not force us into a binary conclusion of yes/no, true/false prose of politics (aka spin). Scientists believe with good reasons early studies are flawed, but they have not shown that to be significant statistically, also the presumption larger recent studies are "good" because they give the desired conclusion (but some with mixed results) which obscure misconceptions and therefore cruelties of their own.
Please, bare this in mind; and understand simple preventative actions (getting the abortion ASAP) can significantly (see Melbye 1997) help minimize (ABC among others) any potential long term risk(s). I don't even see a need to delineate ABC with advice that follows from scientifically established risk factors for abortion (they both lead to the same conclusion if communicated accurately, earlier is better), delineation understandably arises from politics, which is an excuse I found convenient, slightly petty and ultimately inaccurate years ago. It's wrong in its own, harder to find, way. - RoyBoy 800 02:29, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I'm unclear about your point.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 06:01, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Scientifically rejected doesn't necessarily equate to debunked. - RoyBoy 800 22:34, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree. "Debunked" is usually a political term.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 22:41, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Sure, but debunked can refer to any claim; be it political, scientific or otherwise. Saying pro-life claims of a "ABC link" being debunked is fine (and clearly a political dynamic), saying "ABC was a hypothesis" is debunked refers to scientific ideas; also using the past tense is inaccurate as the hypothesis actually remains plausible. - RoyBoy 800 23:37, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
The past tense is inappropriate because the rejected hypothesis is still used by pro-lifers, not because it is plausible. It's not. Abortion is not a risk factor. Phyesalis (talk) 17:32, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Even though studies may have not found abortion to be risk factor, the original hypothesis (i.e., a causative relationship arising from an abrupt perturbation in a natural, but highly complex hormonal process) may indeed remain plausible (i.e., apparently reasonable and valid), otherwise pro-lifers wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Evidentially it must be plausible, else they wouldn't be able to continue using it as you claim. LotR (talk) 18:00, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
That's begging the question! "We can tell that the argument may be plausible because people use it / they would not be able to use it if it was not plausible". The fact that some people believe something is not evidence of that idea's plausibility! An argument doesn't have to be plausible for people to promote it, particularly when it comes to religious beliefs. Certainly you can't be arguing that this idea is accepted by the medical community? Photouploaded (talk) 18:52, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
No, that's not begging the question. If an idea is implausible, that is, by definition, unbelievable, then it follows that no one believes it. Because there are people who believe it, then evidentially it is plausible. Do not confuse the word "plausible" with the words "probable" or "true." Something can be plausible, even while being improbable, or even false. An argument does, on a certain level, have to be plausible if people are to believe it. And just what do religious beliefs have to do with this? To my knowledge the ABC hypothesis is not an article of faith in any of the major world religions. And for what it's worth, I haven't made any statement on whether or not the idea is accepted by the medical community -- according to the article, it has been rejected. LotR (talk) 19:24, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I confused nothing. You defined "plausible" as "apparently reasonable and valid". So, to rephrase what you said, using your definition:
"Evidentially, [the original hypothesis] must be [apparently reasonable and valid], else they wouldn't be able to continue using it..."
So, what that means is either:
"There must be some validity to what they are saying, otherwise they wouldn't say it."
"They must believe there is some validity to what they are saying, otherwise they wouldn't say it."
I have already demonstrated why the former is illogical. The second has no place in this article; stating "these people say something, and they believe it" is not evidence. "Plausibility" is defined here; it basically means that an item sounds like it might have truthfulness. If we're going to say that it "still exists" we need to make it clear that that is not to say that it necessarily has any scientific validity. Photouploaded (talk) 19:39, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you have confused something. You are forgetting the key word "apparently" in that first definition. There are the other definitions and/or synonyms as well, one I provided (plausible = "believable"), another you provided ("superficially fair, reasonable, or valuable but often specious"), all of which further clarify my original point. So, your first translation should actually read:
"There must be some apparent validity to what they are saying, otherwise they wouldn't be able to continue to promote it as valid."
LotR (talk) 19:55, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Apparent to whom? Photouploaded (talk) 21:17, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
To those who believe and promote it to be true. I'm not saying that is is true (the article's citations seem to indicate otherwise), mind you, and I wasn't trying to create a big controversy.
That said, however, I think I am understanding your point. Those who may have read up on all the medical literature, or have conducted the studies, or have had a professor tell them so, or otherwise have been convinced that the hypothesis has been rejected, then I agree that the hypothesis would not be plausible for those individuals. But my point (and I think RoyBoy's point) was that for other individuals, those who are unfamiliar with the medical literature, or those who are skeptical of it, or those who are familiar only with those studies that support it, etc., might still find it plausible (believable), and to deny that is degrading. LotR (talk) 03:54, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I clearly abandoned this thread prematurely. My point is no science has shown the ABC mechanism to be incorrect; while the NCI considers the evidence "well established" there is no link they do not criticize/reject the mechanism; more importantly WHO using leading notable studies consider it a possible (ergo plausible) factor for certain high risk sub-groups (after first trimester). Selective sourcing/quoting occurs on both sides of this issue.
Prior to finding the WHO conclusion, I had to trust my own weighing of the studies and their small, but at times statistically significant positive results. Overwhelming evidence indicating the ABC hypothesis is not a significant risk for most woment; is not the same as no risk whatsoever. Further as noted in Archive 19, a "rejected" hypothesis (of any kind) does not illicit significant and continued epidemiological research, which also indicates some positive results. - RoyBoy 800 01:54, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

(undent) Ok, in a vacuum, the rejected hypothesis might be plausible, however, in the real world, the overwhelming body of evidence to the contrary (including evidence that abortion may actually reduce risk in some groups) makes the hypothesis implausible. But we digress, using present tense is the preferred course, we all seem to agree on this (if I've missed a current objection, please feel free to point it out). To deny the plausibility may be degrading to some, but that's not WP's problem - the (documented) truth is that the hypothesis is rejected and implausible. The very suggestion of the causal hypothesis has been deemed illogical and irresponsible. So if those who are unfamiliar with the science behind the issue find the hypothesis's rejection degrading, they should familiarize themselves with the science. A reader's sense of degradation, particularly if, as has been suggested, that sense comes from a lack of exposure to the scientific community's response to bad science, is not a reason to censor or dilute WP articles. WP does not censor and is not concerned with readers' issues of degradation. Phyesalis (talk) 16:20, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Look, I don't want to go on and on about this, but statements like "The very suggestion of the causal hypothesis has been deemed illogical and irresponsible," come off sounding smug, and are not helpful for dialog. The very suggestion of the causal hypothesis has been deemed illogical and irresponsible? How so? That's your POV. The hypothesis (the causal relationship), at least on the surface, sounded very plausible to me, at least as much as other hypotheses linking modern living to various cancers. The article itself says that "early research suggested the possibility of a correlative relationship between breast cancer and abortion." I do not get paid to do medical research, and therefore I must rely on other reputable sources to inform me. But the only reason we can even state here that there is no causative relationship (something nice to know) is because of a plausible hypothesis that was subject to testing. Gosh, with the incidence of breast cancer being what it is (according to the Breast Cancer page "The number of cases worldwide has significantly increased since the 1970s, a phenomenon partly blamed on modern lifestyles in the Western world," you would think that ruling out something as widespread as abortion as a cause was a good thing. LotR (talk) 20:42, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Not my POV (well, yes, but derived from) that of Weed and Kramer (check the refs on the ABC page). It was deemed "a leap beyond bounds" (among other criticisms), polite language for illogical and irresponsible, because the only researcher who argues for a causal relationship is an avowed prolife advocate who did not use epidemiological standards in his evaluation of other studies. Or that of the House Committee of Governmental Oversight and Reform, or take your pick... there are plenty of references around. I'm not sure what you mean in your last statement. In the past, responsible scientists found evidence of a correlation, not a causal relationship, but suggested that the correlation be investigated. It was. Amidst all the research a few pro-life advocates start misinterpreting (documented, read Jasen) some rats studies. No reliable study has found results that argue for a causal relationship. Daling 1994 did, but later corrected the findings. At one point in the past, the suggestion of a possible causal relationship wasn't particularly irresponsible. Now, given the protracted politicization of the issue and the wealth of evidence which contradicts prolife ABC claims, it seems somewhat illogical, and, if not irresponsible, at least seemingly agenda driven.
I'm sorry, we seem to agree on the basic issues relating to the article, if you have an issue with the way I phrase things on talk, mind discussing them on my talk page? Phyesalis (talk) 09:21, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to note "Daling 1994 did, but later corrected the findings" is factually incorrect. In 1996, while their overall result was smaller 1.2 instead of 1994's 1.5; they did find some statistically significant positive results. - RoyBoy 800 01:37, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Also, pro-life isn't the only agenda in the ABC issue. - RoyBoy 800 01:57, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Unsafe abortion

