Talk:Abortion/Archive 45

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You have all been had

B (talk) 12:47, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Formerly You have all been had by OM
He's kept you all debating a rock-solid consensus [based on compromise] and presented absolutely no new grounds [[1]] to challenge it except his grudge that the article doesn't reflect his own POV WP:BATTLEGROUND He started a petty tit for tat that he'd threatened some weeks earlier [there's a diff of this currently on a senior admins talk page]] in response to the completely proper suggestion that an RFC be held on a picture then in the article. Even MastCell couldn't be bothered to take him up on it. You may not mind this, you may not care that 3 weeks of your life have gone by and you won't get them back. Others do. I am heartily sick of this. I have no agenda here. But if this is not a matter for the community to discuss sanctions over, very little else is. Only two admins have seriously bothered to try and sort things out here, NW, and RoyBoy. It's a stinking mess, which interestingly is what OM threatened to make it. Time to end it. DMSBel (talk) 19:08, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm my own person. I don't care if he is here or not. The new consensus version is a great improvement over the old one. It's more accurate and much better sourced. You still seem to think that this is a personal attack on the editors who supported the old version. It isn't. It's the nature of WP. Your words will' be edited. JJL (talk) 22:18, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
There is no consensus over the new version, which has already changed several times. A single straw poll does not equal consensus. DMSBel (talk) 14:08, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I didn't claim it was because of a single straw poll--indeed, I didn't claim consensus after the straw poll. A consensus has evolved since then. Remember, consensus need not mean unanimity. JJL (talk) 04:40, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I think you may not be familiar with all the discussion of this JJL DMSBel (talk) 23:27, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

By the way I would not be surprised if OM tries his usual tactic and files this as a personal attack. Lets see what happens now.DMSBel (talk) 19:10, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree that the talkpage and editing environment have become a stinking mess (as you put it), but I think there's more than enough blame to go around. Orangemarlin has made relatively few contributions to this talkpage, and they're easily ignored if you choose. On the other hand, you and a certain IP have been somewhat more prolific in filling this talkpage with what I think we'll agree has not been especially useful argumentation. I also question whether starting yet another thread on this already-overburdened talkpage, with the sole aim of disparaging another editor, is the most productive way to improve the editing environment. MastCell Talk 19:17, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I concur. It's another part of the distraction effort--attacking editors, not arguments. JJL (talk) 22:18, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
It's not how much he contributes, its what he starts up. JJL shouldn't have to come up with a rationale and argue for OMs asinine (frankly speaking) notions.DMSBel (talk) 19:32, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
This is belittling. Please stop. JJL (talk) 22:18, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
But whatever you meant by your initial response, you'd might want to gauge the level of frustration over the current debacle. I asked for no change to a consensus version of the lede. The last three weeks have been me trying to find out whats up with editors. DMSBel (talk) 19:38, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
JJL is not to blame and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt MastCell. DMSBel (talk) 19:40, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
ALso regarding ignoring OMs comments. He doesn't need to take a pissy-fit at the mention of an RFC.DMSBel (talk) 19:42, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
In the WP community's hands now. DMSBel (talk) 19:43, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
It isn't up to involved admins in ongoing discussions to act as admins. They (almost always) know better than to do that. If there's an admin action needed, someone uninvolved will do it. But the idea of attacking an editor for disengaging from an IDHT discussion for a while is pretty funny. There ought to be a FAQ on that somewhere. LeadSongDog come howl! 19:53, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
You must think we are fools!DMSBel (talk) 19:59, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Mmmm, what could lead me to think that? LeadSongDog come howl! 20:07, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Red herring : A deliberate attempt to divert a process of inquiry by changing the subject. This section should be collapsed as such. - ArtifexMayhem (talk) 20:32, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Closing this would not be diverting an inquiry??, interesting logic. But then again "my opinions are worthless". 62.254.133.139 (talk) 20:38, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

DMSBel aka 62.254.133.13, I apologize for the worthless comment and still find this section off topic. ArtifexMayhem (talk) 21:33, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Apology accepted. If someone wants to close it no problem. It won't change my thoughts on what started all this. DMSBel (talk) 21:54, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Another editor obsessed with me. Would you quit trying to get me to sleep with you? I'm sorry that you thought I was gay, but I'm not. You are not my type, in that I prefer beautiful women with IQ's in the triple digits, not a sex-obsessed little twerp with an IQ that is exceeded by my nutsack. Wait, my nutsack said that it was insult to compare it to you. Besides this isn't eHarmony or Facebook. Good luck trying to hit on someone else around here.OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 02:20, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
All, because of comments like this one by Orangemarlin, and this one, I will be drafting a user conduct RfC on Orangemarlin here. If you are interested in participating, please put that page on your watchlist. Cla68 (talk) 05:18, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Awwww, Cla69, I said I don't want to fuck you. Quit stalking me you coward. LOL OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 05:23, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
This section does seem to be an extended personal attack on Orangemarlin and to a lesser extent me. It's about the debate itself--in fact, about presumed motivations for having the debate--not about the topic of the debate. JJL (talk) 04:44, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I said "I didn't blame you" - I was trying to put you at a distance from OMs conduct, as not party to the enabling of it. Strange kind of personal attack, must remember not to make that sort again.DMSBel (talk) 12:22, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

alphaDictionary (link suggested by Ermadog)

These are some definitions listed at Ermadog's link:

  • MacMillan Dictionary - abortion: a medical operation in which a developing baby is removed from a woman’s body so that it is not born alive.
  • Collins COBUILD English learner’s dictionary - abortion: a medical operation in which a pregnancy is deliberately ended and the baby is not born alive.
  • Cambridge University Dictionary of American English - abort: to end a pregnancy esp. by an operation before the baby is ready to be born.

71.3.232.238 (talk) 20:53, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

The following dictionaries mention in the basic primary definition the death/destruction of the fetus or that the fetus must not be born alive:

  • Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary (Amazon.com's best selling medical dictionary and the dictionary NIH provides online at MedLinePlus)
  • Merriam-Webster Legal Dictionary
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary (Amazon.com's best selling dictionary and the default dictionary for the prestigious Chicago Manual of Style)
  • American Heritage® Medical Dictionary
  • American Heritage Science Dictionary
  • American Heritage Dictionary
  • Webster's New World Collegiate Dictionary (not related to Meriam-Webster, "any deliberate procedure that removes, or induces the expulsion of, a living or dead embryo or fetus")
  • MacMillan Dictionary
  • Collins COBUILD English learner’s dictionary

71.3.232.238 (talk) 21:56, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

As mentioned previously, I use alphaDictionary to obtain a consensus of current usage. You haven't established any consensus here. You have randomly chosen several definitions that fit your agenda. The last time I searched on the term "baby", I found that half of the dictionaries include the unborn; whereas half either did not mention it or specifically excluded the unborn. Many defined "baby" as "infant". Dorland's Medical Dictionary has, for infant, "the human young from the time of birth to one year of age." Ermadog (talk) 22:16, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Au contraire: What has been established is that the consensus among the top four most commonly referenced English-language dictionaries in North America is to mention the life, death, or destruction of the fetus in the basic abortion definition. At some point you will have to deal with that fact. 74.5.176.81 (talk) 01:28, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Ermadog you said the IP has randomly chosen several definitions that fit his agenda??? Surely selecting sources at random would be neutral. It's just that random selection was used to come up with Note 1 apparently. Would random selection not be a sufficiently neutral way of selecting sources to avoid POV? DMSBel (talk) 08:20, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Great! keep up the good research, knowing how other reliable sources address this is invaluable. DMSBel (talk) 21:58, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
We have to disabuse some of the editors of the notion that medical jargon should prevail when the medical jargon is designed to allow calm professional discourse rather than to provide a clear layman's explanation. If you are about to kill a fetus (or cut off a breast, or lance aboil, or sever a testicle) as part of your professional duties, at least you can discuss the unpleasant task in terms that don't highlight the most gruseome elements of the task. It makes perfect sense. That is precisely what clinical language does: it puts what are often disgusting procedures or descriptions into language that is clean and clinicial - and thus more palatable. 71.3.232.238 (talk) 22:09, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
That isn't what clinical language does. The references selected were ones used by the medical community and for the medical community. Clinical language is used to describe something as precisely as possible so as to communicate it clearly, unambiguously, and in such a way that practitioners in different geographical locations will use the same term in the same way so that communication is meaningful. You're making assumptions that fit your goal--but not the facts. JJL (talk) 22:01, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
IP 71.. No problem with the gist of what you are saying. It's just that I'd say that one of the issues with the lede is that it currently uses easily misunderstood language in places. In that regard there is an issue with "before it is viable." Whether it is jargon per se is open to question. Jargon can be both easily misunderstood, or at times completely incomprehensible to anyone outside the circle which uses it. For instance:Champagne tap-- Reference to the bottle of bubbly a junior should receive from his consultant after achieving a bloodless lumbar puncture. Now known in the new NHS as a shandy tap. Or Crackerjack referral-- It's Friday, it's five to five, it's... " These are british examples of medical slang by the way. Some of them are humorous. But back to viable
Viable [adjective] - World English Dictionary
1. capable of becoming actual, useful, etc; practicable: a viable proposition
2. of seeds, eggs, etc) capable of normal growth and development
3. of a fetus) having reached a stage of development at which further development can occur independently of the mother.
You see the difficulty here is with whether it means capable of reaching a stage of development, or having reached a stage of development.
Even if taken in the sense of having reached, we know that the phrase "before it is viable" is not good enough for the purposes of an encylopedia article. It should be changed to "often before it [or a fetus] has reached a stage of maturation medically refered to as Viability."DMSBel (talk) 09:15, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Fortunately we have Fetal viability to remove any possible doubts. JJL (talk) 22:01, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm getting a picture that whatever has been said about factual accuracy or simplicity that's not the main reason having "death" in the definition is so important to some people. It seems to me that it's really about casting abortion in the same light some people see it -- "gruesome," "disgusting," "killing a baby" etc. Well it's not Wikipedia's job to do that. We just neutrally report what other references say. No euphemisms or dysphemisms or spin of any kind. If other references use "death" to define abortion most of the time we should use it too, but if they hardly ever do then we shouldn't break suit just make people with strong opinions happy. Frankly it seems to me that trying to find one definition of abortion that fits every case -- spontaneous vs induced, selective reduction, postviability -- is a lost cause. We can't realistically cram every possibility into a single sentence so why let the perfect be the enemy of the good? We should go with the definition that the majority of references use but frame it so that we can explain some of the complexities later in the article. Like "abortion is **commonly defined** as the termination of pregnancy by the expulsion or removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus before viability." That's reflecting what the majority of references say but it leaves us room to cover stuff that doesn't fit in that general definition later on. Friend of the Facts (talk) 23:20, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Same could be said for "before viability" - this could be seen avoiding the inconvenient fact of late-term abortion (ie after viability). POV barks loudest at other alleged POVs. You were saying?DMSBel (talk) 09:45, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
This is the heart of the matter--whatever your POV, using the overwhelmingly most widely used definition cannot possibly be considered biased. Argumentation can occur later in the body of the article. Some here want their own personal defn. of the term--that is highly unencyclopedic. JJL (talk) 22:06, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Personal? - RoyBoy 02:45, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

I said the the definition should include a caveat like "commonly defined as" so there was room to cover exceptions like lateterm abortions later on. The fact is that most references define abortion as taking place before viability. We can't just invent a new definition because we think it makes more sense any more than we can say Pluto isn't considered a dwarf planet because we want it to stay a planet. Also I'm finding your tone impolite and bordering on personal attack. Friend of the Facts (talk) 18:11, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

  • 1. No one mentioned baby killing until you introduced it single-handedly so you could use it as a strawman.
  • 2. The 2006 consensus version applies to every possible abortion situation, so it is fruitless to claim that we can't come up with a universally applicable definition.
  • 3. You are dismissing the most widely recognized and relied-upon English language dictionary (Merriam-Webster) as well as three other widely relied-upon dictionaries (American Heritage, Webster's New World Collegiate, and MacMillans) or else you are acknowledging them but claiming that the langauge they use violates NPOV. This is simply ridiculous and won't ever win consensus.
74.5.176.81 (talk) 00:45, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

1. Why selectively post three dictionary entries that all use "baby" if one is not trying to say that's what abortion involves?

2. I don't think a loose agreement come to by some anonymous Wikipedia users five years ago is so significant any change to this article's defintion is unthinkable. Even the US Constitution isn't written in stone like that. Besides five years ago they seem to have been trying to define abortion to cover every possible situation at the same time. But other references don't try to do that and it's not Wikipedia's job to try to fix things or reinvent the wheel. We should just report what the majority of references say. Also doesn't what the references say trump consensus? Otherwise if enough people got together you could have Wikipedia articles saying tomatoes are a vegetable or Pluto is still considered a planet despite that not being what most references or experts say.

3. The reference survey Nuclear Warfare did earlier showed the majority don't use "death" to define abortion. Basically it looks to me like there are some users here cherrypicking the minority of references that use "death" because they think it's important for Wikipedia to use that word because it reflects their personal opinion. Again that's not Wikipedia's job. Friend of the Facts (talk) 02:36, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Another editor said the IPs dictionary references were chosen at random. Agreed we should say what abortion involves more clearly. Anonymous users? Your name is? Or in other words remember not to call the kettle black. :-) Also the discussion of the last several weeks shows its not unthinkable to discuss this. But you are confusing thinkable with will automatically be done to please whoever drops by. Interestingly NWs survey was a random survey too.DMSBel (talk) 09:58, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
He said they were cherry-picked, and those are dictionaries and hence inferior sources. JJL (talk) 22:06, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

That wasn't intended to suggest there's anything wrong with going anonymous, just that Wikipedia is an internet site where anyone can join so by its nature it's informal. Anything some essentially random folks on a website decide about abortion doesn't carry the same weight as if say a panel of WHO doctors sat down to consider something and then came out with an official statement or policy on it. So basically I don't think this discussion from 2006 should be treated like holy writ. I get not wanting to constantly reopen closed debates because if that's what happened it'd be impossible to do anything else, but five years is a long time and the level of objection to "death" means it deserves reexamnination. Friend of the Facts (talk) 16:58, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Indeed, it was suggested by one of the outside editors (DRN? ANI?) that this consensus should be reviewed at least annually. JJL (talk) 22:06, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

You keep discounting out of hand the definitions in the two most popular dictionaries in the USA (both of which include death/destruction of the fetus in the primary definition). And you also have ignored the absolutely clear language used in coding guidlines for "fetal death" that the CDC issued for use by all doctors in the USA: "NCHS and the States do want to include those induced terminations where the fetus died prior to the induction procedure, and exclude those where the fetus died during the induction procedure." The CDC acknowledges that induced abortions always involve a fetus that dies. 71.3.232.238 (talk) 17:23, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Oddly the above doesn't consider the OED definition 1.a. which elegantly avoids "death", "live", "viable", and the whole question of which comes first. We could learn from that.LeadSongDog come howl! 20:38, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
That version changed considerably from the 1989 version in OED2.LeadSongDog come howl! 20:48, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Then there's Medicine.net's MedTerms entry, which also avoids "death", "live", "viable" and the question of which comes first, but in a different way.LeadSongDog come howl! 21:44, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Maybe Wikipedia should change too, then. JJL (talk) 22:10, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
May we please use the 1547 version (Abhorsion is when a woman is delyvered of her chylde before her tyme) instead of arguing so much? :)

I have added the Oxford English Dictionary to the list; thanks for the link. NW (Talk) 23:33, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Can you please post the OED definition(s) here. As to Medterms.com, "exit", "loss", "lost", makes abortus sound like an escaped pet without a collar. Literally and technically the definition is top notch for abortion. Though completely bypasses the dominant understanding "abortion" refers to "induced abortion", so doesn't seem suitable to me initially; but maybe Wikipedia's summary accuracy is to take "abortion" literally. FYI Medterms was already glanced at. - RoyBoy 02:45, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

NW provided me with the OED content below. - RoyBoy 03:03, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

1. The act of giving untimely birth of offspring, premature delivery, miscarriage; the procuring of premature delivery so as to destroy offspring. (In Med. abortion is limited to a delivery so premature that the offspring cannot live, i.e. in the case of the human foetus before the sixth month.)

b. fig. Failure (of aim or promise)

2. Biol. Arrestment of development of any organ, so that it either remains a mere rudiment, or is entirely shrivelled up or absorbed.

The above is actually the OED2 definition from back in 1989. The current one is as follows (I omit the pronunciation, forms, etymology, and history from the entry):

abortion, n. 1.

a. The expulsion or removal from the womb of a developing embryo or fetus, spec. (Med.) in the period before it is capable of independent survival, occurring as a result either of natural causes (more fully spontaneous abortion) or of a deliberate act (more fully induced abortion); the early or premature termination of pregnancy with loss of the fetus; an instance of this.
In modern general use the unmodified word generally refers to induced abortion, whether caused by drugs or performed surgically, and the term miscarriage is used for spontaneous abortion.

contagious, missed, vacuum abortion, etc.: see the first element.

b. fig. Failure or abandonment of a scheme or process; an instance of this.

2. An aborted or miscarried fetus; an abortus (now rare). Also fig. and in figurative context: a person or thing not fully or properly formed; an ill-conceived or badly executed action or undertaking; a monstrosity.

