Talk:Opposition to legal abortion/Anti-abortion movement

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Completely Biased

Firt of all, this article is worse than the media as far as bias goes.

Second, pro-life is not just Christian. It eludes me as to why anyone would even think that way. If you're interested in why pro-life isn't just Christian, check out this article. Basically, pro-life isn't any different than anti-murder; pro-life advoctes simply believe that an unborn baby is a living human being (which IS supported by science), and that this living human being has all the inalienable human rights that anyone else does. Even though abortion is officially considered by the Catholic Church to be a sin, so are murder and rape, and lots of Atheists are against those, too.


So I edited the part about the Catholic stance on abortion. I am not sure it is a good idea to get into different religious doctrines from various religions on this page. It diverts from the declaration of what Pro-life means and should belong on pages about the individual religions. ~art187

Okay so I found a page that deals specifically with abortions and religions so I removed the content

Media on Prolife

Should something be put in about how the media, atleast in America refuses to use this term and has instead changed to anti-abortion?

I'm not so sure that there is any truth to this statement. While the media does seem to favor a pro-choice slant to their reporting I have yet to hear many people refer to pro-life as anti-abortion. But at the same time there are pro-choice advocates who will use the term, but then again many pro-lifers refer to pro-choice as pro-abortion. Do you have an good documentation of this being a media policy? ~art187

John Kerry is Pro-Choice.

User:Christaylor is correct if the following linked information is correct about Sen. John Kerry - (Not Really! - ) He is Pro-Choice. Timothy001 16:18, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)

According to a Drudge Report Kerry has flipped to being Pro-Choice!

Another link, this one showing Sen. Kerry playing both sides of the issue.

I think John Kerry's voting record betrays his supposed Pro-Life stance.

I think in light of what John Kerry tells people in his hopes for becoming president, that it is pretty obvious he is indeed pro-abortion. Especially when he made this statement to the Associated Press earlier in 2004, "I am proud that I am the only presidential candidate to pledge that I will support only pro-choice judges to the Supreme Court." Which is quoted from the link below.

It is clear by his statements that he is not "Pro-Abortion," as in favoring abortion. While he is personally against it, he is also against government interference. Are you saying it is not possible to have strong feelings against abortion, as well as strong feelings against the federal government interfering with a with a womans rights in this matter?

Since when is Drudge a reliable source? Thesquire 08:32, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Pitchka's comment

"Pro-Life" is associated heavily with it's origins in various christian church's. You can argue about the degree but not the association.

--Jirate 22:41, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I didn't say it was exclusivly anything. I did an Alta Vista search for "Pro-Life" and got.

[1] //Search revealing

[2] // Looks neutral

[3] //Search for Christ revealing

[4] // Catholic Bishops

[5] //Jesus, Christ and Church in first page.

[6] //Chrurch mntion on first page.

[7] //Search for Christ revealing

[8] // Cross and chruch on first page

[9] //Presbyterians Pro-Life Home Page

[10] // Looks neutral

So 8/10, heavily associated seems reasonable. --Jirate 23:58, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Still Waiting for a counter argument to the religious element.

ProLife = Anti-Abortion and Anti-Death Penalty

Isn't anything else is inherently POV. I am not asking this trollishly, I am seriously asking for opinions (on what is likely to be, of course, a very sensitive topic, due to its political connotations). Guettarda 23:32, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

What are you talking about? In the US, "Pro-Life" means anti-abortion, it isn't used to refer to the death penalty. If you find that to be an inconsistency, that's grand, but that's hardly the point for this article. --Fastfission 02:18, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I'm not convinced - the article is called "Pro-Life" not "Pro-Life Movement". I understand that there is a movement in the US that uses that term to describe itself. Nonetheless, there is a long history of people re-phrasing words for their own liking - the fact that the Liberal party of Australia is the right-wing party doesn't change the generally-accepted meaning of the word liberal.
This is an article about the movement and term as it is used in the US. It is not a dictionary definition. --Fastfission 21:28, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I am not saying that I think the name of this article should be changes. But I don't think anyone can argue that the phrase itself is POV. I found myself wondering about how Wikipedia balances thing like that; in the case of the argument between the terms Occupied Territories or Disputed Territories (for the West Bank and Gaza) the discussion revolved around legal definition. In this case you have the usage of the term which diverges from the meaning of the word. So I am curious about how policies fit together here. Guettarda 20:09, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Of course the phrase isn't POV, it is a loaded term designed to frame the argument in a certain way . This is talked about in the article. If you'd read the article, you'd see that.--Fastfission 21:28, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Yep, that's a great one - change the article and then scold people with If you'd read the article, you'd see that. Good one. As it stands the article is inherently contradictory, e.g.:

Though spanning a wide range of political and moral beliefs, the Pro-Life movement is generally defined by the belief that the unborn are to be considered human in their own right, and have the same rights to life and legal protection from harm which are given to "born" humans


Within this view exists a spectrum of political nuance: some believe that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, while some believe that it should be permitted under certain special circumstances (such as pregnancy due to incest or rape, or if the mother's life would be put in severe mortal danger should the pregnacy be allowed to continue).