The discussion about unsafe abortion is currently spread out over three I discovered another one, four sections:

None of these sections adequately address why women resort to these methods. My guess is that legal restrictions are a significant factor, as are poverty, lack of insurance coverage, and lack of access to medical facilities. Social or religious pressure to refrain from obtaining abortion may also play a role. I would like to see this information consolidated, fleshed out, and presented more fully. I'm looking for feedback before I leap into this: Any suggestions on how to approach this? Photouploaded (talk) 00:37, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Three separate sections dedicated specifically to a single topic in this article is redundant. Scattering coverage in such a fashion is likely to confuse readers. The information that was under "Legal" (WHO statistics) and "Health" (risky nature of unsafe abortion) is already addressed under the original "Unsafe abortion" section in "Social issues." If anyone would like to add information on this topic, please integrate it into the existing structure, as this will maintain the cohesion of the article. -Severa (!!!) 19:47, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Of course four sections is redundant; I'm asking for help to determine where it should all go. Photouploaded (talk) 23:22, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, you reverted the edit where I removed the two extra "Unsafe abortion" sections, so I took that as indication that you supported the 3-section structure. I would recommend consolidating all information related to unsafe abortion in the pre-existing "Unsafe abortion" section under "Social issues." -Severa (!!!) 01:09, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I reverted the deletion because there's no reason to delete useful information while we figure out what to do with it. It's been that way for a long time, and it's not like the information is erroneous or contested, it's just spread out. Please leave it and let's give others a chance to weigh in. Photouploaded (talk) 01:22, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Please stop deleting this information. Photouploaded (talk) 01:25, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
There hasn't been three sections titled "Unsafe abortion" in the article for a "long time." These were added in the last 2 days. As for the information, it's redundant, as the WHO statistics in "Unsafe abortion (legal)" are already under the original "Unsafe abortion" section ("Unsafe abortion (social)") and the information about the risks associated wirh unsafe abortion in "Unsafe abortion (health)" is also contained in the original section ("Unsafe abortion (social"). I'm in no way "deleting" information: only removing redundant sections and information that's already covered elsewhere in the article. There is absolutely no reason to have three sections on a single topic, and this is an entirely new structure, for which there is no consensus. I'll merge everything into a single section for the time being. -Severa (!!!) 01:38, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Below is all of the information that was contained in all three of the "Unsafe abortion" sections. I have highlighted the sentences in the original section which already cover information that was duplicated in the two other "Unsafe" sections. -Severa (!!!) 02:11, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Unsafe abortion (legal): In many areas, especially in developing nations or where abortion is illegal, women sometimes resort to "back-alley" or self-induced procedures. The World Health Organization suggests that there are 19 million terminations annually which fit its criteria for an unsafe abortion. See social issues for more information on these subjects.
  • Unsafe abortion (health): Unsafe abortion methods (e.g. use of certain drugs, herbs, or insertion of non-surgical objects into the uterus) are potentially dangerous, carrying a significantly elevated risk for permanent injury or death, as compared to abortions done by physicians.
  • Original section: Where and when access to safe abortion has been barred, due to explicit sanctions or general unavailability, women seeking to terminate their pregnancies have sometimes resorted to unsafe methods.

    "Back-alley abortion" is a slang term for any abortion not practiced under generally accepted standards of sanitation and professionalism. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines an unsafe abortion as being, "a procedure...carried out by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards, or both." This can include a person without medical training, a professional health provider operating in sub-standard conditions, or the woman herself.

    Unsafe abortion remains a public health concern today due to the higher incidence and severity of its associated complications, such as incomplete abortion, sepsis, hemorrhage, and damage to internal organs. WHO estimates that 19 million unsafe abortions occur around the world annually and that 68,000 of these result in the woman's death. Complications of unsafe abortion are said to account, globally, for approximately 13% of all maternal mortalities, with regional estimates including 12% in Asia, 25% in Latin America, and 13% in sub-Saharan Africa. A 2007 study published in the The Lancet found that, although the global rate of abortion declined from 45.6 million in 1995 to 41.6 million in 2003, unsafe procedures still accounted for 48% of all abortions performed in 2003. Health education, access to family planning, and improvements in health care during and after abortion have been proposed to address this phenomenon.

(undent) Look, I am not sure what the best way to handle this is but I am pretty sure that deleting it outright (as you did before) is not a good idea. Photouploaded (talk) 03:19, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

The two extraneous "Unsafe abortion" sections were both added by Photouploaded yesterday [10][11] so I am hardly the one "pushing my edits." This arragement had no precedent in the article, and, moreover, was illogical and confusing to readers. I already carefully documented above how all of the information that was removed was already contained elsewhere in the article. -Severa (!!!) 04:03, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
You're either not paying attention, or you're deliberately trying to mislead readers. I didn't add any material, I added SECTION HEADERS on existing material so that people could easily find the information. And I hold that this is NOT only a "social issue", for the women who undergo unsafe abortion, it is a health issue and if she was left with no access due to legal restrictions, it is a legal issue as well. You are the one who has deleted existing paragraphs and played it off like I was the one making changes. All I did was highlight existing info, you made the big leap into deleting it outright. Photouploaded (talk) 14:54, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Previously you reverted to a version without the headers, claiming that LotR had said there was "no consensus" for such a "major change". Then LotR said that they, in fact did NOT consider them problematic, and considered them to be an improvement. Who cares what others think? Not you, apparently; as you have not only removed the headers but now REMOVED the mention of unsafe abortion as a MEDICAL and LEGAL issue, and repeatedly edit-warred to enforce these new changes, ignoring what others have said. Furthermore, you have tried to play it off like I was the one making big new changes. Preposterous. Explain yourself. Photouploaded (talk) 15:11, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Just to be clear, the edits being referred to here are these. Unfortunately, they were but one of a whole deluge of edits yesterday. They were restored by Photouploaded after my partial revert and I did not see a problem with these specific edits. I had reverted to a version just after the move of Fetal Pain because there were issues with several of the subsequent edits. Incidentally, I had written an edit summary for that revert (indicating the version reverted to), but for some unknown reason I must have accidentally deleted it (probably due to my clumsy typing skills) when I saved the page. LotR (talk) 16:01, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Photouploaded, IronAngelAlice gave us both a helpful reminder to slow down, so I'd appreciate it if you would assume good faith in your comments. Statements like "You're either not paying attention, or you're deliberately trying to mislead readers" do nothing to further cooperative discussion.
I reverted to LorR's version the first time on the basis of this comment as I agreed that retitling "Fetal pain" to "Fetal pain notion" and "Suggested effects" to "Effects suggested by pro-life supporters" served to move the balance of the article toward a particular POV. There were a lot of edits made during the same period and I wasn't even aware of the addition of two more "Unsafe abortion" sections at first (If one goes to an article which contains a long, unbroken piece of text and adds section breaks to it, then they are "creating" or "adding" sections. It doesn't matter that the content that is divided up was itself pre-existing — the sectioning is completely new, and has thus been recently created). I also interpreted this comment by LotR as referring to the new section titles under "Health considerations" (e.g., "Pain management") rather than the two new "Unsafe" sections.
So, I removed the two extraneous "Unsafe abortion" sections and tried relocating everything to the original "Unsafe abortion" section, but found that most of the information which those two extra sections contained was already there. At risk of having the same thing said twice, in slightly altered form, I removed the redundant sentences and kept the one sentence not already covered by the original "Unsafe abortion" section. I mean, scattering information across three identically-titled sections is confusing enough, but repetative sentences are just as bad in that department:
  • "In many areas, especially in developing nations or where abortion is illegal, women sometimes resort to "back-alley" or self-induced procedures."
  • "Where and when access to safe abortion has been barred, due to explicit sanctions or general unavailability, women seeking to terminate their pregnancies have sometimes resorted to unsafe methods."
Having those both in the original "Unsafe" section wouldn't make sense. It would add more words without adding more information. If you have unresolved concerns involving the fact that unsafe abortion is a legal/medical issue in addition to a social issue, Photouploaded, then perhaps there is a better way of addressing this than reverting six times to a version of the article that is confusingly and illogically structured. Maybe just restore the version from before the sections were added, where the information was in whatever section it was in previously. Or the "Unsafe abortion" section could always be moved from "Social issues" to "Health considerations." That's originally where I felt it belonged, but at the time it was written there were a lot of comments like this one being made, and I suppose we opted for the path of least resistence. -Severa (!!!) 17:43, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Fetal Pain (cont.)