3. The imperfect offspring of an untimely birth, or any dwarfed and misshapen product of generation; hench fig. the nugatory or empty result of any action.

LeadSongDog come howl! 19:50, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

The primary Oxford defiintion you have supplied above includes two interesting phrases:
  • "expulsion or removal from the womb of a developing embryo or fetus" - developing implies that the thing developing has to be alive (only a living embryo or fetus can be described as developing - in medicine, develop means "to progress from earlier to later stages of a life cycle" according to Stedman's
  • "early or premature termination of pregnancy with loss of the fetus" - loss as used here is a synonym for death
71.3.232.238 (talk) 20:39, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
You're just making things up here. 'Developing' doesn't imply something has to be alive ("developing appendicitis", "developing the radiological film") and 'loss' doesn't imply death ("loss of an eye", "loss of hearing", "loss of balance"), even in a medical context. JJL (talk) 03:40, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Among the most widely referenced dictionaries in the English-speaking world, all of them either imply or state that the aborted fetus was alive prior to the abortion or dead after the abortion:

  • Oxford
  • Merriam-Webster
  • American Heritage
  • MacMillan

71.3.232.238 (talk) 20:45, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Sorry 71, but you are mistaken. Bolting in an exhaust pipe is phase in the development of an automobile on the assembly line, yet that doesn't mean it runs, or even that it necessarily will once the key is eventually turned. What you are doing above, reading between the lines at "...impliest that...", is perfectly acceptable for readers, but not for editors. It is the very clearest case of wp:OR. We can leave that inference to our readers, just as the OED does. If anyone is expert in making clear the meaning of words, it is lexicographers, and those at the OED are the best of the best. For us to assume that they did not know how to convey their intent would be the very height of gall. However, if you really think they did not know how to get their intent across, I suggest you let them know so that they can improve their next effort. Be sure to let us know how they respond. LeadSongDog come howl! 21:07, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
You could not be more wrong. The medical definition of develop has nought to do with bolting in exhaust pipes.71.3.232.238 (talk) 21:23, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I suppose I should have known that would be taken literally. This discussion is getting increasingly off-topic. The essence, though, is (to borrow from Einstein) that "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler". We do not need to explicitly say whether or not a foetus is alive in order to define abortion. "Foetal death" is a term of art which is explicitly mutually exclusive of "live birth" and of "death". A single pregnancy can only result in one of the three outcomes (multiple pregnancies obviously have other possibilities). Many but not all reliable sources (lexicographic, medical, legal, and demographic) use those three terms with those meanings. If, as it seems, we cannot come to agree to use those terms with those meanings, let us then agree to not use them at all in the lede. The body text can of course be more explicit about the distinction.LeadSongDog come howl! 22:18, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
This point is well-taken. If we can't agree, then aren't these terms best avoided? Readers won't have the benefit of all this nuance. JJL (talk) 03:46, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

New first sentence

The new first sentence doesn't "serve to disambiguate abortion terminology and and types" like the hidden note at the end of the first paragraph says the first paragraph is supposed to do. It's also redundant with the third paragraph which basically says exactly the same thing about abortion being of interest in politics and religion etc. Also was this change discussed? I admit I've been a way a few days and missed some stuff that's been going on here but it doesn't seem to have been brought up in the last few threads . Friend of the Facts (talk) 16:27, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. There was no consensus to change the first paragraph from its status prior to the edit war that began a month ago. Tweaking it now is simply making the article itself a sandbox. 71.3.232.238 (talk) 17:10, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
It was discussed on my user talk page, but I tend to agree with you (per MastCell's comment on my talk page). I'm taking it out now until we can discuss it further. NW (Talk) 17:19, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes tweaking may not solve the problem. But I cannot revert to earlier consensus version, an Admin will have to do that. So I made a couple of discussed and non-controversial changes. I have no problem with going back to the 2006 consensus version (of the lede), as consensus for the unstable version proved impossible to establish. The change I made was presented on this talk page (see section above)[[2]], following on from some DRN suggestions, and in the light of them. It was pretty well sign posted. I had offered a discussable suggestion for how the first few sentences could read. There was a little discussion and no objection to beginning the article with a statement on the scope of the subject of abortion. Its the first I knew of an embedded (not hidden) note regarding disambiguation, but those are common in articles. I'll check after I finish this post, but did the note say the first sentence had to disambiguate terminology and types? If so it would be an impossibility without writing a huge sprawling mess of a sentence. Sorry re-reading your post as I write. You said note states disambiguation in first paragraph required. Ok. The first paragraph still does that to the same degree it did before I made my edit, with the new opening sentence. If better disambiguation is needed no problem, but Elective/Therapeutic is being discussed currently as the source used indicates no "either/or" disjunction between the two. "therapeutic" abortions are also elective (chosen), they are not performed without patient (maternal) consent as far as I know. DMSBel (talk) 18:11, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

The current "definition" sentence: "Abortion refers to the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion of a fetus or embryo from the uterus often before it can survive outside the womb" is as clear as mud (while removal/expulsion is often before viability, it is also often after viability and then it is called "live birth"). If we substitute "birth" as the first word: *"Birth refers to the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion of a fetus or embryo from the uterus often before it can survive outside the womb" the sentence is just as accurate (when removal/expulsion occurs before viability it is known as "still birth miscarriage", and when it occurs after viability it is often called "live birth"). 71.3.232.238 (talk) 17:04, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

That's not true at all. Per ref 11 (Concise Medical Dictionary from Oxford U), one can only call a process stillbirth after 24 weeks after conception (presumably viability). NW (Talk) 17:19, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I have made the correction - and my point stands: the sentence is crapola and meaningless. 71.3.232.238 (talk) 17:30, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
So, at least you are on record admitting that viability is presumed after 24 weeks. In the USA there are 18,000 induced abortions annually on fetuses 24 weeks and older. The doctors who perform these late term abortions consistently acknowledge they are almost always elective and rarely medically indicated. In India there are tens of thousands of late term abortions each year, mainly for sex selection to prevent the birth of females.71.3.232.238 (talk) 17:35, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
What's your source for the claim that there are 18,000 induced abortions annually in the US at >= 24 weeks' gestation? The best available statistics suggest that there are ~18,000 induced abortions at >= 21 weeks, which is quite different ([3]). Could you comment? MastCell Talk 18:17, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Could this be apples and oranges? Guttmacher's 1.5% is "21 or more weeks" "from the last menstrual period". That would be 21+ weeks gestational age, or equivalent to 19+ weeks from fertilization, if my arithmetic is correct. The CDC's 2007 surveillance data shows 1.3% of 827,609 reported abortions were at or after 21 weeks gestation. The MMWR also discusses the reporting discrepancies with the considerably higher AGI figures, and how they vary by state. LeadSongDog come howl! 21:33, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Sure. My point is that whether one uses the CDC's statistics or Guttmacher's (which are more complete), neither one supports the IP's claim. I guess my larger point is that I'm not sure why I should take this particular IP seriously, given how fast and loose they play with facts in service of their agenda, but I'm waiting for a clarification of the above. MastCell Talk 23:13, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Using terms like "agenda" is bad faith please see WP:AGF 62.254.133.139 (talk) 17:20, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Making false statements and failing to correct them when called out is evidence of bad faith, at least to me. Particularly when the falsehoods and misrepresentations consistently serve to advance a specific political agenda. Of course, I may have missed something, which is why I invited the IP to source their claim. Curiously, they've gone from making ~20 posts/day to complete silence since I asked them to back up their claims with facts, though. MastCell Talk 18:32, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Phrases like "making false claims" is bad faith too, please see earlier link. The pro-life movement never politicised the debate. Not done your history? Facts, you'd like facts? Give the boy the facts! 62.254.133.139 (talk) 20:18, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, that seems a bit incoherent to me. I'll wait to see if the IP had an actual source for their claims. MastCell Talk 20:29, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, you could have just asked "is there a source for that?" because you don't know. The IP has been very good with sources. 62.254.133.139 (talk) 20:46, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I did exactly that, as you should be well aware. The IP has been uncharacteristically silent since, despite being "good with sources". MastCell Talk 20:52, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
OK, since the IP is back to deluging the talkpage with threads, I'm going to take his conspicuous silence here as a refusal to address or correct his apparent misstatement, and adjust my interactions with him accordingly. MastCell Talk 23:36, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Unsure what 71.3 is looking at. Here is the WHO article source for 10% abortions happening in the 2nd trimester. Unsure where high estimate of 15% came from, let alone 1.5%. - RoyBoy 00:04, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

On whether the fetus is alive

Here's some sources that support a contrary view to the sources indicating a fetus dies. They take different stances on the details but make it clear that there are WP:RS that back up the claim that a fetus cannot be said to be alive, or to die. Here's one that goes pretty directly to my position, which is indeed somewhat philosophical: [4] T Kushner, Having a life versus being alive, J Med Ethics 1984;10:5-8 : "In an attempt to provide some clarification in the abortion issue it has recently been proposed that since 'brain death' is used to define the end of life, 'brain life' would be a logical demarcation for life's beginning. This paper argues in support of this position, not on empirical grounds, but because of what it reflects of what is valuable about the term 'life'. It is pointed out that 'life' is an ambiguous concept as it is used in English, obscuring the differences between being alive and having a life, a crucial distinction for bioethical questions." The brain birth/brain death parallel has been explored by a number of authors, and they have reached varying conclusions on it. [5] D G Jones, The problematic symmetry between brain birth and brain death, J Med Ethics 1998;24:237-242; [6]D G Jones, Brain birth and personal identity, J Med Ethics 1989;15:173-185. In somewhat more florid language, there's [7] Gareth B. Matthews, Life and Death as the Arrival and Departure of the Psyche, American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 2, Apr., 1979, which points out that "When does life begin?" is one of the great philosophical questions. A neuroethical approach is taken in [8] Michael S. Gazzaniga, The Ethical Brain, Dana Press (April 29, 2005). In [9], N Pfeffer, What British women say matters to them about donating an aborted fetus to stem cell research: a focus group study, - Social Science & Medicine, 2008, comments on "the difficult issue of how and when an aborted fetus 'dies'" in the context of tissue donation. An interesting Oct 19, 1975 NY Times article [10] discusses a case in which a miscarriage led to a biologically, but not legally, live birth, and the ensuing debate led to the hospital canceling the bill for the care it provided for 48 hours to a legal non-entity. The life/death issue is complicated. JJL (talk) 03:46, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

If you are attempting to define person-hood, with its legal and moral implications it is interesting. The lead isn't doing that. If the lead say "his/her death", "their death" you'd be on topic. But the lead specifies "its", it is an IT. A biological growth that dies, like a tumor, not a legal person. You are repeatedly going off topic, yes we get it, you feel death implies person-hood. Not the case. Though I find this research impressive, its application is misplaced. - RoyBoy 07:33, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Not quite...as I keep saying, the biological tissue is clearly composed of living cells and undergoes cellular death, but I don't believe that throughout the post-conception period there's clearly an organism that is capable of undergoing organismal death. The "it" appears to me to refer to an organism, not a clump of cells. I believe (in line with some of these refs.) that the quality of being a living entity--be it a human or other animal at issue here--is a fuzzy issue. JJL (talk) 14:35, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification, if I missed it above sorry. So this isn't about "life" at all, it is about "organism". Could have saved us some time. Broadly defined by Wikipedia, organisms are an "assembly of molecules functioning as a more or less stable whole which exhibits the properties of life". I presume here we define "stable" to mean what would suit our side of the discussion; you would say it's rapidly developing so hardly stable, I'd say it is self contained and is developing normally, so it is stable. Moving on to "any living structure, such as a plant, animal, fungus or bacterium, capable of growth and reproduction". What I would speak to here, is that reproduction isn't about being fertile (if that was the case toddlers wouldn't be organisms), it speaks to something more fundamental, of stable cell division reproducing cells and leading to continued growth and development. With that said, are you able to acknowledge an embryo is an organism, or are you under the mistaken impression organs have to be formed?
Yes, I've been drawing this distinction from the beginning. Your comments go to the heart of where you and I disagree, I think. I see a slow transition toward the fertilized egg becoming an organism in and of itself without a well-defined point of change--a fuzzy, heap paradox sort of situation. The lack of stability is evident to me in the vast changes it undergoes, for just one point, and more generally "the properties of life" opens up a whole set of issues. Implying I'm 'mistaken' where we disagree ins't helpful, is it? JJL (talk) 17:51, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────You would have my genuine sympathy if you hadn't said: "Do embryos adapt and evolve?" Now we have: "an organism in and of itself"... I've just rigorously spelled out for you an embryo, let alone fetus, easily meets the criteria for an organism. An embryo is "capable of growth and reproduction" -- stay specific -- how am I incorrect with reproduction if you consider a toddler an organism? - RoyBoy 00:25, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Do you wish to continue this, or would you be courteous enough to acknowledge we explored "organism" in 2006, because ... we did. - RoyBoy 15:28, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what you did in 2006. That consensus has been lost. New sources and new editors have been introduced. Wikipedia is not static and is meant to be improved. You are very enamored of that magic time, but you need to let it go. If in 2001 the consensus had been for 'viable', would you have never tried to introduce 'death'? JJL (talk) 17:51, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Lack of courtesy noted. This is typical tendentious behaviour - a complete inability to admit any error, under any circumstances, no matter what the evidence says, even down to not admitting that the subject has been covered previously. -- cheers, Michael C. Price talk 18:06, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
In 2001 I would have been naive enough to think death was an inappropriate, even pro-life definition of abortion. To answer your question directly to clarify, I never introduced death, I did become bold and coordinate a collaborative environment that selected it as the best option and an important (yet accurate) compromise. Something essential to genuine improvement to Wikipedia. By the way straw polls don't meet that criteria. - RoyBoy 00:25, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Also, I just appreciated the irony of you extolling the ambiguity of life (which doesn't apply here), but are supporting "viable" which is ambiguous in it's own right. Indeed medical community embraces it, so? This means it isn't ambiguous? - RoyBoy 08:27, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
It's a fundamental confusion of facts to think that viability is ill-defined. It's when the fetus can survive outside the womb. That's a yes-or-no question. What's ambiguous is the range of gestational ages and weights various authorities give for when it's likely that a fetus is viable. The moon has a weight, but I can't tell you exactly what it is because I can't directly weigh it. We can get pretty good estimates though. Viability has a crisp definition, but determining when it has occurred without actually removing the fetus and testing it is difficult, and varies case-by-case. JJL (talk) 14:35, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I am muddled here, it's crisp "Marked by clarity, conciseness, and briskness", but then it varies, based on likelyhoods of various opinions / benchmarks and in the end we rely on estimates. That isn't crisp JJL. If we had a mechanism large enough, the moon is weighable, until then estimates will do. But we don't pretend those estimates are completely accurate, caveats and clarifications are added to clarify that. - RoyBoy 14:52, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Viability is well-defined. But it's like many things that are difficult to test for. Any one of us may have a small cancer growing in us right now. It either is or isn't, but unless it's big enough for an MRI or other test to find we won't know. In principle you could always remove the fetus from the womb and see what happens--impractical and unwise for obvious reasons, but it shows that survivability is well-defined. The fact that it's hard to predict by indirect factors such as gestational age and weight doesn't change that fact. Viability has a short, easily understood, one-line defn.: Ability of the fetus to survive outside the womb. Unlike 'death', it's simple and unambiguous. Do you not see the difference between something being well-defined and the difficulty of performing Nondestructive testing? JJL (talk) 15:05, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Your sophomoric examples are unhelpful. As survivability varies from one fetus/mother to the next, from one environment to the next, it's well-defined but not verifiable. You almost seem to understand this at the end with "nondestructive testing", but somehow incapable of coming to the conclusion yourself. Frustrating and strange. - RoyBoy 15:28, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Why would it matter if it's (practically) verifiable in a given case? It's well-defined. It's certainly verifiable--it just wouldn't be feasible to do so on a human. On an animal you could test viability in any case but removing the developing fetus from the gravida's womb. This is perfectly scientific. I think you want a test that could be used on a given woman prior to performing an abortion. But that that's currently difficult to do with certainty doesn't change the fact that removing the fetus would result in either survival or non-survival, so that viability could be ascertained. Viability is well-defined. I think you don't find the definition useful in making a determination of whether an abortion should be performed because we don't yet have a simple test for that. That's an entirely separate issue. I'm discussing a concept while you're looking for a test. And again, insults like 'sophomoric' aren't helpful--please stop. JJL (talk) 17:57, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Because it is too easy and presumptuous to define viability in any "crisp" and precise way, it ends up failing very quickly because biology is unpredictable (the spectrum you mention). Viability is in-line with medical procedural consensus, but out of line with the larger reality. As an encyclopedia we handle larger reality first, especially in a lead. For myself, I'm not concerned with "determination of whether an abortion should be performed", that's a moral judgement that has no place in the lead -- and is up to those involved in that individual case faced with tough choices. Not acknowledging viable abortus is inaccurate/incomplete in the lead, if we attempt to do so, we end up with weasel words and bloat and some confusion. If I see further examples of poor rationale, I'll label them differently going forward. - RoyBoy 18:18, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Viability is crisply defined--the fetus either survives outside the womb or it doesn't. When you say "viable abortus" then I understand that you're arguing against the medical defn. of abortion, but to the extent that you're saying that the concept of viability, in isolation from abortion, is ill-defined, that simply isn't so. Please don't be defensive. I know you cherish the former consensus and have strong feelings favoring the use of 'death'. I suggest you re-commit yourself to the classic advice given to new users: "Your contributions can be edited mercilessly." We are improving the article and hence WP itself. You mustn't become too attached to your own words and your own POV. There is not only one, or even only one best, way to write the lede. JJL (talk) 18:33, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I "cherish" the previous consensus because, in the end, it was well done. Recent edits and arguments have rarely approached that level of collaborative insight.
Let us take for example "the fetus either survives outside the womb or it doesn't". Are you being intentionally obtuse here? No, it isn't that simple! When an abortion procedure occurs, and is done correctly, an potentially viable fetus becomes (or ensured to be) nonviable. Setting that obvious point aside, it is also a complex calculus of medical skill and technical resources available at the time.
Does a premature infant born from 21 to 28 weeks and dies in Afghanistan mean it was truly nonviable? Attached to my POV? You broke my irony meter, congrats! You're clearly part of the problem and not the solution. - RoyBoy 19:06, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Again, that question is answered in a well-sourced manner, and best discussed, at fetal viability. JJL (talk) 15:20, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Is that a joke? Viable is in the lead of this article. Ohhhh, here is the punchline: "is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks." Explain, in what dimension is that crisp and worthy of inclusion (especially by itself) in an encyclopedic lead? - RoyBoy 00:25, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