This would mean that people believe that it is ok to kill children if they are born of rape or incest, or that it would be ok to drown your children if are suicidally depressed and likely to kill yourself if you don't get rid of them (or if the mother's life would be put in severe mortal danger should the [insert: motherhood] be allowed to continue Similarly, if people really believed in protecting the unborn they would support Democrats, since abortion rates have gone up sharply under Reagan-Bush and Bush II. Instead the Pro-Life movement is in bed with the Republican party. The article takes a fundamentally slanted position and then offers a few tidbits for balance...and yet insertion of a feminist view on this political movement is considered not NPOV. I see Guettarda 16:54, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I assume that you support abortion rights, so maybe this isn't the page for you unless of course you plan to re-write the article to be acceptable to you. Dwain 17:10, Feb 1, 2005 (UTC)
Hooray for NPOV and balance - if you disagree keep away? Is that what you are saying? Let pages only be edited by the true believers in the cause? Sieg heil Guettarda 17:27, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I didn't change it substantially when I wrote that message, though I decided to make it a little more overt since it seemed to confuse at least one person. I'm not sure I see how those two statements are contradictory unless you are deliberately trying to misinterpret them. The qualifiers "generally" and "spectrum of nuance" etc. are intended to indicate that there is no one viewpoint or set of policy implications here, which I'm fairly sure is true about most political philosophies. I'm not sure what the fundamentally slanted position is—I think the article does a pretty good job of describing the "Pro-Life" movement in a neutral way, and goes to pains in the current edit to emphasize that the name is a loaded term, that there are many who disagree with the philosophy, and that there are many who find it contradictory. I'm not sure what else you would ask for and still be NPOV. For the record, I'm Pro-Choice myself and of some variety of feminist myself, and I don't have a problem with this article being NPOV despite my disagreement with the ideas it describes. --Fastfission 11:51, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
There are a substantial number of people who describe themselves as Pro-Life who accept abortion in the case of rape, incest, etc. If article says the Pro-Lifers ascribe personhood to a foetus (to paraphrase), then that portion of people who accept abortion in extreme conditions should also support murder in certain cases. Either these people do support "conditional murder" or they do not accept that a foetus is truly a person. The article as it stands has two contradictory positions. Granted, this is "true", inasmuch as this is what the Pro-Lifers say. But if you accept a fundamental contradiction such as this one, you are simply buying into the spin of a political movement.
People who have the position that you can kill a foetus in certain conditions (say, to save the life of the mother) are applying a standard other than personhod to a foetus. Either they actually do accept that you can kill children in certain circumstances, or they don't really believe that a foetus is fully a person. It is more parsimonious to conclude that the Pro-Life movement is simply a political movement using this as a wedge issue (I sure hope that's the case, and it isn't that there are millions of people who would kill severely disabled children, or kill children to save the life of the mother). Now I can't say what the agenda of these people is, but many of their opponents have put a name on their agenda, which is patriarchy and disempowerment of women. For balance I think the article should reflect that, but it could be omitted and still leave the article NPOV. The other part cannot though. It requires cognitive dissonance, and that should not be something that a Wikipedia article should push.
As for my own position, I believe that I am anti-abortion, but I have not been put in the position to choose. I don't know what "personhood" entails, I don't know when life begins. I don't have objective data with which to make a decision. Guettarda 17:27, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(again, I think the article should be called "Pro-Life Movement" or something of the sort because it describes a political movement, and I find it misleading titled as it is, but that's probably not a battle worth fighting)
I'm not going to bother trying to argue with you whether or not it is logically consistent to think of a fetus as a "person" and yet also support certain cases of abortion, but I think that the article as it stands accurately reflects the variety of opinions espoused by those who call themselves Pro-Life, which is its intention. If you'd like to write an essay about how you think the Pro-Life opinion is inconsistent, please feel free, but that's not the point of an encyclopedia article. The article also plainly states that some people find the term and beliefs to be very contradictory, I'm not sure there's a whole lot more to say on that here (the article on the Morality and legality of abortion is probably a better place for a more detailed analysis of criticisms of pro- and anti-abortion rights beliefs). Cognitive dissonance is more often than not a question of interpretation, I don't think it is Wikipedia's job to make that judgment. --Fastfission 20:18, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I disagree with your analysis of what the article says, but given your interpretation of it, your conclusions make sense. My point wasn't about the morality and legality of abortion; I can't write about a position I can't sort out in my own head. My issue has to do with balanced representation - and if a group has a position that fundamentally contradicts itself I don't think Wikipedia should push those views. But, obviously I'm in a minority of one here. Matter dropped. (But if I take off my sock and sew some buttons on it for eyes...*not*) Guettarda 22:20, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Meelar removed the clause "all male" from the image caption, with the explanation "for NPOV." I am pretty sure that no matter what your point of view, all ten congressman present would be considered "male." Moreover, this is significant, not only because this is a core women's issue (whether you are pro-life or pro-choice), as only a woman can become pregnant. Moreover, despite the U.S. Congress's heavy male dominance, there are 14 female senators and 61 female representatives, so even if they had picked legislators at random, there would most likely been one or two women out of the ten people standing behind Bush, and there were none at all. So whether or not you like it, it's objectively true and significant. I am not going to stick it back in because I have a sense that it will likely just get reverted with an equally terse note or none at all. NTK 01:04, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Schiavo image