It seems that the info in this article's Fetal Pain section is different from the information on the Fetal Pain page. I propose changing our section to reflect what is on the fetal pain page. The following is taken from the fetal pain page directly (though edited for summary form):

Fetal pain, its existence, and its implications are debated politically and academically, particularly in regards to the abortion debate.

A 2005 American study, conducted by neurobiologists and pediatricians concluded that "...fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester. Little or no evidence addresses the effectiveness of direct fetal anesthetic or analgesic techniques."[9] With the encouragement of President Ronald Reagan, in 1984 a small group of physicians argued that the ability of a fetus to feel pain appears as early as seven weeks after conception.[10] Most medical researchers agree pain cannot be felt until the third trimester of pregnancy or until after birth.[11]

There may be an "emerging consensus among developmental neurobiologists that the establishment of thalamocortical connections" (at about 26 weeks) is a critical event with regard to fetal perception of pain.[12] Nevertheless, because pain can involve sensory, emotional and cognitive factors, it is "impossible to know" when painful experiences may become possible, even if it is known when thalamocortical connections are established.[12] According to Arthur Caplan, "there is no consensus among the medical and scientific experts about precisely when a fetus becomes pain-capable. Some put the point at 28 weeks. Others say 26 or 24 and still others younger still."[13]

--IronAngelAlice (talk) 21:11, 20 December 2007 (UTC)—Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

This text seems reasonable and NPOV, with citations (although I haven't verified them) -- I wouldn't have a problem if it were copy-and-pasted onto the current article. LotR (talk) 18:57, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I believe the text is a bit quote heavy, and a bit redundant. I'm not sure the Caplan quote is necessary given all the other info already presented. I also believe the Johnson reference is a little misleading. IIRC, they were arguing that all of these factors together would suggest that even after the neurological development was there, that pain most likely wasn't felt until later. The way the sentence is worded leaves it open ended to imply that pain could be felt before these event (which I don't believe Johnson are arguing). We'll have to look that one up before any changes are made, though. We also have to keep in mind that the current section was brought about through consensus and through the hard work of many editors before us. So we should see if we should keep any of the existing content, and we need to make sure that there is a strong consensus for this change before moving on. -Andrew c [talk] 22:51, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough -- the current text in the article is perfectly legitimate also, especially if it was arrived at through earlier consensus. And obviously the text from Fetal Pain is already available on that page. LotR (talk) 14:22, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Subsection linking

Just a general question on sub-section linking, is it appropriate for the lead and/or being in other articles? I'm looking at: "Nevertheless, the subject continues to be one of mostly political but some scientific debate." and linking political to the ABC article sub-section "Politicization". - RoyBoy 800 22:49, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I think that is appropriate.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 00:22, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
It's okay to link to sub-sections in other articles. Articles will invariably be merged and sometimes there is no alternative but linking a sub-section. Also, a sub-section may be more relevant to the linked topic than the entire article, and thus the targetted link to a sub-section helps the reader by preventing the need to browse through the whole article to just read the relevant portion. -Severa (!!!) 01:22, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Good article reassessment

I feel that this article no longer meets the neutrality and stability required for GA status. I have brought it to WP:GAR for reassessment. -Severa (!!!) 03:07, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Severa, would you be more specific as to why you believe the article is no longer neutral?--IronAngelAlice (talk) 04:07, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I believe that Severa has retired. If no one else finds the article in need of reassessment, maybe we could consider this an act of frustration and disregard it? Phyesalis (talk) 16:22, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I've added a few thoughts over at GAR.Ferrylodge (talk) 19:10, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

(undent)I agree with Severa that this article does not meet the guidelines on neutrality and stability. For example, the article cites studies without revealing the non-neutral affiliations of the authors. One such study was the subject of a full article in the New York Times about the non-neutrality of the authors, and yet this Wikipedia article does not even mention the non-neutrality in the footnotes. See "Study Authors Didn't Report Abortion Ties" (August 26, 2005). In typically biased language, the Wikipedia abortion article refers to "medical researchers notably from the American Medical Association" when in fact the study was merely published in JAMA, and "AMA disclaims any liability to any party for the accuracy, completeness or availability of the material or for any damages arising out of the use or non-use of any of the material and any information contained therein."[12] Click on another footnoted link in this Wikipedia article, and the first thing you see is an advertisement for "Abortion to 24 Weeks".[13]

Another example of the non-neutrality of the present article involves the images. Susan Faludi, in her book "The Undeclared War Against American Women" (1991) said: "The antiabortion iconography in the last decade featured the fetus but never the mother." In contrast, this Wikipedia abortion article now features iconography of the mother but not of the fetus. Note that the very pro-choice Faludi uses the term "mother", as do pro-life groups, and yet this word has been deliberately removed from this article (giving the deliberate impression that motherhood does not begin until birth or later).

A further example of problems with this Wikipedia article involves jargon. Wikipedia guidelines say: "Write for the average reader and a general audience—not professionals or patients. Explain medical jargon or use plain English instead if possible." There's no problem using jargon, which is sometimes more specific and less ambiguous, but this Wikipedia article avoids even parentheticals on first use saying something like "also commonly known as (non-jargon term)." For instance, in the lead paragraph, there is no explanation of what "viability" means, no explanation of the difference between the words "embryo" and "fetus", and no mention that the technical word "uterus" is also commonly known as a "womb."

A related problem with the article is that it provides almost no information about what is being aborted (technically called the "abortus"). The average abortion occurs at the beginning of the fetal period, so a good article would summarize some of the info at the fetus article, or at least (as mentioned above) explain what the difference is between a fetus and an embryo.

Moreover, the article contains POV statements like the following: "Early-term surgical abortion is a simple procedure which is safer than childbirth when performed before the 16th week." Two words could be inserted to remove the POV: "safer for women." As one admin said, “Those two words don't push anything, but leaving them out does.” Nevertheless, those two words have been removed.Ferrylodge (talk) 01:57, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Ferrylodge, your concerns are best articulated on the abortion debate pages (pro-choice/pro-life). This page concerns the medical procedure and related scientific studies. Discussion of the "abortus" it's rights, etc. are part of the political debate, and are not part of the medical literature. There is a section titled "fetal pain" because it discusses a medical procedure, though it needs to be cleaned up.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 17:54, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I never suggested that this article should say one word about any "rights". It should say what the biological facts are.Ferrylodge (talk) 17:56, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Let's be intellectually honest. Any discussion of the fetus carries political rather than medical concerns. The political strategies of the pro-life movement is to focus attention on the fetus. However, this article is about the abortion procedure, not about the fetus. If you want to have a discussion about the fetus, you should probably do so on the fetus page.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 18:10, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

The role of Wikipedia is to be neutral, which means focussing exclusively on neither the woman nor the fetus, and instead presenting the relevant biological facts about both.Ferrylodge (talk) 18:48, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

I completely agree! And in this case, the relevant biological facts concern the procedure only, not the "fetus" or "abortus."--IronAngelAlice (talk) 08:56, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

I suggest you take a look at Wikipedia:Relevance of content. Wikipedia articles should be written in summary style, providing an overview of their subject. The procedure is performed on an embryo/fetus and a woman. You cannot begin to discuss the procedure without also discussing the embryo/fetus and the woman. I see that your previous comment did not mention the latter.Ferrylodge (talk) 18:22, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
"Relevance of content" says the following: "avoid going into detail on topics for which more specific articles exist." In this case, "fetus" has it's own article. Moreover, "fetus" is linked to in the very first sentence of this article. Again, I ask you to stop POV-pushing.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 00:15, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to let my previous comments in this section speak for themselves. In reply to your request that I stop POV-pushing, I ask: when will you stop beating your wife?Ferrylodge (talk) 00:35, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

This has now been delisted: the GAR discussion will be automatically moved to the GAR archives in just under an hour. The article currently fails WP:LEAD, and also neutrality issues were raised. Some of these were minor and/or trivial, but others were not adequately answered. Good luck fixing this. I surely know that controversial articles such as this are extremely difficult to raise to good article status, and this one is much better than many that come to GAR. Please renominate at GAN once the issues are resolved. Geometry guy 23:56, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

New study on breast cancer

The paragraph which describes the "Breast cancer hypothesis" is one of the worst disgraces of one-sided politicking I have yet to have seen on Wikipedia. Just two points:

  • "rejected hypothesis", "scientific consensus" is clearly NPOV, since there are still those that adher to it.
  • If the link is of a "causal relationship" how can you describe what causes it? Surely that would make it a "direct relationship"?