It may occur earlier because it's a well-defined but hard-to-determine point. You're still conflating being viable with estimates of when it has likely occurred. It used to be that we couldn't determine gender before the fetus left the womb. It's still the case that we can't do that with viability. We can estimate when it's likely to have obtained but can only determine it via an experiment that, while it could be performed, would be inappropriate on humans. I don't see the issue you're having with this. JJL (talk) 00:52, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
The issue is its a hard-to-determine point, ergo it cannot be "well-defined" in reality. You can medically define it at 500g, but it's a guideline in the sand (regardless of it being the well reviewed consensus of experts) that has no actual teeth in reality... it does legally etc etc, but for a real pregnancy it being "well-defined" has no practical meaning on the spectrum of mother's health / medical technology available / doctor's competence. - RoyBoy 12:28, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
My understanding is that those numbers are meant as estimates of the median viability point--where 50% of fetuses would survive and 50% would not--but of course they're also round numbers. I agree that in any particular case near the 20 week or 500g mark it would be very unlikely that a physician could make a confident prediction, barring some medical problem that clearly indicates non-viability on other grounds. Do we agree that viability is well-defined in principle but hard to determine around the 20 week/500g point in practice? JJL (talk) 15:07, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, medically it is well-defined; but you're 50% clarification reiterates it isn't verifiable, something missed with most non-medical reliable sources (Britannica didn't miss it, so they used usually). Add to that viable has legal (depends on jurisdiction) / biological (abnormalities) variability that makes it a confusing and complex concept. Stating it is the medical definition we are using improves things (because this is not a medical article), but it has so much baggage it defies summary style. Death has far less. Some experienced editors have commented pro-life rely on the baggage (dual meaning?) and emotion of death to infer personhood (Guy and maybe Doc James), or that I've allowed myself to be fooled by them (Orangemarlin).
I agree that is the 'intent' for pro-lifers with "death", but Wiki-editors focus this and gloss over the notion viable is simply a poor choice for an encyclopedia; and that viable denotes pro-choice / ethical medical 'intent' for abortion. I do not care we "intend" to abort non-viable fetus', I care about what an encyclopedia should... accuracy and summary style. If we cannot in good faith verify every late-abortion was nonviable, then the definition is worthless. The weight of reliable sources would appear to indicate otherwise, but we need not replicate their mistake(s) or follow a consensus that would rather clinically define a topic that has two sides to it; viable doesn't present both sides. Medically that is not a concern, encyclopedic-ly I assert it is. Redefining what the abortion article is -- to increase our comfort level -- seems silly to me; but certainly preferable to pretending viable works without caveats. - RoyBoy 18:30, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I disagree entirely that 'viable' is not adequately defined (or has too much baggage), or that is not easily understood. Claiming that the medical community is mistaken is a broad claim that should be sourced to sources that comment on this fact and should not be merely inferred by comparing other sources. It's one thing to say that sources conflict, but your claim is much bigger than that: Your claim is that the medical side is wrong. That's OR or at least synthesis until you have sources that criticize the medical defns. as mistaken, not just different. JJL (talk) 19:00, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
They aren't wrong, they define it as it should medically be done. That does not mean abortion actually conforms to how it "should medically be done". As we are an encyclopedia, we have a broader scope to define. If we fail to do so, then that is our "wrong" / fault. Their scope does not dictate ours, unless you want to contend otherwise as Orangemarlin did? - RoyBoy 00:55, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Before viability

We have a number of excellent sources that support that abortions (either spontaneous or induced) occur before fetal viability. Procedures or fetal demise outside this period is not an abortion per the CDC, WHO and medical texts.

  • "An induced abortion is the medical or surgical termination of pregnancy before the time of fetal viability." AND "The interruption of pregnancy before viability at the request of the woman, but not for medical reasons, is usually termed elective or voluntary abortion." (Williams Obstetrics, 23e, Chp 9)
  • "Abortion is the spontaneous or induced termination of pregnancy before fetal viability. Because popular use of the word abortion implies a deliberate pregnancy termination, some prefer the word miscarriage to refer to spontaneous fetal loss before viability" from . ISBN 9780071472579.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • For "spontaneous" it is per Uptodate "Spontaneous abortion (SAb), also known as miscarriage, refers to a pregnancy that ends spontaneously before the fetus has reached a viable gestational age" PMID 11023804 Still looking into elective.

Our definition needs to reflect the references. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:04, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Doc James, permit me to be straight and plain in reply - It doesn't matter how many sources you have or what your own subjective view of them is, call them "excellent" if you want. But I ask you do abortions not also take place after viability? This is simple, you can try "before viablity" if you want, it will rightly get shredded as factually inaccurate, and without consensus once you change it. How do I know? Because its already been tried.62.254.133.139 (talk) 17:26, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
No abortion do not take place after viability. And this is true for both spontaneous and induced. Read the references.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:29, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
You can't substitute your own definition for that used by the sources. That it has been tried before is no argument against it now. That isn't how WP works. The best sources refer to viability. If we don't then our value as a reference is greatly reduced. If we're the only one using a term in a certain way then we're not doing what we should be doing. JJL (talk) 17:37, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
The argument against it is not that it's been tried before, it is that it is factually inaccurate. Our value as a reference is in factual accuracy. 62.254.133.139 (talk) 17:56, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Your mere assertion that they don't doesn't make it so. The lower limit of viablity is earlier than the legal limit up to which abortions may be performed in many jurisdictions (including the UK and many States in the US), so abortions are performed post-viablity. Editors attempting to make the article a description of some utopian fantasy should give it up already.62.254.133.139 (talk) 17:44, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Please provide references so we can discuss them. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:24, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm curious: do you think that Williams Gynecology is wrong? NW (Talk) 18:50, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I get the impression that 62.154 and Doc James are talking past each other. @Doc, do you really intend to say that the end of a pregnancy that happens in between viability and birth is not an abortion, that it is an intervention which should not be done by reputable practioners, or something else? @62, have I caught your concern? LeadSongDog come howl! 19:04, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

(undent) Yes after fetal viability it is known as "Induced fetal demise" or "Spontanous fetal demise" not an induced or spontaneous abortion. Ref [11] So with current medical practice the "abortion procedure" dose not result in the death of the fetus as the fetus is already dead due to "induced fetal demise" WRT legality in most areas of the world induced fetal demise is unethical and illegal except to save the life of the mother. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:35, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

You've just confirmed abortion post-viabilty! Thanks. Abortions performed after induced fetal demise would also be after viability by your explanation. DMSBel (talk) 19:59, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Which is why you see the quotes around "abortion procedure". We go by the ref provided.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:17, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Not so fast, the ref. you provided says nothing about "induced fetal demise". DMSBel (talk) 20:22, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Also this "abortion procedure" so called, what does it involve? The expulsion of the fetus from the uterus? DMSBel (talk) 20:34, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
No doubt it is unethical and illegal in many parts of the world, but putting quotes round it not does stop it from being an abortion. Unless you mean that before viability, in an abortion the procedure results in the death of the fetus, but after viability the "abortion procedure" is performed after induced fetal demise? So in Merriam/Webster they have it spot on then. DMSBel (talk) 21:00, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
It is not a matter of what I think, it's a case of viability ranges from an earlier time (23 weeks) than the upper legal limit on abortion in many places (UK 24 weeks, US 26 weeks), therefore the source is wrong if it states that abortions are not performed after the fetus is viable. Less than 1% of abortions in the UK are after 22 weeks (thats still nearly 2000 abortions a year, figures as of 2005, BBC News article [[12]])62.254.133.139 (talk) 19:07, 24 June 2011 (UTC)


If you believe that Williams Obstetrics is wrong, you should email the editors and talk to them about it. It's a gold standard in OB/GYN (per an Wikipedia administrator/licensed health care provider). You simply cannot say that a source is wrong because it contradicts a lesser quality source. (Yes, the BBC is a lesser quality source in this context.) NW (Talk) 19:22, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't citing the BBC as a comparable source, it's daft to pit the two against each other. What does Williams obstetrics say on fetal viability, at what range does it say viability starts, at how many weeks?62.254.133.139 (talk) 19:45, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Williams OB doesn't even attempt to wade into that, so far as I can tell. UpToDate suggests 22-25 weeks, but acknowledges that it is a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction as well as a case-by-case matter. I don't think that matters though. Even if a woman attempts to terminate her pregnancy at, say, the 26th week, I don't believe that we can call that abortion without engaging in original research. NW (Talk) 20:57, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Re: Fetal Viability : Williams OB doesn't even attempt to wade into that, so far as I can tell. - Some Gold Standard then!! DMSBel (talk) 21:05, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
You're engaging in so much original research here that if you write it all up we can award you a Ph.D. You're guilty of WP:IDONTLIKEIT and are not even attempting to fight sources with sources. If it's the "gold standard", then it doesn't matter if you personally disagree with it unless you are claiming so much expertise in the matter that you qualify as a superior source. JJL (talk) 21:37, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
JJL, that's quite funny, since your entire argument that the fetus is not alive is pure original research. I have asked at various times for one source that says the developing fetus is not alive (i.e. dead); the silence is deafening. -- cheers, Michael C. Price talk 15:23, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Not if you look at Talk:Abortion#On_whether_the_fetus_is_alive. JJL (talk) 17:59, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Note: Williams Obstetrics most certainly mentions fetal viability, at length: "[...] infants born at 22 to 25 weeks. Currently, depending on many factors, this gestational age range is considered the limit of viability." That is only the first of many mentions in the "Diseases and Injuries of the Fetus and Newborn" chapter. (Won't cite page numbers as mine is an older edition.) Fvasconcellos (t·c) 21:45, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, very helpful to have someone with a copy at hand. So 22 - 25 weeks is the lower end of viability? DMSBel (talk) 22:07, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Fvasconcellos. I'm using an online copy through AccessMedicine.com, which I haven't read in full. I had searched via their internal search feature, and "fetal viability" didn't come up in any of their books. Thanks for pointing that out. There's also a section in Chapter 36 titled "Mortality and Morbidity at the Lower and Upper Extremes of Prematurity," that begins "The tremendous advances in the perinatal and neonatal care of the preterm infant have been found predominantly in those infants delivered at 33 weeks. With survival of increasingly very immature infants in the 1990s, there has been uncertainty and controversy as to the lower limit of fetal maturation compatible with extrauterine survival. This has resulted in continual reassessment of the threshold of viability...It appears generally accepted that births before 26 weeks, especially those weighing less than 750 g, are at the current threshold of viability". NW (Talk) 23:29, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

We also have "Abortus. A fetus or embryo removed or expelled from the uterus during the first half of gestation—20 weeks or less, or in the absence of accurate dating criteria, born weighing < 500 g." Further clarifying the position of the medical literature. Williams Obstetrics, 23e >Chapter 1. Overview of Obstetrics Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:33, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

It's already in the article :). NW (Talk) 20:57, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes exactly we have 8 high quality WP:MEDRS compliant sources that support the current version of viability. Enough said :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:02, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Thats right, keep pumping that water out, your sinking fast here. Guess you don't want this to go to an AN/I either?DMSBel (talk) 21:11, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Doc James, I'd give it up now, you have already told us that abortions are performed after induced fetal demise and that that only takes place after viability. DMSBel (talk) 20:39, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry we are going by what reliable sources say. I am not here to Wikilawyer. If you have reliable source you wish to present do so. Cheers. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:55, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Maybe you should give it up before you mess it up more. DMSBel (talk) 21:03, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Unless he's told you that you may rely on his opinion as a WP:V WP:RS, it doesn't matter (what is your interpretation of) what he said. What matters is what the source said. I don't think he's claiming you should listen to him as a source. If his explanation doesn't elucidate matters for you, consult the actual source and engage it. JJL (talk) 21:37, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Not my interpretation, just what Doc James said. Don't try to re-factor it, it will be spotted. You guys are a joke. Just give it up already. DMSBel (talk) 21:42, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't see how the insults and negativity help here. JJL (talk) 21:44, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Ok, according to Doc James, after a fetus is viable its not called abortion, its an "abortion procedure". Abortion is only performed after the fetus is dead, brought about by induced fetal demise, an unethical practice that should not be confused with abortion proper, which starts while the fetus is alive. Did I get that right? DMSBel (talk) 21:52, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Maybe you guys need to check your Gold Standard OB/GYN reference - Williams Obstetrics I believe its called. DMSBel (talk) 22:03, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Is this how you got topic banned? You are not helping. Please stop. ArtifexMayhem (talk) 22:08, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
No "this" is me trying to figure out how 2 + 2 = 5. DMSBel (talk) 22:12, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Ok. That only works for large values of 2. humor ArtifexMayhem (talk) 22:18, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
What about 22 is less than 24? DMSBel (talk) 22:22, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Someone please AN/I this for the Wikipedia Community to see, I am off to bed. DMSBel (talk) 22:41, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

As long as the abortion article is going to be used as pro-abortion propaganda then you folks will probably want to re-write the late-term abortion article so that it also includes the same false information (that abortion of a viable fetus is not an abortion). Right now it includes this line, which disagrees with your campaign material: "Late-term abortions are more controversial than abortion in general because the fetus is more developed and sometimes viable." Any attempt to add this "only before viability" bullshit is an attempt to hide the controversy. 71.3.237.145 (talk) 23:19, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks will try to address that. Looks like the refs at "Late term abortion" need updating. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:24, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
This ref uses the term "Late termination of pregnancy" Graham, RH; Robson, SC, Rankin, JM (2008 Jan). "Understanding feticide: an analytic review.". Social science & medicine (1982). 66 (2): 289–300. PMID 17920742.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help); Check date values in: |date= (help) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:32, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Doc James, you might find it wiser to avoid any appearance of WP:POINT DMSBel (talk) 13:23, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Learned some new things, and it's good to see Doc James here. Indeed Wikilawyering sucks, but I'm reading this Wikipedia:MEDRS#Summarize_scientific_consensus, as MEDRS has been used frequently of late. It states: "Finally, make readers aware of any uncertainty or controversy. A well-referenced article will point to specific journal articles or specific theories proposed by specific researchers." While I'm sure several here would be confident in wording and referencing viability (with or without caveats in brackets), it is hard to think such important issues can be communicated clearly in a lead sentence without weighing it down. I believe Britannica makes the best attempt possible, but still relies on weasel "usually" wording to provide necessary ambiguity to a term that actually isn't clear. Sure, we commonly understand it as surviving outside the womb, but is that with or without ICU? I've stated above, a non-viable baby in Afghanistan could be viable in developed countries. - RoyBoy 08:32, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Ability to survive does indeed depend on where you are. That's a matter that has already been settled at Fetal viability: "The limit of viability is the gestational age at which a prematurely born fetus/infant has a 50% chance of longterm survival outside its mother's womb. With the support of neonatal intensive care units, the limit of viability in the developed world has declined since 50 years ago, but has remained unchanged in the last 12 years." and "During the past several decades, neonatal care has improved with advances in medical science, and therefore the limit of viability has moved earlier." The statements are sourced at that page. To me this is sensible: Appendicitis is survivable, and shortsightedness is correctable, but probably not if you're alone on a deserted island. The statement is made under the assumption of modern medical care. Anyway, we don't need to address that issue here; if you think a different defn. of 'viable' would be better, that page would be a good place to raise an objection. Viable is the preferred term--if there is concern about its meaning then we have a page for it, just as we do for Death (which has its own similar issues--Brain death, etc.). JJL (talk) 14:56, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
No, death doesn't have similar issues, that's why it was chosen. Brain death - so you are under the incorrect impression organs have to exist for something to die / be considered an organism. Relying on a sub-page to define another article isn't correct. - RoyBoy 15:40, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
The majority of editors on this page disagree with you about 'death' being the appropriate term. I never said anything about organs and don't know why you've started bringing that up. The point is that 'death' itself is used in different ways at different times, unlike 'viable' which has a strict and unambiguous yes-or-no meaning. Physicians and scientists prefer it for a reason, after all. JJL (talk) 18:02, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Fortunately this isn't a democracy, or are you implying a simple majority denotes a new consensus? Cause that's wrong too, right Orangemarlin? The brain is an organ, so you brought it up. Actually the point is on this talk page watching someone recent fumble around what is life/death/person/organism isn't necessary for the article, it was covered in 2006. As to viable being strict, you're incorrect (which is okay) and being ideological (not okay, as its been shown viable abortions can occur). - RoyBoy 19:20, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
We need to work toward a new consensus. You need to acknowledge that the old one is dead (no pun intended). It doesn't matter what was covered in 2006--no one is bound by that, and no one has certified that group of editors as being authorized to hold teh page hostage to their decisions. You need to let go. I can see your point of view w.r.t. viability in the context of abortion but not w.r.t. the concept itself. It's well-defined, as the sources found on the viability page support. JJL (talk) 19:25, 26 June 2011 (UTC) (edited--lost an important 'not' JJL (talk) 20:21, 26 June 2011 (UTC))
I'll take that as a yes to my consensus question, I know what I need to do. I like puns though... hmmmm. - RoyBoy 20:01, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Roy I strongly disagree with your statement, "watching someone recent fumble around what is life/death/person/organism isn't necessary for the article". IMO it is your group that attempted to fumble around with that issue, and as I have previously said, only fools rush in where angels fear to tread. It is this group who have wisely avoided that fool's errand by insisting that we must rely on our references to supply the definition rather than produce our own. If you can show me even one other Wikipedia article where editors changed the definition of anything to so drastically differ it from almost all of the references, I'd like to see it. Gandydancer (talk) 19:56, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Almost good point, but we didn't fumble (ie. confuse, obfuscate, move goal posts, merge / fail to clarify / outright deny) concepts being discussed as recent editors have. As such we were able to work together on a compromise that worked. Your question on Wikipedia precedent is curious, I doubt I would find an example, but as we are not a medical reference; you are presenting the weight of the sources (more accurately their editorial style) in a false light to begin with. Or is that not relevant to you? - RoyBoy 20:16, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
@RoyBoy Keep in mind that I have never called your group a bunch of fumblers as you just called the present group. I have several times spoke of the previous group with respect. However, if you are going to indulge in labels, I only returned the label. This group deserves just as much respect as the previous group. As to your suggestion that medical definitions are a product of "editorial style", well now that's an unusual idea, isn't it? Gandydancer (talk) 21:06, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
How is that false? Almost all use 'viable', almost none use 'death'. That's an extremely compelling argument on its own, and saying we are allowed to change things is a very weak one. JJL (talk) 20:21, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
And once again, I can't imagine what the basis is for the belief that the accord reached in 2006 so was so perfect. It's all well and good to be pleased with your work but you've taken it to quite an extreme. You're not allowed to declare parts of a page closed to new editing--you don'wt WP:OWN it. JJL (talk) 20:24, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
A word used in Encarta and a medical dictionary is extreme? Try again JJL, actually no, don't. You appear oblivious to what I am declaring, you don't form a consensus (new or otherwise) by a straw poll. Or does Wikipolicy only apply to me? - RoyBoy 20:34, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not following you--I described "an extremely compelling argument" and you're talking about whether or not a word is extreme. This is non sequiter. While a straw poll doesn't make consensus, having a majority against you should suggest that your previous consensus is in need of a serious reconsidering. JJL (talk) 00:48, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
It would if you added something fundamentally new to the discussion, more votes is more eyes focused on a straw poll header under the impression a consensus of sources is the pertinent matter, the former is not extremely compelling. ;') My mistake on extreme, apologies. - RoyBoy 23:49, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Even if your version were to be undeniably accurate, there's more than one way to say anything. New editors might wish to make a stylistic change. You can't embargo all changes to (part of) an article. JJL (talk) 00:56, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I/we can if they are Boldly pushed through contrary to established consensus. I didn't stop your edits to the lead, I allowed you to learn from your own mistakes and made it plain it could result in actions being leveled against you. As it was clearly inappropriate, if you don't see it that way its a result of being new. You can't walk into a new controversial situation and expect to know what you need to out of the gate. - RoyBoy 00:49, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
@Gandydancer I'm also waiting for your reply to 71.3.237.145 above on 1.5% of abortion happening after 21 weeks; or should Wikipedia simply ignore this? - RoyBoy 20:34, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
@RoyBoy I don't reply to a lot of posts. I have no idea which post you speak of. I have, however, post re that issue. Please read my posts and you will find the information you are looking for. Gandydancer (talk) 21:16, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
No luck, is it in an archive? You actually almost convinced me viable was sufficiently accurate. But no response here leads me to believe its a grey area we have to choose to ignore to maintain verifiability and accuracy for "viable" by itself. - RoyBoy 23:42, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes I have posted regarding this issue and I will do so again. As you may know from reading this article, thousands of genetic mistakes commonly occur in the developing embryo. Many of these alterations are so severe that the embryo cannot survive and it is passed, often as a large clot. But some genetic mistakes actually are not so severe as to cause the immediate death of the embryo and it continues to grow into the fetal stage and would actually result in a live birth or perhaps a stillbirth. A paper has been offered wherein it was stated that a severely mentally handicapped fetus or one that would die soon after birth can be considered a non-viable fetus and I believe that anyone with any moral integrity at all would agree with that. And then there are other strange physical deformities that are difficult to look at for even seasoned hospital personal. I'm not sure how they handle this today but in my experience from years ago, we considered them a stillborn whether they were dead or not and no attempt was made to extend their life. That too is as it should be and if the deformities can be picked up before birth it is much better for all concerned rather than make the parents go through the heartbreak of losing a full term infant. And then there is a third class that are profoundly retarded but physically viable who can survive for years. I have a fair amount of experience in that area and I can tell you that these individuals have a life of endless suffering and if their condition can be discovered before birth it would be an act of kindness to abort them. Now I really do not know what percent of these fetuses that are aborted at an age over 21 wks have this condition or that condition, or how many of the mothers lives may be compromised if they were to carry the fetus to full term, but you don't either and until you have that information in hand I wish you'd just shut up about it. I apologize for saying "shut up", but I am just sick to death about this whole "viable" controversy. Gandydancer (talk) 01:50, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
If "shut up" is the worse thing you've done here, then you have far more self control than most, certainly more than I. You may need to teach me sometime. The above is profound and is written in a way I've never seen before, so thank you, and it affirms my pro-choice position. Agreed, I was sick of it many many moons ago, but occasionally well intentioned lead editors are interested in going through it ... again, and again. The lack of information in hand, has no bearing on how inappropriate "viable" is for an encyclopedia. I'm not being insensitive, I'm saying viable in common medical / public parlance is understood to mean about 20 weeks. However, now we have an additional neurological/genetic defects caveat to communicate. I can, more than ever, appreciate why Britannica used "usually" in their definition!
Most importantly, you are understandably frustrated, annoyed and maybe even disappointed at my presumptuousness. Ironically that's why I've (eventually) taken the position I have on viable. It is bio-ethically presumptuous to think abortions are always conducted on-time and with clear ethics (ie. sex-selection). I am disappointed with otherwise thoughtful and sophisticated people presuming to know the totality of a subject with such complex circumstances, motivations and outcomes being acted upon a rapidly changing entity (embryo / fetus). Medical references can (and should) take the position they have, as they are obligated to communicate best practice(s) and use clinical terms in a medical setting. Wikipedia's obligation is accuracy in a summary style, and if possible ensure "other perspectives are fairly represented". I sincerely hope you understand, and I apologize for possibly upsetting you. - RoyBoy 00:49, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
There is no need to concern yourself that you may have upset me. I'm sick to death about a lot of things, the current political situation for one, but it doesn't follow that I'm upset. I may find it absolutely absurd that anyone could go on and on insisting that the word viable is too technical a term to use when my 12 and 15 year old grandchildren understand exactly what it means, but that does not mean that it upsets me. It just makes me think that the idea is stupid. It has been suggested that we use "usually before the fetus is viable" which I feel would be an excellent compromise, but you and others continue to argue that viable is too technical and vague. Gandydancer (talk) 16:12, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Because it is not verifiable. Kids understanding viable means survival outside the womb, doesn't mean they understand it can vary from country to country based on interventions available. A non-viable fetus in the 3rd world can be viable elsewhere, depending on specialist doctors and equipment on hand. This variability is the reality of biology. Do you disagree? Doctors let alone kids can't exactly tell us which 50% of fetus' are viable at week 20, but kids much younger than 12 truly understand death. Add to that fetus' that are technically viable but wouldn't survive long after birth because of various abnormalities. Not exactly a clear and pedestrian concept. Or am I missing something? - RoyBoy 20:35, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Well that's some progress I guess since it is now agreed that a 12 year old understands what viable means. Now I guess that we'll need to be certain that they know what "usually" means and I feel certain they do. Would you agree? Gandydancer (talk) 20:55, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Sorry, it isn't progress. Kids like adults think they understand viable -- but they don't -- yes the concept is easy to understand, as JJL points out again below, but the reality isn't clear at all. How do I put this more directly, going ahead with an abortion procedure does not make a fetus defacto non-viable. You have read my reference that says there is no standard procedure before 28 weeks to determine viability. This means from ~19 weeks til ~27 weeks there is a grey zone for modern medicine. Non-modern skews that timeframe. - RoyBoy 03:28, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Serious question: I know most newspapers strive write for a certain reading ability audience (e.g., an 8th grade reading level). Is there a WP policy or guideline for what age/reading level we are targeting? Viability is verifiable. You could do it on monkeys: Remove the fetus and see what happens. It's just that with humans there's a practical problem--not a scientific one. You keep mentioning the problem of viability varying by country but as per the sources found at Fetal viability the concept is well-defined: Survivability assuming modern medical care, not just what's available in country. That's a standard defn. as I understand it--if you can't get modern treatment for anything then you may die unnecessarily of it. We draw this distinction in this very article by mentioning that abortion is safe when performed properly but that that isn't always how it's done. Kids understand that some cancers can be treated but that if it isn't done then you'll die. That doesn't change their treatability. Sure, physicians can't tell us which 50% will survive--any more than they can tell us which smokers get lung cancer. A 12 year old knows smoking is dangerous and knows a 90 year old who smokes constantly. The notion of LD50 and its variants is standard in biology. It isn't at all different in this case that it is in any other medical case. The term is well-defined which is why it's used in a technical context. JJL (talk) 01:35, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Good question, there is no target age just a goal of general readability, which I imagine is grade 11 or 12; but specifically for the lead of an article its preferable to keep it straightforward. JJL I stress its not verifiable on a case-by-case basis, unique to each pregnancy because of the many variables involved (health of mother for example). As to treatability, deciding to have an abortion does not automatically change a late-term fetus into being nonviable. Or does it? - RoyBoy 03:28, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
There are two separate issues here. Viability is a yes-or-no issue in principle and in any given case. However, in a specific medical procedure a physician must go by guidelines because it's impractical to determine viability with current technology. This isn't really different in this regard from other medical procedures--you might end up performing an appendectomy because all signs point to it being a case of severe appendicitis only to find out once inside that the true problem is something else. Someone who is given 6 months to live statistically beats the odds. I think you're focusing on clinical guidelines for estimating when viability is likely to have been obtained. Is it really different from all the other protocols physicians use? If you observe A, B, and C, then do D? JJL (talk) 04:24, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
In principle, I concur, but reality is less well defined. Physicians ... are you inferring all abortions are performed by ethical doctors in a clinical setting? As they aren't your starting point is not sufficiently inclusive, at least for a generalist encyclopedia. - RoyBoy 22:06, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Do we make distinctions like this for other surgeries? I grant that's it's a much more common occurrence in the case of abortion than most cases, but I wouldn't want to define any surgery by what unqualified and/or unethical practitioners do. JJL (talk) 03:35, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
JJL, I really got to give you credit here man... you are sticking with it, that's better form than Gandydancer. Surgery... also implies a skilled (competent) third party is involved in the procedure. This also is not always the case with self-induced abortions happening; this is also unique to abortion (and dentistry I guess). To address your larger point, that we should not define what is a common -- safe -- practice by the exceptions. It does appear foolhardy, but if the goal is the same for all abortions (regardless of viability), we as a generalist encyclopedia are encouraged (I say required) style wise to choose the lowest common (accurate) denominator for the lead. I've been reassured in a number of ways and angles (from repeated change attempts) we got the right compromise. Indeed not perfect, however I can live with my discomfort with death to acknowledge abortion isn't a purely surgical / medical topic. Abortion intertwines larger questions of ethical bounds for doctors, practitioners, women and society. "Viable" isn't true to this complexity. - RoyBoy 00:38, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

1.5% is still 15,000-20,000 in the US and 600,000 worldwide per year. NYyankees51 (talk) 21:38, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

I have asked RoyBoy to provide even one instance of a Wikipedia article in which the definition was so different from the references and he responded, "Your question on Wikipedia precedent is curious, I doubt I would find an example, but as we are not a medical reference; you are presenting the weight of the sources (more accurately their editorial style) in a false light to begin with". Well, I've taken a few IQ tests and it seems that I am, at least according to the tests, extremely intelligent. Bur for the life of me, I cannot figure out his reply. Can anyone out there help me out? Gandydancer (talk) 23:27, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

The argument that we're not a medical reference is being taken as license to reinvent the meaning of words. That's unreasonable. JJL (talk) 00:48, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
NW has added 14 more references for the definition that are not medical sources. If that is actually his concern, that should take care of it. If not, he will continue with his complaints.Gandydancer (talk)
Kudos to NW to be certain. Their adoption of medical terminology certainly buttresses your position regarding RS & WEIGHT, but the origin of my medical source objection is Wikipedia:Style#Technical_language, and that "usually" should be used to encompass exceptions. Something I find unacceptable and unnecessary given we have "death" available. - RoyBoy 15:11, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Reinvent the meaning of words? Funny coming from someone who has tried to narrowly define/interpret life, organism and death in ways to be consistent with a previously held position. - RoyBoy 23:42, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
And you can't sort out that a uterine growth (ie. embryo) is life? - RoyBoy 23:42, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I think RobBoy is right here. This whole discussion, in its present round, is putting heads in a spin. Variations between cultures have been cited with regard to supposed advocacy resulting from the use of "death" in the lede first sentence. But that's actually beside the point as its funeral customs that vary, views on an afterlife or cessation of existence that vary, views on intelligent design versus evolution that vary. Conception/Fertilization is the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism
First International Symposium on Abortion statement:
"The changes occuring between implantation, a six week embryo, a six month fetus, a one week old child, or a mature adult are merely stages of development and maturation. There is no point in time between the union of the sperm and egg , or at least the blastocyst stage, and the birth of the infant, at which point we could say that this was not a human life".
The onus is on JJL to refute the scientific consensus of the last 50 years that has continually re-affirmed this. DMSBel (talk) 13:23, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
What's the source for this quotation? I'd like to see it in context. JJL (talk) 15:53, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Here's another quote from your site:
Q. What about a woman who is pregnant due to rape or incest?
A. This is not a reason for terminating a pregnancy. Rape or incest is never the fault of the child; the guilty party, not the innocent party must be punished. The violence of abortion parallels the violence of rape/incest, in fact it exceeds it! A child is a child regardless of the circumstances of conception. If the rape/incest victim is unable or unwilling to care for the child, there are numerous childless couples who would pay for the pregnancy and then adopt the child, if it is unwanted. Many agencies cater to this need. Gandydancer (talk) 13:53, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Did they say that at the International symposium on abortion?DMSBel (talk) 15:54, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Please tell me more about this symposium. When did it occur, who was in attendance, etc. Gandydancer (talk) 16:16, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I'll try and find out for you more detail.DMSBel (talk) 17:35, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
It was held in Washington BC, in 1967. Attendees ranged across fields including genetics, obstetrics, gynecology (about 20% catholic minority). Sorry it will take me a little longer to find actual names, assuming I can find it on the internet. DMSBel (talk) 19:52, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Abortion is not just a medical term

I agree with the spirit of the compromise suggested by DMSBel under The Lede opening sentences in light of DRN suggestions and agree that it is currently too wordy.

Rationale:

vocabulary.com
Abortion is a surgical procedure that ends a pregnancy. In the United States, the public debate over a women's right to have an abortion is a complex and heated political issue.
The words abort and abortion can also apply to non-pregnancy related topics. If you are in the middle of a jewel-heist and the alarm on the vault is tripped, you and your partners in crime might opt to abort the plan and run while you can, debating whether the plan's abortion was a good decision or not later.