Here’s a new study published in Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons which – without speculating on the causes - seems to conclude that abortion is "the best predictor of breast cancer". That seems to imply that there might be a causal relationship (rather than a direct relationship) and argue against it being a rejected hypothesis. Rune X2 (talk) 11:40, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Anti-choice propaganda: following the source and the money
Who's Behind Abortion-Breast Cancer Study? (talk) 16:11, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I just want to note that since this is a top tier article, we are simply summarizing the more in depth spinout article on this topic. I believe the section in this article is simply the lead of Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis. It is important that we have consistency between articles. Therefore, I recommend bringing up concerns at the article on the actual topic, since we are simply summarizing that article here. -Andrew c [talk] 16:34, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I would add that for all the journal's claims to be peer-reviewed, the article in question comes nowhere near fulfilling the criteria for reliable evidence, as established (e.g.) by the CASP programme. The paper does not even contain a methods section, and there is no information on how the data were selected for review. This is therefore highly selective and biased anecdotal nonsense, and best filed in the bin. Maybe I should also take this to Talk:Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis. Snalwibma (talk) 16:41, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Alright. The magazine seems to be untrustworthy - although the article of course may still be noteworthy and I don't know that Planned Parenthood is necessary any more unbiased than Planned Parenthood which is used as a cite in the section and I still find the treatment of the subject does not live up to the NPOV criteria. There are other articles on suspect ideas that manage to deal with the subjects in a much more balanced way. In passing I note that for instance the articles on Cold Fusion manage to do so in a.more neutral way. I believe that instead of going out gung-ho and saying it's a "rejected hypothesis" then it would be more within established wikistyle to first present the subject without taking sides either way, and then in the following sentences perhaps state something like it has failed to attract backing by most of the scientific community.
Beyond that, this sentence is problematic: "rejected by the scientific community" - the whole of the "scientific community"? I very much doubt that, and in any case it would be unprovable, so it needs to be rephrased. Also this sentence: "pro-life advocates is seen by some as a" is weasel, by whom is it seen as … this should be stated and cited. Rune X2 (talk) 19:35, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
This was discussed, removed, debated and quickly re-added to the ABC article a while back. In future any proposed changes should indeed come to Talk:Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis; as the section here is a carefully crafted and much discussed Lead, which shouldn't be altered here. - RoyBoy 800 02:17, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

ABC Rejection Rationale re-hash

Rune, please look at the archives on this topic. In fact, it is a "rejected hypothesis," by the majority of non-biased researchers in the field. According to the (American) National Cancer Institute, it is well established that "Induced abortion is not associated with an increase in breast cancer risk. (1)"([15])

See also:

Medical studies:

The folks who continue the ABC hypothesis, like Joel Brind have been shown to do so for religious reasons. For more information about the politics of the ABC hypothesis, please see the following:

For further discussion on the topic, please see the ABC-hypothesis talk page

--IronAngelAlice (talk) 23:39, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

No it isn't. Un-biased notable studies have positive results; that's why it isn't rejected. If you choose to ignore them; that's your prerogative and apparently the NCI's as well. A workshop under media scrutiny created to respond to Bush administration changes to its website would be completely neutral and un-biased? To me, it seems like an assertion on your part. Finally, your WHO link doesn't even fully concur with your infallible NCI workshop. - RoyBoy 800 02:12, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Undo Weight - failed abortion

This section is ancillary and seems to give undo weight to a very rare occurrence. I move we remove it.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 19:30, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Pain management

This section seems to be out of place. It isn't really a "health consideration." --IronAngelAlice (talk) 19:35, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Propose to better summarize "health considerations" section

Early-term surgical abortion is a simple procedure which is safer than childbirth when performed before the 16th week.[14][15] Abortion methods, like most minimally invasive procedures, carry a small potential for serious complications.[16][17] The risk of complications can increase depending on how far pregnancy has progressed.[18][19]

Women typically experience minor pain during first-trimester abortion procedures. In a 1979 study of 2,299 patients, 97% reported experiencing some degree of pain. Patients rated the pain as being less than earache or toothache, but more than headache or backache.[20]

--IronAngelAlice (talk) 19:40, 11 January 2008 (UTC)


Interesting to see much thought has gone into the content of the lead, but seemingly little into its length, or lack of. Everywhere I look I see massive articles with absurdly small leads. I have seen one sentence leads, but this is getting 'up there' with the best. I really wish people who make these assessments, especially GA (and to a lesser extent FA - they seem to have some comprehension of the issue) would take more notice of this problem. Richard001 (talk) 02:41, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

It's number one on the to do list.-Andrew c [talk] 02:58, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Opps. Spoke too soon. I see you moved it to the top, and you are the one who added it back in April (though I agree with Severa that it should be at the bottom because they are listed chronologically). -Andrew c [talk] 03:00, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Move it back if you like. But my point is that the article isn't actually a GA (it fails criteria one) so I will delist if it isn't fixed. It's not a criticism of the excellent work that has gone into the article, but of the baffling and continued ignorance about lead sections, even in GA, A and occasionally even FA class articles. The writers of the Britannica could also take the hint, though they don't seem to have any formal standards on introduction length. Richard001 (talk) 03:09, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
The article is currently at WP:GAR, where the lead is one of the issues that has been raised. Geometry guy 17:19, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, just noticed that myself just now. I've also posted a similar message on eBay. People just don't seem to be looking at the leads when they review articles for GA. Richard001 (talk) 00:48, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I've now closed the GAR and delisted the article. Geometry guy 23:51, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Just started expanding the lead. Anyone want look over it or improve it?Phyesalis (talk) 00:53, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Looks good to me so far, except the # per year - the source is from 1999 I notice, should we hunt for newer? and should we even have that in the lead? And if we do, IMO we should specify "worldwide". Thoughts? KillerChihuahua?!? 00:57, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Added "worldwide". I'm fine with consensus either way on whether or not to include the stats in the lead. And I'm always for up to date stats. Phyesalis (talk) 01:31, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Lead definition

OK, I changed the lead definition because it was long, unwieldy and repetitive. I'm fine with the switch back to "medical" from "medicinal" but I feel like the revert just put the definition back to the old same verbose place. Andrew, I know you just switched it back, but would you mind discussing this? Phyesalis (talk) 01:35, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Changed medicinal to medical but reinstated change. Webster's says nothing about induced abortion and viability. Feel like the inclusion of unref'd material and crediting it to a dictionary is a bit of a POV push. If there is an issue with this, please discuss it here. Thank you. Phyesalis (talk) 17:47, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
It is my understanding, through personal conversation with Phyesalis, that the issue with the lead was simply that of sourcing. I've restored the long standing content, and changed the webster source to one of the sources from the archive from when this phrasing was suggested. -Andrew c [talk] 23:59, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to hold off on this edit. I just checked the references in the old verions, and while Webster's doesn't say "viability", the other link to the free dictionary does. So I'm really not sure what the issue was with the old version. -Andrew c [talk] 00:11, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
The problems with "viability" are a) it is not a concrete determination as it is determined on a case by case basis; b) only a few sources define abortion in terms of viability (including one which is a veterinarian medical dictionary) so this seems a bit like cherry-picking; and c)there is no significant discussion of viability in the article, and as such, seems a bit like unique content in the lead (now, this is kind of different as it involves a disputed definition). Perhaps we should add a sub-section discussing the myriad of issues that surround it? Phyesalis (talk) 01:14, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Oops, and d) it excludes those abortion which occur due to late term diagnosis of genetic defects as well as late term therapeutic abortions for the mother's health. Phyesalis (talk) 01:35, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
a) seems entirely irrelevant. The fact remains that this is a common usage of the term. Whether it is a not concrete or not isn't our fault and that doesn't seem like a valid reason to exclude. b) I disagree about the cherry picked part. The word "viability" perhaps isn't included in every medical definition, but there is a clear trend in the majority of the 20 odd cited medical definitions to have something along the lines of "before the twentieth week" "premature ending" "before a weight of 500g" "before the fetus is viable" "before it is capable of sustaining life" "before the fetus can live independently" or the one that wraps up all the ideas in one "prior to the stage of viability at about 20 weeks of gestation (fetus weighs less than 500 g)". If you'd rather not use the word "viability" but instead use 20 weeks, or 500g, or a phrase like "before capable of sustaining life", I'd be glad to discuss such a change. c) perhaps a section further discussing that is relevant. but I still think this sentence is very important for the lead because it deals with defining the term. Saying "some medical sources define abortion as..." is simply a matter of definition and while we could go into detail later in the article, I believe it can stand on its own in the lead. finally d) this argument has been brought up numerous times in the archives. Under this "medical" definition of abortion, those procedures are technically not "abortions".
The fact of the matter is that a significant number of sources clearly make a differentiation that abortions only occur up to a certain point in a pregnancy. This isn't a fringe view, and I believe it is quite notable. In fact, I think leaving it out of the lead is a matter of ignoring a significant point of view. When we say right out the bat what abortion is, it's right on point to mention conflicting, notable definitions of the term. Hopefully I have made a case (again) why this sentence shouldn't be deleted :)-Andrew c [talk] 02:54, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Can you summarize with actual numbers, i.e. how many of the 20 definitions specify before a certain time/weight/etc. and how many do not specify that it can't be any time up to the natural end of pregnancy?
How about something general that summarizes any of the criteria, such as "relatively early in the pregnancy," "towards the earlier part of pregnancy," "before a certain stage of development," "before a given criterion is met," "of a younger fetus," etc.? And if there is at least one definition that does not specify, then how about inserting a word or phrase such as "sometimes" or "usually considered to be" or "often considered to be"? --Coppertwig (talk) 14:58, 19 January 2008 (UTC) I wasn't intending to get involved in this debate at this time. --Coppertwig (talk) 19:40, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Note: There is related discussion at Talk:Abortion/First paragraph. --Coppertwig (talk) 14:58, 19 January 2008 (UTC)


OK, going over the recommended list, the discussion centers primarily on death, and I find that a number of sources bear closer scrutiny:

  • 1 no
  • 2 sort of yes, “Technically, the word abortion simply refers to pregnancy loss before the twentieth week." However, link not found, but MebMD (source site) does not define abortion in terms of viability, gestational age or weight, so I’d say this is no but doesn’t count because MebMD is used for #3
  • 3 no
  • 4 yes, 20th week, 500 gm
  • 5 yes viable
  • 6 yes, “otherwise the term "abortion" would ordinarily be used when occurring before the eighth month of gestation” (1911) Really, 1911?
  • 7 yes, (1913) See comment above.
  • 8 no
  • 9 yes 20 weeks – but this is for miscarriage, not abortion, the abortion def does not mention viability. MedlinePlus states, “An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy by removing the fetus and placenta from the mother's womb. There are many forms of abortion -- sometimes an abortion occurs on its own (spontaneously), and other times a woman chooses (elects) to end the pregnancy.” So this is actually a no.
  • 10Another MedlinePlus def of miscarriage – how to two defs of a term other than abortion from the same source count twice? So again, as it uses the same def for abortion it’s a no but should only count once.
  • 11 A Veterinary definition? Don’t even get me started.
  • 12 No, Encarta
  • 13 No, Merriam Webster
  • 14 Oh, look, it’s another instance of the MedlinePlus miscarriage def – are we getting the picture here? It looks a lot like a collection of the same freaking cherry – not cherries – cherry.
  • 15 Not a definition of abortion but an argument for “death” I guess, no mention of viability in my quick glance – because it’s not relevant to our discussion
  • 16 No, Encarta dictionary (different from number 12)
  • 17 yes, 20 and 500
  • 18 yes and no, nonviable as one of several contexts – 1 – general, 2 – elective/induced induced (no), therapeutic (no), tubal (no), spontaneous (implied but not stated, I’ll take this as a yes)
  • 19 enotes – therapeutic, yes, Selective, no
  • 20 no
  • 21 yes

To address the number of discounted examples I pulled the unique def sources from the first page search for “medical dictionary:

So, I get: 12 for no – 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 12, 13, 16, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25b; 4 for yes – 4, 5, 17, 21; 3 for mixed – 18, 19, 25a; and not counting 7 – 2 (not found but source site is #3), 6 (1911), 7 (1913), 10 (repeat of 9), 11 (Vet), 14 (r of 9), 15 (not a def, but argument for death, and not viability). Not much of an argument for a clear trend for viability. Thoughts? Phyesalis (talk) 03:27, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I'm quite confused after reading the above. (and by my count, there are 10 out of the first 22 which mention something that would fall under the category I've been referring to). But forget those old sources for now. Do a google search for "medical dictionary". On the first hit, type in "abortion" and you get:"The premature expulsion from the uterus of the products of conception of the embryo or of a nonviable foetus.". The second hit you get: "expulsion from the uterus of the products of conception before the fetus is viable.". These are from the top two highest ranking medical dictionaries on google. I also opened up the Oxford Companion to Medicine: The loss of an immature embryo or fetus before viability is an abortion and the Oxford Concise Medical Dictionary: the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus at a stage of pregnancy when it is deemed incapable of independent survival (i.e. at any time between conception and the 24th week of pregnancy). The 20+ definition list (which does have it's issues with some sources being questionable) is just an illustration to further this concept. The usage of abortion in this context clearly exists. I think because of that, we need to say in the lead something along the lines "abortion is sometimes medically defined as..." and mention something having to do with viability/gestational age/weight. Why do you want to ignore this point of view which clearly exists and isn't fringe by any standard (when did Oxford, Stedman's, Dorlands, become unreliable sources)? I thought the beauty of wikipedia was that we didn't take sides, that we were neutral, and that we presented all points of view. It isn't our job to say what is or isn't when it comes to defining terms. We simply report on our sources. And I still feel strongly that it only helps NPOV (and reader understanding) by mentioning a notable (even if not majority) usage of the word in the lead.-Andrew c [talk] 06:00, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
My point is that there is as clear a trend for not mentioning viability as there is for mentioning it, even more so. But more importantly, there seems to be a particular context for which viability is an issue (most notably miscarriage or spontaneous abortion) and others like induced (debated), therapeutic (for the life or the health of the woman done regardless of gestational stage) and selective (for genetic defects that can only be determined in late stages) that don't. What did I write that gave you the impression that I found Oxford, Stedman's or Dorland's unreliable? If they were on the list or on the first page, I counted them. Did I even mention the word "reliability" with respect to those three sources? I'm not saying that the word "viability" shouldn't appear in the lead, but I think that it should be contextualized. I don't think the old wording of viability was clear because it implied that all abortions were subject to definitions of viability. This is demonstrably false (as in selective and therapeutic abortions). Phyesalis (talk) 07:46, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
And how do you get 10? Phyesalis (talk) 12:37, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
When you say I don't think the old wording of viability was clear because it implied that all abortions were subject to definitions of viability. and go on to not want to include the "medical" POV, you are implying that Oxford and Stedman's and those other sources are not reliable. You are basically saying that you know better than Oxford, because you claim their definition is inaccurate by your personal standards. Not to be blunt, but this is simply original research on your behalf. We have sources that you admit are reliable, and which are notable. NPOV states that we therefore have to present their POV. Because a conflicting definition of the term exists, even if it is a minority view, we need to present all notable views from reliable sources. If I am mistaken, and your issue is simply how we phrased the previous version, would you mind suggesting a wording which would address your concerns. I feel that because we said "Abortion" can refer to an induced procedure at any point during human pregnancy; it is sometimes medically defined as either miscarriage or induced termination before the point of viability, we weren't giving any false impressions. The first sense of the word "abortion" which we say can occur at any point during a pregnancy covers those instances you are concerned about. The second "medical" use does not. But that is ok because there are conflicting definitions and we are just presenting multiple POVs. At this point, I really feel like we need more imput. Anyone watching this page care to chime in? IMO, the longstanding version was brought about through a long consensus process on the subpages, and has stood for a long time. I don't believe one editor should be able to delete longstanding content that was brought about through consensus. I strongly suggest that we revert back to the longstanding version, and only delete the content if there is a new consensus to do so.-Andrew c [talk] 15:48, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Quickly, the ones I counted were: 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 17, 18, 19, 21, 21.1 which gets 10 out of 22. Looking at your list, you had "yes" next to all of these, but some of them you discounted for other reasons. If we remove the ones that are defining "miscarriage" and not "abortion" then we remove 1 from my list, and 3 from the total, and I'll also remove #22 as it is the same source as 21, so we get 8 out of 18. We also have to keep in mind that this article is about and titled abortion and isn't exclusively about or titled therapeutic abortion or selective abortion. But I don't think we should focus on the old list anymore because I think we are both in agreement that there are multiple notable, reliable sources that have this usage.-Andrew c [talk] 15:59, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