I would suggest we need a more general definition of the term "abortion", which would lead into the qualifying sentences currently present. Here are some examples:

3. Cessation of normal growth, especially of an organ or other body part, prior to full development or maturation. 4. An aborted organism. 5. Something malformed or incompletely developed; a monstrosity. -American Heritage dictionary

3. arrest of development (as of a part or process) resulting in imperfection; also : a result of such arrest -Merriam-Websters


(biology) Arrest of development of any organ, so that it remains an imperfect formation or is absorbed. Any fruit or produce that does not come to maturity, or anything which is interrupted in its progress before it is matured or perfect. The act of aborting a project, a mission, etc, before it is completed. (art) Something ugly, an artistic atrocity. -Wiktionary

▸ noun: failure of a plan abort -- (the act of terminating a project or procedure before it is completed; ``I wasted a year of my life working on an abort"; "he sent a short message requesting an abort due to extreme winds in the area ) -Wordnet


3. the failure of a mission or project, -Collins

References to "aborting the mission" are so prevalent in popular culture that I do not feel I need to provide a reference. I would guess that most people here have heard the term in video games, movies, or TV shows dealing with war, spy missions, under cover police work, etc. NASA documents describing the biomedical experiments conducted during the Apollo missions employ the term "abortion" when referring to the failure of plants to produce pollen. NASA Technical Memorandum 58217[13]

All of these definitions were obtained by spending 5 minutes at alphaDictionary online[14], which searches over 1,060 dictionaries allowing us to obtain a consensus of usage. This includes entries from older sources, such as Webster's 1913[15] and Britannica 1911[16]I consider these sources to be current as long as there may be people alive for whom these sources would have been their primary reference on matters of English usage. The search produced results from concise dictionaries, not from the multi volume versions that are produced once or twice a century. My copy of Webster's Third New International does not have any entries that I would consider significantly different from those shown.

To add depth to this consensus, I also consulted Online Etymology[17]

abortive

late 14c., from L. abortivus "pertaining to miscarriage; causing abortion," from abort-, pp. stem of aboriri "disappear, miscarry," from ab- "amiss" (see ab-) + oriri "appear, be born, arise" (see orchestra); the compound word used in L. for deaths, miscarriages, sunsets, etc. The Latin verb for "to produce an abortion" was abigo, lit. "to drive away." Not originally used to imply forced or deliberate miscarriage; from 14c.-18c. stillborn children or domestic animals were said to be abortive. Also see abortion. Related: Abortiveness

We can see that the general sense of the term is arrested development, or a failure of a process to come to its natural or intended fruition. The emphasis is on process, not on the fruit of that process.

I suggest we take our cue from the biological definitions, which, unlike medical texts, are strictly technical. Medical texts, especially those directed to the public, tend to intersperse lay terms with technical terms, thus giving undue weight to terms such as "baby", "mother", "death", etc.

I would suggest that the first sentence of the current article be replaced with:

"The term "abortion" generally applies to any process which terminates prematurely. Most frequently, it applies to biological processes, especially pregnancy."

You can work in the "death of the fetus" thingy wherever you wish - just not in the definition. I will take up the death v viability dispute in a separate comment section.Ermadog (talk) 23:31, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

This is an interesting observation. (I would've added that computer programs frequently abort.) My first thought was that it was more of a Wiktionary approach, but then I looked around and found, e.g., Destruction. I do think handling both spontaneous and induced abortion at the same page is a (small) part of the difficulty we're having. Even if making Abortion a broad defn. of the term in its whole or a disambiguation page was done we'd still have the issue of induced abortion eventually. I'm not sure what I think; I couldn't find uses of "abortion" on WP in a cursory search that weren't either in this context or in music. JJL (talk) 00:53, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Cessation of normal growth, especially of an organ or other body part, prior to full development or maturation. 4. An aborted organism. 5. Something malformed or incompletely developed; a monstrosity. -American Heritage dictionary
Since my proposed change would simply replace the current lede sentence, I don't see this as an attempt to avoid the induced v. spontaneous question. The very next sentences deal with these issues. I'm unclear as to the relevance of a search on "abortion" in WP. I'm addressing current usage of the word as described by a consensus of dictionaries. This consensus shows that abortion is any arrested development or cessation of a process. As applied to human pregnancy, the term "abortion" would then be properly applied to the pregnancy itself as the process under arrested development. the term "pregnancy" necessarily includes the conceptus, as you cannot be pregnant without a conceptus being present. (You can be pregnant without a fetus being present).
I don't see the difficulties as stemming from spontaneous v induced abortion. I see the problem as two groups having two completely different conversations about the same topic. The strict anti-abortion crowd wishes to make the rights of the fetus paramount; while, the strict pro choice crowd deny that the conceptus has any rights at all in the matter (at least in the earlier stages). We're just talking past each other. The insistence of the anti crowd upon the inclusion of "death of the fetus" is an attempt to keep the discussion focused on what they consider to be the "victim" of abortion. This is why I proposed a broad definition of the term "abortion" as the introductory sentence. The various ancillary issues follow, and are properly discussed in the body of article. Ermadog (talk) 02:26, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
On the one hand I see your point and don't actually object to going that way, though I think it'd be a big conversation. But I think that, realistically, many of the other issues would be principally discussed in linked articles, not further down in the main article, and most searches would land on them initially, losing this context where it is needed. The point of searching for non-medical uses of abortion was that I wondered if the term was being used/discussed in its other senses here--such articles would need to be linked to and context for them provided. This is an interesting approach and I'm open-minded. If the main discussion of biological abortion remains here then it could be helpful. If it ends up mostly being a glorified dab page to aborting computer programs, aborting major projects, etc., then I don't think it'd help much, though it might still be sensible for WP to have such a page, perhaps.JJL (talk) 03:01, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Just to clarify, I wasn't proposing a detailed discussion of the various permutations of the term "abortion" outside its designation of a process of interrupted pregnancy. That would properly belong in a disambiguation page. I was simply proposing a more general definition to replace a currently contentious one. As you yourself noted, "One suggestion [22] from DRN is that we consider avoiding using either term in the lede sentence." My definition shows how the more general meaning applies to human pregnancy.Ermadog (talk) 05:09, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

3. arrest of development (as of a part or process) resulting in imperfection; also : a result of such arrest -Merriam-Websters

As you know, this is an encyclopedia article, and the lede is an introduction not a definition per se, so we don't need to be so concise as some of these definitions. Most people coming to the page will know it is either about spontaneous or induced abortion or both. Abortion originally refered to both intentional abortion and miscarriage, (so if I understand you correctly) it would be rather strange to begin the article with the third definition below, especially when there is nothing in the article specifically about organs or body parts. If there is consensus for separation of articles on abortion and miscarriage, I think abortion could possibly then be merged into Feticide with a redirect. But any separation would be too controversial on this article without an RFC in advance. If a return to the earlier consensus version with some minor changes does not solve the issue, more clarification early on in the lede should help.
1.a) Induced termination of a pregnancy with destruction of the embryo or fetus. b) Any of various procedures resulting in the termination of a pregnancy. Also called induced abortion.
2. See miscarriage.
3. Cessation of normal growth, especially of an organ or other body part, prior to full development or maturation.DMSBel (talk) 01:23, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand why you would imagine I would want to introduce the article with "the third definition below", when what I actually proposed was "The term "abortion" generally applies to any process which terminates prematurely. Most frequently, it applies to biological processes, especially pregnancy."
Here, the term "process" is a broad category which includes pregnancy as one of the sub categories. Thus, my discussion is broader than the concise definitions to which you refer. When a military operative proposes to abort a mission, he is not generally proposing to terminate a pregnancy. When a computer operating system proposes to abort a process, it is not generally proposing to terminate a pregnancy. Do you really believe that the broad public has not heard of this type of usage?
As for merging "Abortion" with "Feticide", "Abortion" is the general category; "Feticide" is the subcategory. Furthermore, "fetus" is only one subcategory of "conceptus". The feticide page should be merged with the abortion page, if any merging at all is to occur, especially since the feticide page focuses on the narrower aspect of law.Ermadog (talk) 02:54, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
But your rationale begins by skipping over the first two definitions (above), to reach a conclusion that, arguing on the grounds of "what definitions are there?" is impossible. It's a bit like math in that you can arrive at an answer, but that does not make the answer you have arrived at right. Something seems to have gone awry and I think its because you began by not considering the two main senses of abortion - ie. spontaneous and induced. A wikionary definition can disambiguate a variety of senses more easily so perhaps these other senses (abort mission) (abort program) could be introduced into the the wikionary definition. 62.254.133.139 (talk) 13:32, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I "skipped over" nothing. I derived a general sense of the term "abortion" by surveying current usage and looking for a common thread. You do know what "general" means in this context? I thought I had spelled it out when I mentioned categories and subcategories. Process is a general category which includes pregnancy. The fact is that pregnancy can be thought of as a process transpiring within a woman's body and ultimately producing a baby, or it can be thought of as the production of a baby, leaving out the woman. I think most people reading the Wikipedia will be aware that pregnancy necessarily entails the production of a conceptus as a byproduct. Since it is the characterization of this byproduct that is the point of contention, one solution is to leave it out of the description.Ermadog (talk) 22:17, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps something with: cessation of embryonic or fetal maturation and the ending of nascent life. The "thingy" as the editor refered to it about "death" really seems to be unavoidable. And there is little support for its removal entirely. But we should go back to the consensus version and then discuss possible alterations. DMSBel (talk) 01:44, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Nowhere did I suggest that the issue of fetal death should be avoided. It simply doesn't belong in a general definition of the term "abortion".Ermadog (talk) 02:54, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Ok thanks for that it seems that there is growing support for keeping the matter of fetal death in the lede, and less support now for "before viability". I agree with JJL in that it would be necessary to address fetal death in the article also.DMSBel (talk) 14:00, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't see that at all. I mostly see you talking to yourself here. The suggestion from DRN was to compromise by omitting or keeping both terms. I don't think anyone prefers that we do either of those things, but it seemed worthwhile to discuss the possibility in the spirit of compromise. Your comments have made clear that compromise isn't what you want--you want to have it your way despite being in the minority of opinion here. JJL (talk) 15:12, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Comment For those new to the discussion, there is in fact majority support for the removal of 'death' from the lede and for having it discussed, if it is, later in the article; and, the 2006 consensus featuring it is no longer in play and the current wording in the protected version of the page has the best support--all the more so if one excludes the comments of SPA IPs and the repeatedly blocked and banned. The best available sources do not use 'death' and overwhelmingly use 'viable'. JJL (talk) 03:02, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
There are two things to note here, one is a failed straw poll that had a narrative change in the middle, this rendered it incapable of assessment. Even if it could be used to find consensus (which by Wikipedia definition of consensus it can't), one involved editors tallying and interpretation of the poll is not neutral. Secondly the issue of death in the definition is completely separate from it in the lede. And there is no way to absolutely remove it from the lede, without violating the current consensus, and ending up basing the article on subjective editor preferences. WP:ILIKEIT, WP:IDONTLIKEIT Its use in the article continues to meet WP:VERIFIABILITY DMSBel (talk) 14:01, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
The change occurred immediately after I posted it. I was the only one who had voted at that point. After the reorganization of votes by RoyBoy he added his comment and I modified mine. No one else was affected by any changes. This is hardly the "middle". But as this seems to be very bothersome to you, feel free to address the issue with RoyBoy or an admin if you feel he was intentionally trying to disrupt the discussion or interfere with the poll. The word 'death' has been removed from the lede. You may not call it consensus, but that's what the majority of editors has settled on, based on the best sources around. Continuing to make misstatements doesn't change things and isn't fruitful. JJL (talk) 15:12, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
JJL I have to say your preference for precision in communication is great. When I said "middle" I was imprecise, what I meant was after it was started. I have no issue with RoyBoy's change. But as I said in advance of the poll it would not declare any new consensus. You need to go to the policy discussion pages JJL if you'd like to make a proposal that wikipedia content should be based on a simple majority. DMSBel (talk) 18:02, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
And this is why I say below that I am unable to come to a conclusion as to exactly what the poll problem is and why I have felt it is just sour grapes. Now you change the subject and say well I said it wouldn't make a new consensus anyway. Please make a statement that is precise which states your reasons that the poll was not properly done. Certainly one would think that we could conclude at least this part of the disagreement rather than drag it out into eternity. One is supposedly expected to have good faith, however I tend to guess that you would have quite a different opinion if the poll had turned out to be in your favor. Gandydancer (talk) 22:17, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Are you being intentionally obtuse? Wikipedia is not a democracy for starters. Then the meat is the preponderance of sources use viable, they are medical sources. It provides no compromise or acknowledgement of larger issues and the broader reality of abortion, which isn't always on-time, by a doctor, in a clinic. Does an abortion make a fetus defacto nonviable? - RoyBoy 00:17, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
To clarify, I was proposing that the whole issue of the fate of the conceptus be dropped from the lead sentence, in favour of a more general definition of the term "abortion". I have read this current talk page, as well as several pages from the discussion archived in 2006. I truly hope consensus has actually been achieved. However, as previously noted, I will be adding my 2 cents to the death v. viability discussion in a separate comment section. Ermadog (talk) 05:09, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes its removal or keeping in the lede first sentence is being discussed. We have no way of determining if consensus for the current version was ever achieved. The straw poll could not determine it ipso facto even if there had not been a narrative change in the middle of it, both in the formulation of the poll and in the article. Thats why the only way out of the current problem (a page protected non-consensus version of the article) is a restoration of the earlier consensus version, and further discussion, on the position of "death" or "fetal death" in the lede.DMSBel (talk) 14:00, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Oh, yes, I forgot. "Consensus" in Wikipedia, achieved by the first people to write an article is written in stone. Silly me.Ermadog (talk) 22:17, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Such comments are unhelpful and risk re-polarising this when other editors are attempting to bring sides to an understanding of each others position. Nobody is saying the earlier version cannot be discussed or changed. But neither has any editor a right to demand change. DMSBel (talk) 00:44, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
At first I thought this comment was directed to me. Then I remembered: I never demanded change. Neither did any other editor. Also, you're not talking to me anymore.Ermadog (talk) 03:23, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
No I think you'll find that it was you who said you saw "no point in answering my questions. Have a nice day", I'll certainly hold open the option of reading your posts and replying to them. Best:-)DMSBel (talk) 17:38, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Agreed: Abortion is not just a medical term. That is why the lede should not simply be a repeat of a medical definition that is couched in medical jargon (words that are not always readily known to non-medical people). For instance, "loss" (meaning death) and "destruction" (meaning death or killing) are jargon used by medical professionals, but there are more clear and effective words to use outside of a clinical setting. For instance, a doctor might refer to a newborn as a "baby" when consulting with the child's mother, but would call him a neonate when discussing the medical situation with other professionals. Likewise a doctor might answer a woman asking about how long the elective late-term abortion of her fetus will take: "it will take a few days to extract all of the tissue", whereas his answer to a woman whose wanted fetus has died in utero might be "it will take a few days to deliver your baby". The WP article should not use jargon without explaining what it means or when non-jargon words can be used to more concisely. 71.3.232.238 (talk) 18:10, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

How is "loss" jargon? If I say "I lost my business" anyone with a grasp of English will know I mean my business failed or was taken away for some reason. Friend of the Facts (talk) 19:17, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
One reason "loss" is not appropriate in the article is because "loss" conveys an incomplete meaning and does not apply to some abortions. A "loss" is typically understood to be something unpleasant or undesirable. "Loss" would apply to many spontaneous abortions and some induced abortions, but would not apply to most induced abortions. "Destruction" also conveys an incomplete meaning and does not apply to some abortions. "Destruction" would apply to induced abortions that dismember or crush the fetus, but would not apply to many spontaneous abortions (and possibly to some induced abortions) where the fetus remains bodily intact. Both "loss" (unintended or unwanted death) and "destruction" (intentional killing or annihilation) are specific types of death. Since abortion can be intentional or spontaneous, the general term "death" is the most succinct and always accurate word to use because it covers what must happen to the fetus as part of every abortion, and does not suggest anything but the cessation of life. 71.3.232.238 (talk) 19:57, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't know what hospitals that you worked in that used some of the bizarre terms that you suggest, but I've been around the hospital block more than a few times and I never heard medical professionals speak in the manner "your" docs and nurses do. Just for starters, "loss" - that's a word for condolence cards not medical professionals. Destruction is medical jargon? you can't be serious. Where are you getting this stuff from? Gandydancer (talk) 20:24, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Gandydancer, give the IP a opportunity, ask for sources by all means. At least as I read his comments he is saying both "loss" and "destruction" are specific types of death. I agree with the IP in regard to loss of meaning through unneccessary abstraction. And I'd like to hear him out if he has anything else to say, so please be give him the chance to make his point. :-)DMSBel (talk) 20:56, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

If "death" is the best way to describe abortion how come the other references we looked at earlier rarely used that word to define abortion? The fact is that the majority of sources don't use "death" to define abortion. Why should Wikipedia use a word other references almost never use to define abortion? There's no good reason. Friend of the Facts (talk) 21:07, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

The following dictionaries mention in the basic primary definition the death/destruction of the fetus or that the fetus must not be born alive:

  • Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary (Amazon.com's best selling medical dictionary and the dictionary NIH provides online at MedLinePlus)
  • Merriam-Webster Legal Dictionary
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary (Amazon.com's best selling dictionary and the default dictionary for the prestigious Chicago Manual of Style)
  • American Heritage® Medical Dictionary
  • American Heritage Science Dictionary
  • American Heritage Dictionary
  • Webster's New World Collegiate Dictionary (not related to Meriam-Webster, "any deliberate procedure that removes, or induces the expulsion of, a living or dead embryo or fetus")
  • MacMillan Dictionary
  • Collins COBUILD English learner’s dictionary

71.3.232.238 (talk) 21:50, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Importantly, 'not being born alive' doesn't imply death if you don't believe the fetus was alive beforehand. Also, is the '''<big></big>''' really necessary? Having bigger sources doesn't mean having more or better ones. JJL (talk) 14:21, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

The fetus is a dead parrot

The History of abortion law debate shows that the status of the conceptus has never been in debate. The ancient Greeks were well aware that the conceptus was alive. The key questions revolved around what came to be known as hominization or ensoulment, that is to say, at what point does the conceptus become a human being. In the West, the Catholic Church eventually settled on quickening as the event signalling that ensoulment had occurred. The debate changed in the late 18th century, when some medical doctors began to advocate for a ban on abortion, claiming scientific knowledge of "when life begins". Since then, the debate has suffered from a lack of clear definitions.