(undent) Yes, there is a trend. I agree, and I'm certainly up for outside input. But I think we might be able to work this out. Again, not against the word being in the lead, just don't like the way it was used globally so as to exclude forms of selective and therapeutic abortion right off the bat. I'm thinking maybe a little rewording of "Definitions" and maybe a new title like "Types"? You up for letting me take a whack at and then some friendly WP:BRD? Phyesalis (talk) 18:59, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm opposed to going back because you are the only one (so far) who has an issue with it (I think I delineated this on my talk page). 9 other users have edited the article since I made the change. And I don't understand what you mean when you say that I don't want to include the medical definition. Where did I say that? Nor do I have any idea as to what you mean when you say I am engaging in OR. I pulled documented definitions, mostly from a list you provided. What are you talking about? (This isn't rhetoric, truly, if I've somehow inadvertently done so, I'd like to know so as to avoid it in the future.)
The general position that one must gain consensus before making changes to an article that barely survived WP:GAR doesn't seem like a productive policy, nor particularly WPesque. It's not like I'm suggesting that we remove "death" or include gory photos. Which brings me to a side point of creep - this position seems like a by-product of all the ossified instruction at the top of the talk page. Does anyone else think we should summarize some of it - like all the photo commentary? Thoughts? Anyone? Phyesalis (talk) 19:58, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Please, there are surely other users watching this, could someone offer a 3rd opinion?-Andrew c [talk] 15:38, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Based on my limited understanding of what the issue is here, I agree with Andrew c. However, if anyone would like to provide a concise summary of what they think the issue is, then I'd be glad to reconsider.03:29, 25 January 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ferrylodge (talkcontribs)
The previous use of the word "viability" was unclear as it was used globally and did not make distinctions for various selective and therapeutic abortions (many of which are done after "viability"). I am not arguing against the inclusion of the term, just wanting something more accurate. --Phyesalis (talk) 19:43, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

(undent)Okay, as I understand it, the disagreement is as follows. The lead paragraph used to have a sentence like this: "Abortion can refer to an induced procedure at any point during human pregnancy; it is sometimes medically defined as either miscarriage or induced termination before the point of viability" (emphasis added). However, it's been changed to say simply that abortion can occur "at any point during human pregnancy for therapeutic or elective reasons," without mentioning viability. The cited sources remain the same: "Merriam Webster’s Online Medical Dictionary. See also The Free Dictionary which includes definitions from Dorland's Medical Dictionary and from The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary."

Unless I'm mistaken, Phyesalis supports the current wording without "viability" whereas Andrew c thinks "viability" should go back in. It seems clear from the cited sources that "abortion" is often defined without being limited to instances before viability. But "abortion" sometimes is instead defined with that limitation; for example, Dorland's says: "expulsion from the uterus of the products of conception before the fetus is viable." And it seems that Dorland's is very clear about what the word "viability" means: "able to maintain an independent existence; able to live after birth."

So, in my opinion, this article should mention somewhere (either in the lead paragraph or in the footnote of the lead paragraph) that "abortion" is sometimes medically defined as either miscarriage or induced termination before the point of viability. And, it could also be mentioned in the footnote that "viability" means "able to maintain an independent existence; able to live after birth."[16] Sound reasonable?Ferrylodge (talk) 20:14, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Incorrect. I am not arguing for the exclusion of viability. I've added the sentence "In some contexts, elective abortion is defined as occurring before the point of viability." How's that for a starting point for compromise?--Phyesalis (talk) 16:45, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Maybe it would help clarify matters if you you would please quote here everything that you think the lead paragraph should say about viability, and also quote here everything that Andrew c thinks the lead should say about viability. Then other people (like me) would be able to compare. Thanks.Ferrylodge (talk) 16:53, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Let's not make this more difficult than it needs to be. Why don't we wait to see what Andrew thinks if the new edit? --Phyesalis (talk) 17:00, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Fine by me. Incidentally, the lead paragraph still needs a huge amount of work. It needs to be readable by lay persons, and that means using words that lay persons can understand. For example, why not insert a parenthetical after the word therapeutic: "therapeutic (i.e. health-related)"?Ferrylodge (talk) 17:16, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I think it is ok as a compromise. I think the previous version was a bit more clear. Saying "In some contexts" is vague and makes the reader what those contexts are. Perhaps "In some medical contexts" or "In some technical contexts"? Also, I'm not convinced that these sources we have been going through have used the term "elective", or for that matter were even referring to "elective abortion". I would be happier with that word out of the sentence. But I can live with the current version as well. Thanks so far on your working with me on this matter (both of you!)-Andrew c [talk] 21:18, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, Andrew and Ferrylodge. I've added "medical". I went through the defs and it seems pretty clear that therapeutic abortions are not medically defined or limited by viability as they usually mean significant risk to the woman's life or health - it doesn't matter that the fetus is viable. Also, because the cause for a number of therapeutic and selective abortions isn't actually known until after the point of viability, elective is the only one with any applicable context. I'm glad we could reach a compromise. --Phyesalis (talk) 02:48, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Coerced abortion

I've removed the following for the time being:

The Elliot Institute reports that 64% of (USA) abortions are coerced. Coercion may come from parents (parents of the fetus' father or the fetus' mother), from husbands or boyfriends, from doctors, counselors or others. In Pennsylvania it is illegal to coerce a woman to have an abortion. One pro-life strategy is to hold abortionists liable for failing to screen for evidence of coercion. LifeFacts: Coerced Abortion in the U.S.. This is similar to holding abortionists liable for failing to carry out mandated reporting of illegal sex with or among minors.

My first issue is that the text clearly isn't global and seems to only apply to the Abortion in the United States article. My next concern is that we don't have a citation for the 64% statistic. Next, there has been a huge amount of controversy regarding the Elliot Institute being a reliable source or not (see the talk page for David Readon and Post-abortion syndrome). If we had a more notable or scholarly source, it would be better. Also, the section doesn't seem balanced, in the both sources ( and Elliot Institute) are pro-life, and we don't cite a neutral source, nor do we cite a pro-choice response. But like I said in my first concern, if we don't have a source that makes this an international issue, I don't believe it warrants being in the top tier article, and this discussion should move to the US centric page. Also, if the only sources of information on this are from pro-life sources, and the term itself only gets 5,000 google hits, I'm concerned about notability of this issue. This topic needs to be researched further.-Andrew c [talk] 14:03, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

I think it being a national partisan source of questionable reliability merits it being posted on the US's talk page. As far as an international focus, the common terminology is "forced abortion" and primarily refers to anti-natalist policies in countries like China. Phyesalis (talk) 17:28, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

The 64% statistic is from Rue VM,et al.Induced abortion and traumatic stress: a preliminary comparison of American and Russian women. Med Sci Monit. 2007 Sep;13(9):LE11-12. You need to read the full article, free online, as that stat is not in the abstract. Other sources with different rates of women having abortions due to pressure from third parties are cited in the Elliot Institute's report. AGI reported only about 30% of women have abortions primarily because others want them to.--Strider12 (talk) 19:52, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

"Death" again

I know a lot of you are going to grown, but I do not believe that the issue of using the word "death" in the first sentence was fully resolved per the previous discussions: and here:

I don't understand why we cannot resolve it now by simply having the first sentence say, "An abortion is the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in the termination of a pregnancy." I mention this because the suggested terminology is taken which has changed it's definition to "termination" from one that included the word "death." This seems significant to me. Also, the American Heritage dictionary never used the term "death." The American Heritage definition is: "The ending of pregnancy and expulsion of the embryo or fetus, generally before the embryo or fetus is capable of surviving on its own."