The conceptus is most definitely alive, in the sense that it is composed of living tissue. It is also human, in that it is the product of a human organism. In a very general sense, it can be said that the conceptus is human life. But by these criteria, my big toe is also "human life". My big toe also exhibits a capacity for independent life whenever it cramps up. Better yet, my gut displays a routine capacity for independent life, in the form of homeostasis. The fetus doesn't begin to develop homeostasis until week 34, at which time it begins to regulate its own breathing.

Modern science can tell us a great deal about neonatal development (see Neonatal perception); but, what it can't tell us is when does a conceptus become a human being. The anti choice advocates routinely rely on pronouncements from embryology to claim the contrary. They claim that embryology does indeed tell us that conception or fertilization is "the beginning of a new human life".

But these are weasel words. There is no clear declaration that "a human life" equates, in the scientific literature, to "a human being". I have challenged dozens of anti choice advocates over the years to produce a scientific definition, drawn from any recognized science reference text, for the term "human being". I have searched the internet for one. I don't believe there is one. There is also no clear indication that the term "the beginning of a human life" necessarily implies that the status of human being has already been achieved. On the contrary, some embryologists refer to the conceptus as "a primordium of a human being" See Moore at http://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html). Most embryology texts clearly indicate that fertilization is merely the beginning of a developmental process.

There is also no clear definition of the terms "human being" and "person" in law. Neither of these terms existed when the common law definition of homicide was formulated in England, in the Leges Henrici Primi of 1115 CE, which was the basis for the formulation of the Born alive rule. (See Murder in English law). These are the precedents which still prevail in common law countries at the federal level. The Canadian parliament has twice refused to give the fetus legal status as person. Abortion has never been treated as homicide in Britain.

While a number of states in the US have succeeded in declaring the fetus to be a human being for the purposes of the Unborn Victims of Violence Acts and similar legislation, none has succeeded in declaring the fetus to be a person from the moment of conception. Here is what one judge declared on the matter, "Judge Schreier said that although doctors must use the term 'human being,' it can be used in a "biological sense" and not an "ideological" one" -Planned Parenthood v, Rounds Civ. 05-4077-KES, August 20, 2009. Attempts to treat the fetus as a person in so-called "fetal abuse" cases have also consistently failed. Courts will prosecute: but, few convictions are secured.

To understand how the term "human being" is understood by the general public, it is usefull to use a multidictionary such as alphaDictionary, which searches over 1060 dictionaries to provide us with a consensus of common usage. We find that the first definition usually equates "human being", with H. Sapien which is not a definition, but a scientific classification. A being must be defined before it can be classified. When we search on Homo Sapien, we typically find "man", "modern human", "mankind", etc. When we search on these terms, we find "human being". We are thereby faced with a logical fallacy known as "circular reasoning". To break out of this circle, we look at the 2nd definition, which is typically "person".

"Person" is usually defined in philosophical terms, for example:

3, self-conscious being, as distinct from an animal or a thing; a moral agent; a human being; a man, woman, or child. Consider what person stands for; which, i think, is a thinking, intelligent being, that has reason and reflection. (locke)

Consciousness arises in the newborn when its natural occurring sedatives are oxidized by the first few breaths taken outside the womb. See, "The importance of 'awareness for understanding fetal pain", David Mellor, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16269314

The term "death" in association with the destruction of the conceptus carries an unspoken assertion that human life is being destroyed. (Argument by assertion, especially unspoken assertion, is a logical fallacy.) As long as no clear distinction is being made between "human life" and "human being" is made, this also constitutes a logical fallacy of equivocation.

Ultimately, the question of what kind of life exists in the human uterus is a philosophical one, not answerable by science. This is why abortion is a matter of conscience. Freedom of conscience is protected in democracies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ermadog (talkcontribs) 00:41, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Sorry I could not get past the part where you said your big toe was a human and independent life (when you get cramp in it). I love reading posts but I don't keep reading if they get ridiculous. You should have saved that revelation for the end, as it is you lost me before you got going. Do you draw eyes and a mouth on your big toe? When you get cramp in it does your brain receive this information as discomfort? Therefore it is part of you and cannot be a conceptual metaphor for a mother and fetus. Your are taking the most generic definition of abortion and trying to use it to encompass everything that is described by the term abortion, when the topic here is not so wide as that. [User:DMSBel|DMSBel]] (talk) 00:53, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Since you are no longer reading my posts, I see no point in responding to your questions. Have a nice day.Ermadog (talk) 02:29, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Get over yourself, Ermadog. Agree with DMSBel.-- cheers, Michael C. Price talk 05:54, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Resistance is futile. DSMBel is the Borg King. Ermadog (talk) 07:06, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Ermadog, you were arguing from the sublime to the ridiculous, and peppering your post with rhetoric like "anti-choice". Basically you do not seem to have caught the notion of what the previous section was about, which is probably why you had to start a new one. Basically definitions in most dictionary move from the more specific to the more generic, the most generic definitions cover such a wide range of things, that they are little help to us here. There is certainly a fallacy in any argument that because the generic definition states abortion is "cessation of growth..." we must therefore be talking about the same thing in reference to a fetus as in reference to something else. Another reason an organ cannot be a conceptual metaphor for a fetus is that an unborn baby may have a different blood group from its mother. Blood in your toe is the same blood group as that in the rest of your body. What would happen if you needed a blood transfusion and were given the wrong type? Hemolytic reaction![[18]] Therefore there is a maternal/fetal distinction, in other words we are refering to a mother and her unborn baby. Make sense? User:DMSBel 62.254.133.139 (talk) 07:24, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Metaphor, from MacMillan as retrieved by alphaDictionary: "a word or phrase that means one thing and is used for referring to another thing in order to emphasize their similar qualities". I listed the similarities between my big toe and a generic fetus. Those similarities exist in the real world, and not merely in my imagination. My metaphor is apt in the current discussion; because, the "pro-death" camp keep emphasizing that the fetus is alive in a most general sense of the term and that it is human. My big toe is also alive and human. Therefore, it makes sense to me that the big toe is an apt metaphor for the fetus in this sense. If you'd read the rest of my post, you'd see that I then went on to an even more apt metaphor: the human gut. The human gut is alive, is human, and has independent existence - homeostasis. It also has its own primitive brain. See, "Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Volume 77 November 1984, Editorial: Muscle innervation of the gut structure and pathology" jrsocmed00217-0007.pdf The degree to which the fetus has any homeostasis is debatable. It is entirely dependent on the metabolism of the host mother in the earliest stages. It does not even begin to regulate its own breathing until week 34, which is the earliest stage at which the the fetal brain shows signs of coherent brain waves. See "Fetal Pain A Systematic Multidisciplinary Review of the Evidence" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16118385 As for "arguing from the specific to the generic", Wikipedia is not a dictionary.Ermadog (talk) 21:00, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
MacMillan Dictionary - abortion: a medical operation in which a developing baby is removed from a woman’s body so that it is not born alive. 71.3.232.238 (talk) 21:06, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Funny how it says 'not born alive' without referring to death--as though the question of whether or not it was alive, and hence could die, was at the least a complicated matter, and so they decided to state it as a negative instead. JJL (talk) 21:28, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
What are the similiarities between your big toe and this?:[[19]] Except that it has toes too!DMSBel (talk) 21:40, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Let's see, I listed the similarities twice now. Maybe third time's the charm. The fetus is composed of living tissue. The living tissue is human. My big toes is composed of living tissue. My big toe is human (It's not a duck's foot.) You are still ignoring the fact that the human gut is an even more apt comparison, possessing, as it does, both independent life, homeostasis, and a primitive brain.Ermadog (talk) 22:30, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

It is quite humorous to read that a lede that was painstakingly formulated

after lengthy and intense dicussions among dozens of editors and that considered

every single argument now being made and that has withstood the test of time is a "dead parrot".

71.3.232.238 (talk) 14:30, 5 July 2011 (UTC) (consolidated by - RoyBoy 23:35, 7 July 2011 (UTC))

It might be helpful if you were to format your comments as paragraphs. The old consensus has been reconsidered and found wanting. Comments like this don't advance the discussion in any way. You're simply lamenting the fact that WP is not set in stone. Even paper encyclopedias have new editions. JJL (talk) 21:28, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
The spacing seems intentional, I partially consolidated it. - RoyBoy 23:35, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
The fact that the lead sentence of this article continues to be the subject of edit-warring indicates very strongly that the prior consensus version that endured for many years should be restored until a new version achieves consensus. That's what WP:BRD is all about. Sadly, BRD seems to apply at all articles except this one (unless enforcing BRD is occasionally to someone's POV advantage).Anythingyouwant (talk) 19:31, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I was waiting for a 3rd party to do that, guess I'd be waiting a while. - RoyBoy 00:11, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Some further thoughts about fetal life and "death" in the lede.

In its earlier compromise/consensus version some readers may have had to make a presupposition accomodation (linguistic term) of a kind when they reached the phrase "caused by or resulting in its death". Most people are willing to do that in non-controversial matters. For instance if you were reading a book and had not noticed it was raining and someone said to you "It stopped raining", you would not reply "But you haven't said that it was raining". In the book What is Meaning: Fundamentals of Formal Semantics, Paul Portner writes:

::Unless you want to dispute the idea that it was raining, the co-operative thing to do in such a situation is to act as if the presupposition that it was raining had been in the Common Ground, discreetly adding it and moving on. (page 187)

In the earlier lede the presupposition the embryo/fetus is alive is presupposed in the meaning of pregnancy and it is taken for granted that for any reader who still does not obtain that presupposition that they can make an accomodation when they reach the part of the sentence "caused by or resulting in its death".

I wonder if expecting readers to make this type of presuppositional accomodation is really so out of the question, although admittedly it is asking a bit more than for someone to act as if the proposition "It was raining" is common ground. It will not be an issue for many readers, and we do make these accomodations in ordinary communication. That there are fields of medicine such as Peri-natal Pediatrics[[20]], [[21]] indicates an acknowledgement of nascent human life within the medical profession and that it is held to be the case that there is no radical disjunction between before and after birth except in terms of environment (intra-uterine or extra-uterine). The existence of this branch of pediatrics confirms the view that birth is an event in life, not the beginning of it as this article in JAMA states [[22]]. To me this indicates that there is a fairly common presupposition or understanding within Medicine and particularly Pediatrics, that most readers are quite able to accomodate when reading the article, and that the earlier definition (with the term "death") was not non-standard, even though it could have been better referenced. Any objections to restoring it? DMSBel (talk) 21:52, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

DMS, I am wondering, why do you think the U.S. Supreme Court said this:
We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate." Gandydancer (talk) 22:17, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I am wondering why they said that too. But I live in the UK. Seems to have been pretty well established in this discussion, then again its been going on for five years, I guess the US Supreme Court couldn't spend five years on it! DMSBel (talk) 22:23, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Objections to restoring what, exactly? ArtifexMayhem (talk) 22:37, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Says in my post. Hang on I'll find the exact version. DMSBel (talk) 22:40, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
This version of the first sentence (as of 8 June 2011):
  • Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion of a fetus or embryo from the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death.[1]
[In simple words, abortion is termination of pregnancy either through some accidental case like a miscarriage or by choice, when a fetus or an embryo is medically terminated. It is the removal of a fetus or embryo from the uterus, which kills the unborn baby.] [Note: I am not sure if this is a direct quote from the book or a paraphased summary, I am trying to find that out for sure, please bear with me, it comports with actual explanation in the book that life begins at conception though). (Dutt T, Matthews MP (1998). Gynaecology for Lawyers. Routledge) DMSBel (talk) 23:41, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
The book from which that quote is taken, has been reviewed in medico-legal journals, and received the following comments:
"It is undoubtedly excellent as a work of reference and the contents list itself gives any non-medic a thorough grounding in the area to be covered under the general title of gynaecology. The content is well researched and informative. It is also easy to read." -- Medico-Legal Journal, Vol 67, 1999
"This is worth its weight in gold to any medneg practitioner experienced or otherwise... Highly recommended." -- Medical Litigation, June 1999
I guess that is why it was used as a source in the article. DMSBel (talk) 23:41, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
These comments would be more helpful if we knew who made them. Was it endorsement by the editorial board? A book review by a single reviewer (which would not generally be a peer-reviewed item)? An ad? Some journals publish "my favorite text on..." opinion pieces. In any event, to say "I guess that is why it was used as a source in the article" sounds to me rather like citing Wikipedia as a source for Wikipedia. Surely the fact that a book by and for lawyers says "kills the unborn baby" isn't as compellinga s references by and for physicians... including the fact that the term 'baby' is plainly misused here. JJL (talk) 04:54, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
But there again you show you have commented before knowing what you are talking about. Why would you think a book called Gynaecology for Lawyers was written solely by Lawyers? I am puzzled. It's part of a respected medico-legal practitioner series (Routledge-Cavendish). As it is it happens to be written by two authors one a Consultant Gynaecologist. Its currently just titled Gynaecology. It more than meets the basic criteria for a reliable source. Not sure what you mean by "endorsed by an editorial board"? Articles in JAMA don't seem to be, or need to be, to meet WP:RS.
The series editor Walter F Scott[[23]], is a General Practitioner with the following qualifications:
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
  • Bachelor of Law (Hons)
  • Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners
Are you suggesting this fails WP:RS in some way? If so you are ridiculously setting the bar so high, no possible source could meet it even if it was from the most respected university on earth. Abortion is a Medico-Legal subject, of course not solely - this source is better equipped to deal with that aspect than any other currently in use in the article. The Medico-Legal series the source is from is unique and unparalled. That said, it would not be correct to use it as the only source. It certainly seems to rank very high though from the medico-legal perspective. DMSBel (talk) 13:21, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I was suggesting that you hadn't given me enough information to form a conclusion ion its reliability because you don't know how to cite scientific journals and don't seem to grasp the different types of articles that can appear within them. Why is this source unique? JJL (talk) 13:55, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
But I do give you enough information, I just have, if you had read my last post and followed the links you'd know the answer to your question, but I said it was a unique and unparalled series. So you seem to be not reading my posts. Anyway if you want the answer to your question its in my last post. DMSBel (talk) 14:04, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Trying to begin a discussion about the very semantics of language--as though that notion was somehow uniquely relevant to this page--is a particularly extreme attempt to return the debate to the beginning by forcing a discussion of the philosophy of language. We can't re-invent the English language here. This is a stalling tactic. JJL (talk) 04:54, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
No its not a stalling tactic, but thats the second time you have refered to other editors wanting to discuss things as using "stalling tactics". If discussing this is a stalling tactic, what are editors who refuse to discuss that matter engaging in? Semantics is relevant, we are discussing a definition. Though I agree that the issue of definition is not solely to do with semantics. But it's a neglected area and there is no consensus for the current lede, if you want to find if there is consensus for your version, you need to run an RFC. Can you say why you have not done that? The article is of importance to several projects, there may need to be wider discussion. DMSBel (talk) 11:22, 8 July 2011 (UTC)


As I've indicated previously on the Talk page, our language now matches that used in other, related articles here. JJL (talk) 13:55, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Oh? Which ones you been changing? (humor) DMSBel (talk) 14:24, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
The 8 June 2011 version of the lede first sentence, was the the consensus/compromise. It's not set in stone. But it will take a lot more to change it than what has been so far presented. Would you like to freeze your own version in carbonite? The current "definition" does not even serve the purpose of a definition which is to differeniate between similiar terms. Currently it does not distinguish between live birth and abortion. Either formal (dictionary) or extended definition can be used, perhaps a formal one in the lede, and an extended one further in the article. Or we can simply use a descriptive explanation which draws from non-contradictory sources. If that is the route then an acknowledgement in one source of what another is silent on (or makes no emphatic refutation of) makes them supplementary to each other. I suggest we use Merriam/Webster and one other major medical dictionary. ThoughtsDMSBel (talk) 12:08, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
You're being very repetitive. The suggestion that we only use the one dictionary that agrees with your preferred wording out of a great many that have been discussed here that do not is simply an "I want it my way" approach. The strong majority of similar sources do not agree with that definition. JJL (talk) 13:58, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
JJL you are the only one who "wants it your way", and is repeating proposals considered in the past before a compromise was reached. Find a mirror, and look in it please. DMSBel (talk) 14:12, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
DMS said; "Semantics is relevant, we are discussing a definition." I certainly would agree. In fact, I believe that semantics are very important. Gandydancer (talk) 12:56, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
They are important because they have been somewhat neglected, not because they are the only thing which matters. Bringing up semantics is not turning the discussion wholly into a semantic one. It would be impossible to do so. DMSBel (talk) 13:29, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I believe that we are ignoring semantics when we use the phrase "before it can survive outside the womb" Gandydancer (talk) 13:34, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Would you care to elucidate further?DMSBel (talk) 13:42, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
It's certainly an awkward construction, where a simpler one is available. JJL (talk) 13:58, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
You know a simpler one won't suffice. The more simplistic or generic it becomes the less it serves to tell us anything in particular. DMSBel (talk) 14:07, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't know anything of the sort. I agree with the professionals--the current version minus 'usually' (with caveats placed in the body of the article to indicate any opposing views) and with 'viable' in place of the longer phrasing is how the term is actually defined. JJL (talk) 16:36, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Therein lies the problem. You can't possibly object to one editor who argues against that and presents reliable sources (as were already in the earlier consensus version), as you began from a position of arguing from your own assertion, without source, evidence or consensus, but only preceded by another editors asinine comment (made in tit-for-tat fashion) already passed over by an editor who has been on the article longer than you have JJL, and who might have been likely to take it up if he didn't know something of the article history. I agree with the consensus on the lede first sentence that stood from 2006 until at least 8 June 2011 (and in my view hasn't been nullified). I won't question without very, very good reason something re-established by consensus several times as the best possible compromise in light of the options. Based on the medico-legal explanation of abortion, refuted by no other MEDRS, and which also concurs with Merriam/Webster Medical Dictionary. There cannot be a change (of the kind you seem to be proposing) that would not at the same time mean the bar is set so high that no other source currently used in the article could reach it and thus disqualifying current sources as unreliable. The best option is to leave the lede as it was as of 8 June 2011, until there is a RFC, or review. You might want to discuss elsewhere about whether wikipedia needs an {advocacy?-discuss} inline tag, if there is not one. Such a tag would in any case be only applicable to advocacy groups, not to my mind at least, non-partisan medico-legal sources.DMSBel (talk) 18:58, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I believe that its much more than just awkward, its very misleading. Gandydancer (talk) 14:10, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Either say why, or refrain from commenting, this "its very misleading" without explaining your view on why it is misleading gets us nowhere.DMSBel (talk) 14:14, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
It's misleading because it distorts the meaning of the definition used by 22 of the 24 references that we have used for it. Gandydancer (talk) 14:38, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree. It's a technical term and we shouldn't shy away from giving the proper definition, as per the overwhelming majority of the sources (regardless of what editing has occurred to the current list in the article). JJL (talk) 16:36, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I'd be surprised if either of you understands exactly what the other is saying. As for a standard definition there isn't one as such as could be called standard. The Merriam/Webster one given that it is used by MEDLINE, seems to be as close to standard as we can find in a medical dictionary. It seems quite POV to not want to use it because it mentions death. DMSBel (talk) 18:58, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I would need to correct my numbers - I see that the references are much changed since I last looked at them. Gandydancer (talk) 15:10, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I feel we have gone from bad to worse for the definition. I took a good look at all the definitions and they just do not use the phrase as we are using it. It came up a few times, 4 I believe it was, but even still it was always used a little differently. And I believe that they had good reason for not using that term, survive, at least in the way we are. It's an interesting situation. Look at the definition for survive: intransitive verb 1)to remain alive or in existence : live on 2)to continue to function or prosper 3)to remain alive after the death of <he is survived by his wife> 4)to continue to exist or live after <survived the earthquake> 5) to continue to function or prosper despite : withstand <they survived many hardships> — (survivor is the noun) However when the term is used in fetal viability, it means to reach a stage where one moves from "nothingness" to "survival" rather that from life through a deadly crisis and then to go on with life. Anyone follow me? I may be wrong or I may have not explained it very well. Of course, perhaps both! Gandydancer (talk) 17:35, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I do agree with you. The current language is a back-door way to get in life/death as much as possible, in contravention of the medical language. I too feel the language used by physicians in their reference works has been carefully chosen and that this has nuances that are not desirable in the defn.. -JJL — Preceding unsigned comment added by JJL (talkcontribs) 14:36, 8 July 2011
Whilst chasing after a definition for "lifetime risk", I stumbled upon an excellent source which explicitly compares WHO to CDC nomenclature in these matters. I believe a careful reading may be helpful and informative.

Even better, an earlier version from 1980 (pp.389-390 pertain) is PD-USGov so we can quote to our hearts' collaborative delight! LeadSongDog come howl! 19:14, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

JJL,Yes, I agree. I believe that by attempting to to get rid of the term death we have tried every which way to compromise and ended up with what we've got - original research. But sometimes compromise is not an option. The fetus is either alive or not alive. Only God knows for sure and apparently some people feel that they have direct communications from Him. As far as I'm concerned "God" said what ever you want to think is just fine as long as you don't tell anybody else what to think. If this issue again comes to a straw poll vote I will never vote for what we've got even if it breaks the vote to the point that the "death" votes would win. Gandydancer (talk) 19:39, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Lack of consensus is not the same as no knowledge on the subject. Any discovery in science is a given. It is as true before the discovery as after. Consensus takes a little longer to be sure. Medicine is not agnostic on when life begins. Best practice requires where there is lack of consensus to, "err on the side of caution", ie. do no harm. This is normative in the medical profession in regard to pregnancy both with reference to a mother and her fetus. For instance before delicate and risky fetal surgery (not abortion) Tocolytics are not administered if the risk is higher for the fetus inside the womb than if delivered, such as may be the case in intrauterine infection, unexplained vaginal bleeding and fetal distress. DMSBel (talk) 09:29, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Anyone that has not been following this would wonder what the hell I am talking about "alive or not alive". Obviously it is alive in one sense. I mean Life, not life...Gandydancer (talk) 19:52, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
We could use the preponderance of WP:MEDRS provided in the notes. - ArtifexMayhem (talk) 20:03, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Please try to not be so sensible as it will only cause confusion. Gandydancer (talk) 21:54, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry. My bad. - ArtifexMayhem (talk) 00:20, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Gandydancer, if you're saying that the "death" version of the lead is superior to the current version, I agree. -- cheers, Michael C. Price talk 20:31, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
It's better only in that it did not screw around and hide behind words that say the same thing in a cowardly and sneaky manner. A 12 year old understands what viable means and I'm sick of hearing the excuse that an adult does not. We are not a panel of experts here. If anyone is so brilliant that they need to share their vast knowledge, let them go work on the physics articles or such where they need to at least show that they have some skills. It takes no skill what-so-ever to work on this article so for crying out loud you'd think you would be humble enough to agree that our definition should not be something that we just make up. Gandydancer (talk) 20:56, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
You're never going to convince me that A 12 year old understands what viable means and I'm sick of hearing the excuse that an adult does not. since I misunderstood what it meant earlier (and I'm 51), or at least that's what someone else said! Viable means many things (e.g. "viable option"). But I think I agree with the gist of what you are saying. -- cheers, Michael C. Price talk 22:00, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreed--that's what we have tried to do, but it's slipping backward piece by piece. I would certainly favor a return to 'viable', sand 'usually', because that's what the sources clearly say. JJL (talk) 03:52, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

This article begins by addressing abortion as a biological event related to pregnancy. The article narrows down to human abortion, and even moreso to induced abortion. IN the begininng, when the basic definition mentions life, everyone needs to step back and remember that the definition is not species-specific, and is not even a medical definition. This is a biological, veterinary, and medical definition - and even goes beyond that. All biological, veterinary, and medical resources agree:

  • A pregnancy initially requires a living horse/pig/human embryo/fetus inside of a female horse/pig/human (normally within a uterus).
  • The end of the pregnancy occurs when the horse/pig/human embryo/fetus exits the female horse/pig/human.
  • The horse/pig/human embryo/fetus can exit the female horse/pig/human either dead or alive.
  • If the horse/pig/human embryo/fetus exits the female horse/pig/human dead, it is an abortion (miscarriage, still birth, induced abortion).
  • If the horse/pig/human embryo/fetus exits the female horse/pig/human alive, it is live birth.

There are dozens of MED:RS that confirm this and have been cited repeatedly on this talk page since 2005. Please post citations of MED:RS that negate any of the above facts. 71.3.232.238 (talk) 20:28, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Hey, since you're back (and talking about "facts" again), could you go two threads up and answer my question about some other "facts" you've cited? Thanks. MastCell Talk 20:47, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Right. Not human specific. Convenient. ArtifexMayhem (talk) 21:30, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Give the IP a break. MastCell you don't give a toss if there is a stat. corresponding to what the IP stated. I know your type, keep pushing IPs around. "Wheres it say this?", "wheres it say that?". Then when you're shown you find something else wrong with it, or you just remain silent. Wise up and give the rest of us a break. Goes for other editors who are at that game too. DMSBel (talk) 21:56, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Such cynicism, and from someone who was just recently criticizing my failure to assume good faith (see #15). I'm willing to let the IP spout whatever rhetoric he wants (clearly, the talk page guidelines were long since beaten into submission). But if he cites a "fact", then I'd like to know whether it's truly a fact. I'm old-fashioned like that. In the best case, the IP provides a source and I learn something. In a not-so-best case, I've at least given him a chance to correct a false statement, before I conclude that he doesn't give a damn about facts and should be ignored.

Incidentally, if you read WP:V (which, admittedly, not many do these days), it actually insists that we as editors ask "Where's it say this? Where's it say that?" But again, I'm old-fashioned. MastCell Talk 23:47, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Apologies for my cynicism hopefully it has not advanced too far. Maybe you do in fact want a published stat. to confirm what the IP said. But we'd get a lot further in this discussion if we all would just acknowledge the sources we have, including the ones we don't particularly like are the ones that are probably going to be used for this article. Ruling out a respected medico-legal source would only impoverish the quality of sourcing generally across Wikipedia. Not having followed this discussion from earlier years I somewhat accepted at face value a un-informed comment or two earlier in the discussion regarding Gynaecology for Lawyers as not ranking well amongst authorative sources. Well if that is the way wikipedians rank sources, they have set the bar higher than pretty much every source currently in the article! Seriously. I have seen this before - editors saying in disdain in effect "That?! source" in regard to a source with very nearly impeccible credentials, simply because it confirms a particular POV they don't like. By all means we need to careful in regard to sources. But quite simply put, the problems with either Merriam/Webster, or Gynaecology for Lawyers, or some of the other sources given in support of "...caused by or resulting in its death" are more to do with the POVs of a few editors and nothing whatever to do with reliability of those sources. Having found out what a source says, you can't just then retort "I don't like it" WP:IDONTLIKEIT and you're right WP:V does not seem to be read by many these days. Could you tell me on you're reading of that if there is anything in the lede first sentence that is not verifiable, in a reliable source? (talk) 18:54, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Give the IP a break? After four-months break time is over. ArtifexMayhem (talk) 00:35, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Artifex, when you joined this discussion you made one of the best posts in the discussion at least in my time here. You didn't take sides, but you made it clear in your post we should not obfusicate the issue. There has been a lot of discussion in between (as well as before), but I think some of your basic comments still have some weight in the discussion. The IP has not been saying anything that is outside the scope of the medical profession's normative view in regard to the status of both fetus and mother as patients, or indeed that contradicts your first post here (as I understood it). Tendentious editing is one thing, but thats not what we have in the case of the IP, he simply wants acknowledgement of what is common knowledge in Medical practice.DMSBel (talk) 10:21, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. However you should keep details of my posts in context. Early on there was a debate about when Life begins. The sources supplied didn't hold water so I rejected the argument, finally declaring "that dog won't hunt" (and it still won't). The argument as changed. Currently I'm looking for a policy or guideline and supporting argument that the consensus lede using death overrides the majority of medical texts that don't phrase it that way. The same rehtorical questions, requests for negating sources, claims the article is not medical, is not human specific, google word searches provided as sources, that this or that terminology is meely mouthed or euphemistic, the source doesn't talk about xyz, etc. repeated over the past month in the 398 [24][25][26] edits by the IP and 469 [27][28] edits by you are not helping me find a solution. Right now I see a simple issue of WP:MEDRS verses WP:CONSENSUS and WP:MEDRS is winning. I am listening but patience is not a death pact. - ArtifexMayhem (talk) 13:42, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
What I can't quite understand is why you are looking for policy arguments to remove verifiable and reliable source information. Do you think the silence in definitions of abortion indicates a agnosticism in the medical profession with regard to pre-birth life. It's strange how hard a few editors are trying to remove this. "...resulting in or caused by its death" comports with the sources we have. DMSBel (talk) 15:08, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
I see this all across WP--an editor finds one generally reasonable source that agrees with his viewpoint and insists it be given equal weight with the multitude that don't. I've seen numerous editors all over WP state things like "all verifiable information must be included in the article". The most annoying part of this discussion is that no one is saying that the less commonly occurring views can't be discussed further in the body of the article--just that they don't belong in the lede. It's a matter of the weight of sources. Since this is a definition, it isn't surprising that different authorities define and use it in different ways. But there's a strongly modal phrasing, and it's before it is viable. JJL (talk) 23:29, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
JJL, your spin fails yet again. There is a field of forensic pathology that conducts "post mortem" exams (aka "autopsies") of fetuses that were intentionally killed during induced feticide abortion procedures. Post mortem means "after death" - autopsies can only be performed on a fetus that died. Forensic pathology has as its main goal to understand what led to the subject cadaver's ill-health and death. There is another field of medicine that focuses on fetal therapy and fetal surgery, wherein the fetus is clearly treated as a living patient. Of course I don't expect any acknowledgment from you of these facts of life and death. But I am posting these facts for the record. 74.5.176.81 (talk) 01:41, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Leaving aside the OR/synthesis aspect of this: Why don't the physicians who write the textbooks know what you do? JJL (talk) 02:06, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Which is the generally reasonable source you refer to? I have asked you JJL repeatedly about inclusion in lede and body of the article. About your specific objections, limits of your objections? You won't give a plain answer. The problem as I see it and as at least one other editor has noted, is that you have a cognitive bias. Now, I never took issue with the definition in all the time I have worked on this article. I have waited before acting on concern from other editors towards other aspects of the lede and sections, that I agree with. Basically because I know my own views on the matter, and I don't want them to bias my actions and some of the issues raised need broached carefully, and I need to do further reading at times. I see no way at all that a non-partisan medico-legal source could be advocacy. I asked you about this, but you backed away from the advocacy claim. I really am not sure how to convince you. Fallacy from silence meet fallacy from ignorance! And you are basically arguing it seems to me - no knowledge without consensus, which is altogether back to front. You seem to also be putting epistemology before ontology. DMSBel (talk) 14:03, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Are you arguing that lawyers aren't advocates? JJL (talk) 16:18, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I wondered if you'd try that little trick with words. To late, you had about three opportunities to say what you meant by advocacy. Each time you backed away. Whats concerning is that you know you are playing games, and you know that the lede has consensus with "death" in it, and you know that you are wasting editors time, and that you are on a mission. Do you think no-one else sees this? Take my word for it they do. And you know what, you'll have a topic block soon if you keep this up. DMSBel (talk) 19:21, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
What do we actually know today, that eclipses what experts in embryology told us 50 years ago? And it better be relevant to the issue of when life begins. DMSBel (talk) 15:30, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Your argument rests on 50 year old science, despite all the up-to-date references that have been provided? What we know is that what once may have seemed very simple to some is much more complex than first thought. (This is not to say that I agree with your assumptions about what was widely believed 50 years ago.) That is, I presume, one reason why so many sources avoid such unsettled and complicated issues. JJL (talk) 16:18, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
It simple JJL, things don't move out of the domain of knowledge like that. Belief was not needed to know this 50 years ago. What was knowledge then is knowledge now. I am not going to keep arguing with you. Stop changing the lede to the version that there is no consensus for. DMSBel (talk) 18:19, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Dispute resolution noticeboard