  • An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy by removing the fetus and placenta from the mother's womb.
  • medicine, an abortion is the premature exit of the products of conception (the fetus, fetal membranes, and placenta) from the uterus.
  • (government website): An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy.

With these definitions in mind, please look at the previous inventory of definitions:

Because prominent sites, including the Miriam-Webster dictionary as well as the majority of medical sources use the "termination" terminology - we should probably change the first sentence. As it stands now, I believe as others have said that "death" carries too many connotations. This is 2008, our sources have changed their definitions.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 05:45, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

This is what I found listed in the Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary;-
Main Entry: abor·tion
Pronunciation: &-'bor-sh&n
Function: noun
1 : "the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus"
My view is that deliberately excluding the word 'death' carries even more connotations. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 09:37, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
By the way, Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary also defines feticide thus;-
Main Entry: fe·ti·cide
Variant: or chiefly British foe·ti·cide /'fEt-&-"sId/
Function: noun
"the action or process of causing the death of a fetus" Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 09:42, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Take it to the feticide article, please. Don't start that war here. KillerChihuahua?!? 17:34, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Have to agree, I think the death issue is a dead issue. --Phyesalis (talk) 19:50, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
There's a feticide war going on? Hmmmm... - RoyBoy 800 01:58, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Death in surgical abortion

Fishie instructed me to see the talk page in undoing my edit. I'm here, and I don't see a darn thing explaining Fishie's edit. I'm assuming Fishie just hasn't gotten around to posting it here. So Fishie, what's your reasoning? KillerChihuahua?!? 17:34, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Firstly, sorry if it appeared I 'instructed you' to visit the talk page - I had limited words available to explain why I reverted. I tried to post a few minutes ago but you were obviously posting when I tried and I'm having to do it again. I realise that the intro makes a statement that abortion is caused by or leads to the death of the fetus. I was under the impression that articles often restated points made in the intro and then provided more detail of those points. I believe it is one thing to say that 'death of the fetus results from abortion', but something more detailed and worth stating to point out that when an injection is used 'to ensure that a fetus can not be born alive', the death of the fetus is more than just a consequence - it is the deliberate intention. The point I made added detail that I felt was necessary to give a fuller picture if the procedure being discussed, and was supported by reference. I don't really see any reason to remove the point I added. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 17:45, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
That's covered with "resulting in", also in the lead sentence. Is this your entire argument? Because adding a redundant, poorly sourced, inflammatory phrase to a highly contentious article with the argument of "we need more details" (which if I understand your argument correctly is basically what you're saying) really requires some support on the talk page, and you not only have none you have the clear objection of at least three editors. I'm glad you've begun discussion on this issue rather than continuing to edit war against consensus. Btw, you can delete the text which your "undo" automatically fills in, which gives more space for summary - and "see talk page" usually means "see talk page" not anything else.
I'm missing how its at all unclear that the fetus is supposed to be dead at the end of a surgical abortion. Are you saying that is somehow unclear to you? Please clarify. KillerChihuahua?!? 18:00, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
It's obvious I've touched a raw nerve with this - I'll back off as it is not my intention to start an 'edit wars'. I didn't think I had started an edit war - I put in extra words with a supporting reference, that was then reverted by someone who objected that I had not used a whole quote (if I remember correctly); I therefore added different words in a different point of the same sentence with the same supporting reference, and that was reverted by someone else on the basis that the point had already been made - at that point I reverted so that I could explain my point on the talk page. Is that an edit war? By the way, to suggest that I added 'an inflammatory phrase' is very significant: all I did was make clear that the purpose of the injection was to prevent a fetus being born alive (quoted from medical guidance) and that is viewed as 'inflammatory'? Cheers for now Fishiehelper2 (talk) 19:01, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
The only raw nerve you've touched is by edit warring; no discussion on talk page; directing me to talk page even though there was still no discussion on talk page. Please see WP:BRD, a supplement to WP:BOLD - the order is Bold, Revert, Discuss. If you'd posted on the talk page after the first time you'd been reverted instead of edit warring, we wouldn't be talking about edit warring. After the third editor reverts you, even the densest should be able to figure out they are edit warring against consensus.
Inflammatory: this is inflammatory the same way (although more subtly) that replacing every instance of the word abortion with the word murder in the article is. It over-emphasizes one view (NPOV, anyone?) That used to be a favorite vandal edit. Probably still is, when the article is completely unprotected for any length of time. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:15, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Apologies one and all - I'll try to learn from my mistakes! Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 19:26, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
-) No worries. It can be hard to learn how things work here at first. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:08, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

elective abortion

I've just noticed that the introduction to the article claims "In some medical contexts, elective abortion is defined as occurring before the point of viability." However, the reference makes no mention of elective abortion - at least I can't find it. Both sources give definitions of abortion but neither mentions elective abortion as something that occurs before the point of viability. Am I wrong? I thought I should check here before editing. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 22:25, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

We recently discussed this extensively under the heading above "Lead". I personally agree with you. The cited sources just say "abortion" not elective abortion. -Andrew c [talk] 01:55, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for that. Unless someone changes the reference, I'll delete the sentence in the next few days .Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 16:39, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
I think deleting the sentence is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. If the only offending part of the sentence is the word "elective", then we can easily fix your concerns by deleting one word. But I think we should give Phyesalis (or anyone else) a chance to defend the current wording. If we read the previous discussion, Phyesalis' main concern was that certain medical uses of the term "abortion" can occur after viability. (and I think the previous wording that stood in the article for over a year better addressed this concern by contrasting the "some medical sources..." with "commonly, abortion procedures can occur at any point in the pregnancy"). -Andrew c [talk] 21:20, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
I thought about that, but then thought that if the sentence just said, "In some medical contexts, abortion is defined as occurring before the point of viability", I don't think such a sentence actually means very much. I'm in no rush to delete the sentence so it may well be sourced or edited before I get round to it! Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 22:31, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Good point Fishie, that's my issue with it - too vague to be useful. I found the specific context (spontaneous abortion)) in which viability (generally 20 - 24 weeks) makes a defining difference - before this point it's a spontaneous abortion/miscarriage, after the point and it's a pre-term delivery (stillborn or otherwise). The viability issue in therapeutic and elective abortions is primarily a legal context, not medical. As this is a medical article, I think we should be careful not to conflate the two. Certainly the issue of legal viability should be addressed in the lead, just not so much in the first paragraph devoted primarily to medical info. The new material is ref'd, accurate and far more precise than the previous wording. --Phyesalis (talk) 17:10, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Hi Phyesalis. I still don't understand the distinction (if any) between 'therapeutic' and 'elective' abortion - surely all 'elective' would come under the definition of therapeutic? Just a thought. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 17:51, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) In a nutshell - and very coarsely worded - therapeutic is for the health of the mother - the pregnant woman might die - and elective is not. KillerChihuahua?!? 17:57, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for that - I've researched and what you say ties in with definitions I've found exactly. In which case, if elective abortion is to do with 'choice rather than necessity', then the point of viability would only be relevant if the law were to restrict elective abortion after such a point - and even then an abortion after viability would still be elective as it is neither spontaneous nor therapeutic. I think the sentence in question probably has to go if it is not changed radically. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 19:32, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
You are in error. You state "an abortion after viability would still be elective as it is neither spontaneous nor therapeutic" and yet some therapeutic abortions take place later; the mother's health can be threatened by the pregnancy at any time during the pregnancy; and although terminology may vary, the only difference between a Miscarriage and a stillbirth is when it occurs - both are spontaneous rather than induced. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:37, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Sorry - is that not what I said? ...if it is neither spontaneous nor therapeutic, it is elective (whether before viability or after.) Anyway, I think we agree on what we are trying to say!!! Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 19:58, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Um no that's not precisely what you said, but ok. I think it was just a phrasing issue. What you said the second time (just above) certainly agrees. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:14, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Good point, KillerChihuahua. Fishie, the sentence is ref'd - what do you think is inaccurate? There is also selective abortion. Also, sorry about reverting, the removed material was actually part of a quote from the ref - if there's an issue with it, feel free to edit the ref. --Phyesalis (talk) 20:03, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm not saying there is an issue with it, per se, but generally it is best not to have extensive refs - just the name and the source, no quotes - unless strongly indicated (and even then there will be arguments.) We seem to be heading in the direction of lengthly editorial refs, which is a Bad Direction IMO. I'm wondering what the quote adds at all. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:14, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