Hi all. I believe that the admin noticeboard is probably the wrong place to get outside input on the matter. Accordingly, I have left a message on the Dispute resolution noticeboard. All editors here are invited to take a look at the post there and comment if they see fit. NW (Talk) 13:17, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Getting some measure of help would be good. At this point, esp. as the IP SPA accounts continue to be blocked, I'm comfortable saying that those favoring 'viable' sufficiently outnumber those favoring 'death' that the 'viable' form of the lede is what we should be going with as we continue the discussion. JJL (talk) 13:40, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I didn't want them to resolve the dispute. I wanted to understand if Wikipedia is now a democracy, JJL here again maintains it is. I thought JJL was misinformed; if shown otherwise I will change Wikipedia policy to suit. Careful what you wish for. - RoyBoy 03:08, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
To date, wp:NOT#DEMOCRACY has not been disposed of. LeadSongDog come howl! 20:28, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
That's my understanding. Apparently "consensus can change" means you can push ahead with selective enforcement of policy, contrary to policy! Love it. - RoyBoy 23:54, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Bearing in mind that when the matter was first brought up new editors were repeatedly informed that the 2006 consensus was perfect and could not be changed, it's amusing to see you raising this defense when on the other side. JJL (talk) 04:25, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
LOLz... so immature and impatient. @NW: I seriously question your admin credentials being on side with JJL, you are suppose to check (slow down) inexperienced people wading into topics out of their depth; in your defense you're too involved to have perspective. @both of you: You didn't check the previous consensus in any serious way, you go ahead and change the consensus because you didn't like it. So yes, we repeatedly tell you there is little new you are bringing to the table apart from being unfamiliar with consensus and how Wikipedia actually works. Expected for JJL, not for others.
@JJL: Compromise is rarely perfect, I presume you are aware compromise was key from my posts above? "other side"? Are you under the impression we need to convince you or your ilk (kind) of anything at this point. Fortunately my amusement is more informed than yours. The lead may remain changed, but it'll be from a process much better than a quick straw poll after a "I JJL (therefore everyone) can't figure out if the fetus is alive/personhood begins/organism or whatever the next word is that lets me continue to pretend I'm exploring an issue I already made up my mind on" ... fiasco. You remember that, it was awful for lots of people at talk:abortion -- lets say -- who been here more than a year. *British heckling on* Shame! SHAME! *British heckling off* - RoyBoy 00:52, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
If you are unable to have discussions on this Talk page without disparaging and attacking other editors, I suggest you take a break. Otherwise, it's going to be you that finds out about certain Wikipedia policies that you are ignoring. Dave Dial (talk) 02:08, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Disparaging and attacking, where's that? Or are you skipping over multiple missteps in policy, procedure, courtesy, philosophy, biology, evolution, reality, English language etc etc. A break is good advice, you should take a break from being blind to context, lest you think my comments vindictive -- rather than observational. If I'd written only the first paragraph you'd have a point I suppose. So DD2K, what would you call editors that push an edit through in weeks that contravenes a consensus that's existed for years and has been defended many times and in many ways? So long as they are civil (in your eyes) that's what counts? Have something to contribute or find another article you can positively effect, because it appears Abortion won't be your cup of tea presently. - RoyBoy 07:14, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
It's amazing to me how attached many of the older editors here are to their consensus. You're reacting like people are trying to steal your pension fund. Remember WP:MERCILESS? The old consensus may have been the best agreement the group of you were able to get but it wasn't the best possible. You have to be willing to relax your grip and let the article be edited. Courtesy is your argument? I certainly think you (plural) could stand to shine that light on yourselves. Reality? Apparently you know the WP:TRUTH better than I do? This is a weak defense. The sources are aligned against your position--overwhelmingly so. That's the reality. JJL (talk) 16:12, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I've added "medically defined" to the viable version of the lead, I'm not warring to maintain the "one and only true version". Medical texts do not burden themselves with the legal variability of viability, and they define viable according to their best practice. We should avoid technical language when possible, as we aren't defining a best surgical practice, but rather a topic that encompasses hospitals and war torn jungles. - RoyBoy 02:32, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Numbered Collection of Definitions

This section is reserved exclusively for a running list of abortion definitions following the format used for #1 with comments in the section that follows labeled "Comments on each Numbered Definition". Please ensure any definition you leave is NOT signed, as the list is designed to be an objective neutral list. I will be housekeeping this section for compliance with the format guidelines that I have outlined here. Please do not leave any comments of any kind in this section (just definitions). 74.5.176.81 (talk) 17:11, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

  • 1. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, 2008. abortion: 1. the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus: as (a) : spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation — compare miscarriage (b) : induced expulsion of a human fetus (c) : expulsion of a fetus by a domestic animal often due to infection at any time before completion of pregnancy.
  • 2. Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, 2005 (also used as the "MedlinePlus" online dictionary by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a division of the National Institutes for Health). abortion: 1. the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus: as (a) : spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation — compare miscarriage (b) : induced expulsion of a human fetus (c) : expulsion of a fetus by a domestic animal often due to infection at any time before completion of pregnancy.
  • 3. Merriam-Webster's Legal Dictionary, 1996 (also used as the online legal dictionary by "FindLaw For Legal Professionals", a Thomson Reuters website). abortion: 1. the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus; esp. : the medical procedure of inducing expulsion of a human fetus to terminate a pregnancy.
  • 4. Oxford World Dictionary, 2010. abortion: 1. the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks: the expulsion of a fetus from the womb by natural causes before it is able to survive independently.
  • 5.MacMillan Dictionary, abortion: a medical operation in which a developing baby is removed from a woman’s body so that it is not born alive.
  • 6.Collins English learner’s dictionary, abortion: a medical operation in which a pregnancy is deliberately ended and the baby is not born alive.
  • 7.Cambridge University Dictionary of American English, abort: to end a pregnancy esp. by an operation before the baby is ready to be born.
  • 8.Webster's New World Collegiate Dictionary, abortion: any deliberate procedure that removes, or induces the expulsion of, a living or dead embryo or fetus

Comments on each Numbered Definition This section is reserved exclusively for a running list of comments following the format used for #1, in numerical order using the corresponding definition numbers from the section "Numbered Collection of Definitions". Please keep all comments for one definition together. I will be housekeeping this section.

  • 1. Plus: The only definition that applies to EVERY abortion, but does not incorrectly apply to any live births. Plus: Absolutely mainstream source. Could not be more mainstream, actually. Plus: Most popular US dictionary (best-selling and most relied upon). Plus: This publisher also uses the same definition in its medical dictionary and its legal dictionary - which means the definition has been vetted by professional editors of specialty dictionaries as appropriate in those specialty dictionaries, as well as in a lay dictionary. Plus: Dictionary recommended and relied upon by the Chicago Manual of Style, which is the bible for most US editors and publishers. 74.5.176.81 (talk) 17:11, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  • 2. Plus: The NIH trusts this medical dictionary as its online medical dictionary for MedlinePlus. Plus: Could not be more mainstream as a medical reference website.74.5.176.81 (talk) 18:05, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  • 3. Plus: FindLaw For Legal Professionals and the consumer version of FindLaw trusts this as its online medical dictionary. Plus: Could not be more mainstream as a legal reference website.74.5.176.81 (talk) 18:05, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  • 4. Minus: Definition includes every induced live birth. Plus: Does not make false claims about viability, properly applies to abortions after viability. Plus: Mainstream. Plus: Faulty (because it defines induced live births), but better then those definitions making false claims about viability. 74.5.176.81 (talk) 18:27, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Other

STOP creating new sections. WP:TLDR. You're pissing everyone off and undermining your own position. -- cheers, Michael C. Price talk 20:11, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
We have an editor claiming that only one resource mentions death/destruction/life. I am documenting that such a claim is simply not true. I appreciate that some people don't want accurate information to inform the lead and so they will attack my style rather then my content - and I appreciate your caution. However, it will be useful to have all the definitions/sources to be in one place (and right now that place is not the article footnotes or notes section). Your tone is not civil, by the way - and your comment would be better at my IP talk page (as WP:TLDR suggests). I suppose I can be bad cop and you can be good cop if you think that will work - let me know.74.5.176.81 (talk) 20:35, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Please listen to Michael. If it were up to me, you would have been prohibited from opening new threads a long time ago - what you're doing is completely counterproductive and has rendered this talkpage largely unusable. How about you stop creating new threads, and go back to finish up some of the discussions above? About 3 threads up, you made what I think is a false statement. I've asked you to support it several times now. Would you take someone seriously if they made apparently false statements and then ignored requests for clarification? MastCell Talk 23:34, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Should we semiprotect the talk page? -- cheers, Michael C. Price talk 05:30, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
A list of dictionaries doesn't stack up well against the earlier lists of textbooks used by professionals to train professionals. Asking that they all be gathered back here again seems to me to be yet another stalling tactic. JJL (talk) 23:38, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Your spin is tiresome. This is not a medical article. It is a broad article covering mostly non-medical aspects of abortion as a social/political/legal/philosophical phenomenon. Certainly the framing used by "textbooks used by professionals" is framing for professionals - but broad non-medical wikipedia articles (such as this one) are NOT written for that same purpose. In fact, the framing used by mainstream sources should carry more weight than that framing of medical textbooks. There is so much more that is wrong with your comment, but it has all been posted here by other editors in the past month and whenever this topic has been discussed on this talkpage since 2005. And it has frequently been abortion supporters who have been most eloquent at insisting that this article must not be censored and must be factual and candid and void of euphemism and squishy walking on eggshells terminology. 74.5.176.81 (talk)

Stop the horseshit about opening new sections. People open new sections on talk pages. Just stop the whining. And I will answer questions as I see fit; when all other questions above (that several editors have consistently dodged) are answered to my satisfaction, I will consider addressing questions others have of me. The content of the article does not hinge on the nit you wish to pick, anyway. The bottom line is that viable fetuses are aborted every year by the tens of thousands. A tiny fraction of viable-fetus abortions are to prevent death or serious injury to mother or to a seriously deformed/diseased fetus. In fact, most of them in the west are late- choice birth control, and in Asia most of them are sex selection abortions that are performed to kill females fetuses. This is all unassailable fact which has been verified repeatedly on this talk page with no acknowledgment by most of the "viable" crowd. 74.5.176.81 (talk) 01:10, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Maybe you're right. Death might not be so bad. There is still a lot of good stuff we can cover. You make a good point on the numbers... I think we do around ~3,700 a day in the US, that should have some good positives right? Good for the economy, jobs, taxes and such. Yeah. Here I was thinking abortion just wouldn't be any fun with death in the lede and that if we could just gloss over that the topic would be back to its old self. ArtifexMayhem (talk) 02:14, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Of course, we shouldn't speak so plainly about X because X is such a widely practiced and universally accepted thing. 74.5.176.81 (talk) 09:40, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Caterpillar: Recite.
  • Alice: Oh. Yes sir. How doth the little bumblebee improve each...
  • Caterpillar: Stop. That is not spoken correctically. It goes: How doth the little crocodile improve his shining tail. And pour the waters of the Nile, on every golden scale. How cheerfully he seems to grin, how neatly spreads his claws. And welcomes little fishes in, with gently smiling jaws.
  • Alice: Well, I must say, I've never heard it that way before.
  • Caterpillar: I know. I have improoooved it.

Gandydancer (talk) 02:29, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Alice = Science.
  • Caterpillar = Euphemism.
74.5.176.81 (talk) 09:24, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUELu8o5KJg Gandydancer (talk) 14:22, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

"An abortion (i) terminates a pregnancy, ending the physical dependency relationship the fetus has to the mother, and (ii) terminates the life of the fetus, ending both its present functions as an organism and its ongoing development into a more complex one."

  • Source: Abortion and the Death of the Fetus, Steven l. Ross, Philosophy & Public Affairs, Vol. 11, No. 3, Summer, 1982 (cited 19 times by other authors)
  • 74.5.176.81 (talk) 06:03, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

I believe that the Porky Pig rendition was a great improvement of the Bing Crosby version. Of course, to each his own. Gandydancer (talk) 11:31, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Note to uninvolved administrators

Why do you just sit around and do nothing when edit-warriors change longstanding material in this article without consensus? If you do nothing, then the only recourse seems to be for competent editors to continually use 1RR to restore the consensus version via a slow-motion edit-war. Right?Anythingyouwant (talk) 21:12, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Agree. This is an endless slow-motion edit war between entrenched users on both sides. NYyankees51 (talk) 22:07, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't accept that reverting to the earlier consensus is edit-waring, when no new consensus is established. DMSBel (talk) 22:38, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Verb conjugation 101:
  • I am a competent editor continually using 1RR to restore the consensus version.
  • You are an edit-warrior changing longstanding material without consensus.
To an uninvolved admin, all of you look like querulous individuals shouting at the top of your lungs with your fingers firmly plugged into your ears. All the more so when you pretend there's a "consensus" version in the face of an obvious lack of consensus. I don't think your claims to the moral high ground are as self-evident as you think they are, which is probably why no uninvolved admins have stepped in to act as you want. MastCell Talk 03:31, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
What was that all about?DMSBel (talk) 08:41, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
MastCell, you seriously believe there is consensus to insert "viable" in the lead's first sentence, which has consistently excluded that word for years? Perhaps no uninvolved admin has stepped in to sanction us "querulous" folk because such an assertion on your part (that you are defending consensus) is not credible.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:48, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Anythingyouwant, stop making stuff up. MastCell never said there is consensus to insert "viable" in the lead's first sentence. You're just confirming what MastCell said. -- cheers, Michael C. Price talk 07:09, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I support changing the lead sentence to what it said for years (including the word "death") until there is consensus how to change it (e.g. consensus to change it to something like "demise"). MastCell apparently views such an opinion as "querulous", for reasons that I don't understand; he claims to be "continually using 1RR to restore the consensus version" but he has not argued or acted to restore the longstanding consensus version of the lead sentence pending formation of a new consensus about how to change that longstanding version. So, MastCell's participation here seems disruptive, throwing around accusations of querulousness while criticizing others for doing what he claims to be doing himself. Please correct me if I'm mistaken. Changing the lead sentence from the longstanding version, without consensus how to do so, means simply that this article will be formed by bullying and warring instead of rational discussion.Anythingyouwant (talk) 15:07, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

On balance

We don't seem to be making much headway in seeing editors writing for the other side. One particularly blatant case is the above list of unlinked references, which 74...81 has prepared listing only those he considers to support one side, "the avalanche" as he puts it. I would challenge him to either prepare the corresponding list as a demonstration of good faith or support someone else in doing so. LeadSongDog come howl! 18:49, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

I wasn't aware the writing for the opposition exercise was still on-going, there was not a lot of participation earlier, its also rather difficult to do when editors are not sure what other editors position is. But to be fair we are into a RFC (rather late but better than not having one and continuing to argue) and two proposals have been suggested for consideration. I think in hindsight we might have been better to set up two versions of the lede first sentence (or maybe even the first two sentences if that would not be too much) for consideration, but as it only occured to me after the RFC started I am as much to blame for not thinking of it sooner. I do think presenting the choice as one of "...before it is viable" versus "...caused by or resulting in its death" risks polarising positions too much. I am going to take a look at how discussion on this was conducted back in 2006, I am sure there is something to be learned. Both phrases are descriptive of the state of affairs in for instance the case of a spontaneous abortion of 6 week old fetus. Does that make sense? DMSBel (talk) 21:39, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
After further reflection: Perhaps there might be a way out of the impasse via another route. Instead of a footnote on definitions of abortion, have a footnote about death and what dies, but retain the word in the lede? DMSBel (talk) 22:34, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
By all means, I heartily support someone else in doing so. What makes you think I didn't? I want editors to have a plentiful and wide array of information. In fact, I actually invited people to post definitions a few sections above and no one supported me in that effort. I applaud your support for me and all the editors who want to have a wealth of WP:RS inform this article. Thank you! 71.3.232.238 (talk) 18:57, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm glad to hear that, though I had hoped you would actually engage in preparing an NPOV listing. Do I take it from the above reply that the two IPs (74...81 and 71...238) are both the same user? LeadSongDog come howl! 19:34, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Editing anonymously is certainly fair game. Doing so in order to deceive would not be. See wp:IPSOCK. I have no wish to know who you are, but if one uses multiple identities in editing the same topic, particularly a contentious one, one is required to be clear about doing that as a simple matter of honesty with one's fellow editors.
I am not moving the goalposts. I am encouraging editors to be the best contributors they can, which is to say ones who strive to fairly balance their contributions. I hope you will actively participate on both sides, as equally as you are able.
The new section was because the subject changed. See wp:TPG for explanation.LeadSongDog come howl! 20:06, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
You are infering something which is not the case. I posed a question at 18:49 above to user 74..., to which you replied as user 71... Either you were replying as the same person at a different IP or you were not. You should simply clarify that so I know if 74... has answered the question, and then we can move along. LeadSongDog come howl! 21:23, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Is this editor also 67.233.18.28? Gandydancer (talk) 22:48, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Presumably, yes, since all of these IPs are registered to Embarq Corporation. Leaving aside the rather... distinctive style of this editor's posts, it's probably reasonable to treat IP editors with that registration as a single editor. Since the editor has had several IP's blocked, the question of evading scrutiny arguably arises, but it's probably not worth pressing since it's fairly easy to associate the IPs. If you're in doubt, you can run a WHOIS on the IP, either at the IP talk page or with standard online tools. MastCell Talk 23:26, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure these are the same editor, two computers in different locales would result in two IPs. Of course that could be one editor at work or a library then at home. I think most people know my own IP at least I sometimes sign my posts with both User:DMSBel and my IP if I have forgotten to login. My IP is 62.254.133.139 and I'm in the UK. IP 71... was replying to MastCell and his earlier remark. Beyond that I have no idea if it is the same editor. Assume bad faith and a lot of editors can look alike at times!! How do we know the editor has had several IPs blocked when we don't know for sure this is one editor? And EMBARQ is an exchange carrier serving 18 US States! Doesn't really narrow it down much! Have you run a WHOIS? DMSBel (talk) 23:44, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Two Embarq IPs editing, with identical POV and text style, one while the other was blocked. That's block evasion. Guy (Help!) 19:31, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Ah! But only if he/she were legitimately blocked, and had done something wrong first of all. Not sure I could say I saw a any similiarity in text style. Disagreement is not disruption. Using two computers is not doing anything wrong. POV or not the IP made a valuable contrib to the sourcing. Poor Block. DMSBel (talk) 01:18, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
The sheer volume of edits and text can be seen as tendentious editing. Continuing with the discussion despite an announced block is evasion, the details become moot at that point. While not required by any means, when there is an extensive discussion ongoing, it becomes more important to have attribution with user accounts to PointsOV. - RoyBoy 21:29, 16 July 2011 (UTC)