(undent) I'm fine with removing it. --Phyesalis (talk) 20:31, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Sorry again KillerChihuahua! - I've just noticed my mistake - I wrote 'as' rather than 'if' - my second version was what I intended first time!
Phyesalis, my point with the reference was that the reference does not actually support the claim that "In some medical contexts, elective abortion is defined as occurring before the point of viability." - the reference makes no reference to elective abortion anywhere. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 20:38, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

(undent) Right, that's why I changed it - I guess that's why I'm confused. Do you have objections to the current version? -Phyesalis (talk) 21:54, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Current version looks good to me. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 22:07, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Great! Thanks. --Phyesalis (talk) 23:29, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Looks good to me as well.
Fishie: thanks for taking a second look at your original post - I knew there was some miscommunication somewhere! glad we got it cleared up. KillerChihuahua?!? 00:12, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

More undue weight

I think this addition to fetal pain is undue weight. The book is a how-to guide for expecting mothers, is 25 years old, and is used in a generic refutation "this is in complete contradiction of Verney's book". I think it should go or be reworded. -Phyesalis (talk) 04:55, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Andrew and Elemental Waters both have already reverted - Andrew the first time when there was no source, and EW as RV POV. I've reverted and left a note on the editor's page. KillerChihuahua?!? 13:27, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Order of sections

Just a suggestion - At the moment, the article has a section telling us about the incidence of induced abortion that comes before the section that describes the different types of abortion - spontaneous and induced. That appears the wrong way round. Surely we should reorganise this? Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 09:44, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Did someone already change it - we give general definitions prior to Incidence. That should more than cover it. I don't see this as a big issue. Have I missed your point? -Phyesalis (talk) 18:30, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
No, it's not a big point. I just thought it seemed untidy that we give broad, brief definitions of spontaneous and induced abortion, then discuss incidence of inducted abortion only, then go back to discussing forms of both spontaneous and induced abortion again. As I say, no big deal! Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 19:48, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
After thinking about your point, I agree with you. I've combined both the def and the forms sections at the top. I also shortened section titles per MoS - thoughts? --Phyesalis (talk) 15:36, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I think you've made a big improvement. Cheers Fishiehelper2 (talk) 17:11, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Great, thanks! I wouldn't have done it without your observation - so good work to you, too! --Phyesalis (talk) 19:16, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Abortion and Mental Health -- Material to be added

For discussion and eventual inclusion in the section on abortion and mental health:

According to an APA task force, "Case studies have established that some women experience severe distress or psychopathology after abortion" but "severe negative reactions are infrequent in the immediate and short-term aftermath, particularly for first-trimester abortions. Women who are terminating pregnancies that are wanted and personally meaningful, who lack support from their partner or parents for the abortion, or who have more conflicting feelings or are less sure of their decision before hand may be a relatively higher risk for negative consequences." [21]
In 1992, the Journal of Social Issues dedicated an entire issue to research relating to the psychological effects of elective abortion. In an overview of the contributors papers the editor, Dr. Gregory Wilmoth, concluded: "There is now virtually no disagreement among researchers that some women experience negative psychological reactions postabortion. Instead the disagreement concerns the following: (1) The prevalence of women who have these experiences . . . , (2) The severity of these negative reactions . . . , (3) The definition of what severity of negative reactions constitutes a public health or mental health problem . . . , [and] (4) The classification of severe reactions . . . "[22]
Interviews with of 854 women one year after they had abortions at a hospital in Sweden, found that approximately 60 percent of the women had experienced some level of emotional distress from their abortions and in 30% of the cases the reactions were classified as "severe."[23]
The research also compared pre-operative data on the women who agreed to participate in the one year followup and data on women who refused to participate, who represented approximately one-third of all women who had abortions at the hospital. Based on socio-demographic factors, reproductive history and reasons given for the abortion, the researchers concluded that women who are most likely to experience negative post-abortion reactions are also least likely to participate in post-abortion research, stating that "for many of the women, the reason for non-participation seemed to be a sense of guilt and remorse that they did not wish to discuss. An answer very often given was: ‘I do not want to talk about it. I just want to forget'." [24]
A record-based study of Finnish women found that in the year following a pregnancy outcome the rate of suicide following abortion was 34.7 per 100,000 compared to 5.9 per 100,000 for women who gave birth, 18.1 per 100,000 for women who had miscarriages, and 11.4 per 100,000 for women who had not been pregnant in the prior year. [25]
In 2006, a team of researchers at the University of Otago Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand, published results relating to abortion reactions from a longitudinal study tracking approximately 500 women from birth to 25 years of age. The study found that compared to other women in the group those who had an abortion were significantly more likely to experience subsequent "mental health problems including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviours and substance use disorders. This association persisted after adjustment for confounding factors." The authors wrote, "The findings suggest that abortion in young women may be associated with increased risks of mental health problems." [26]

These are just a few key sources which should be included to make this section more complete.--Strider12 (talk) 23:19, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Strider continues to misrepresent these studies and their conclusions. S/he cherry picks and forum shops.--IronAngelAlice (talk) 23:28, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia:Summary style. This is way too long and way to detailed for a summary section. In fact, many of the things you want to add to this article haven't been accepted at the parent article yet. There were concerns there that summarizing individual journal articles wasn't encyclopedic. There is no reason we should be pushing that at the top tier overview article. Please consider being much, much more concise here. Thanks.-Andrew c [talk] 23:45, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I would be happy to be more concise, but then those who insist that only their sources denying abortion and mental health effects will still insist on cutting any summary of other sources. Therefore, it is necessary to show some details of the study so readers and editors can see what the findings really are. Feel free to make it more concise.--Strider12 (talk) 01:16, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Maybe you could help us out. What do you find problematic about our current summary? Are there things that you would remove? Things you would change? Things you would add? What's missing? We already have Others have found a correlation between clinical depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors, or adverse effects on women's sexual functions and abortion. Various factors, such as emotional attachment to the pregnancy, lack of support, and conservative views on abortions, may increase the likelihood of experiencing such feelings. I think if anything, we should reduce the amount of attention we give to PAS, because the section is about "mental health". What do you think about our current summary?-Andrew c [talk] 01:23, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Lot's of problems with it. Both in facts, interpretations, and the political spin that only pro-lifers believe there are mental health problems associated with abortion, when in fact problems are identified and acknoweldeged by a large number for pro-choice researchers and pro-choice therapists and pro-choice peer support groups. See for a pro-choice peer support group. I'm working up an alternative summary which I will post on the talk page, probably in a day or two.--Strider12 (talk) 17:36, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm concerned that a completely newly written summary could create a scenario where the summary section contains content that the main article doesn't have. I'd suggest working on re-writing the lead of the main article, and once that is stable, consider moving potions or all of the lead here to replace the summary section. I also think this forum isn't exactly the best place to be discussing the mental effects topic when there is an article specifically about that topic. I'd say, once there is a new, stable lead at the main article, come here with your proposal. I personally cannot support a freshly written summary that contains content not found expressed in the main parent article. Make sense? Good luck!-Andrew c [talk] 17:47, 11 February 2008 (UTC)