I removed the image Image:Terri Schiavo protest.jpg for two reasons: 1. I think using some of the more ridiculous and overly emotional examples of what "Pro-Life" is about is a bit unfair. 2. I'm not sure something from the Schiavo case is the best primary example of "Pro-Life". While it certainly had many things in common (explicitly and implicitly) with the abortion debate, it is also something in many ways quite different. I think it confuses things more than it clarifies them.

The only exception I would have in the first instance would be if the photo was one of a very common Pro-Life demonstration -- such as those ones involving the pictures of fetuses and whatnot on college campuses. But a demonstration for a one-time affair, especially when it revolved around the death of a vegetative patient rather than abortion rights, is not that useful of an illustration, and just fodder for people who feel that all "Pro-Life" philosophy is that of raving fundamentalists. --Fastfission 02:16, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If you feel the Schiavo image wasn't ideal, I'll defer to your judgement, but IMO we should work on getting a picture of protestors or something of that sort--boring suits does not a movement illustrate, especially one with as active a history as pro-life. Meelar (talk) 03:52, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Meelar. Dave (talk)
Update: I've written to the webmaster of a pro-life website, asking him to release a photo from the 2002 March for Life under the GFDL (Here's a link). Hope this addresses your concerns. Will write back if xe ever writes back. Meelar (talk) 04:20, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)
I think that would be fine. I think if the photo of something of this nature was a self-representation of some form it would be much more ideal. --Fastfission 04:56, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The webmaster from above has released a photo under the GFDL, and I placed it on the commons. Take a look at the article for a link. Meelar (talk) 19:02, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)

Fairness in Final Two Paragraphs

I think the final paragraph is awfully POV. It grants encyclopedic credibility to one partisan author's claim alleging that pro-lifers try to "distract" voters with the issue of abortion. This definitely doesn't belong on a page about the pro-life philosophy. And if it must stay, NPOV dictates a parallel blurb on the Pro-Choice page. There are plenty of examples of pro-choice politicians using abortion to scare people from voting for pro-life opponents, particularly in gubernatorial races when abortion is rarely a relevant issue (I can think of many: Davis-Schwarzenegger; Boxer-Jones; Romney-O'Brien; etc.).

Same goes for the final part of the second-to-last paragraph. In an issue as symmetric as this, pointing out alleged hypocrisies in this context is only fair if it's done to both sides. Should an encyclopedia call pro-life politicians hypocritical because they typically support capital punishment and oppose social welfare? Only if pro-choice politicians are called hypocritical because they typically support abortion choice and oppose economic choice and the death penalty.

I personally think that instead of adding parallel blurbs about the "hypocrisies" of pro-choice politicians, it would be preferable to remove all the POV stuff. As such, I am going to remove the final paragraph for now, since that one's way out in left field. The final part of the second-to-last paragraph I'd like to first get input on.

You're right that an encyclopedia shouldn't call pro-choice politicians hypocrites. We should, however, report the properly attributed criticisms that are made, without ourselves adopting those criticisms. Frank's book was widely read. His criticism is a notable one, so I've restored it. On the other hand, the New Republic quotation was really just an elaboration of the hypocrisy point already made, and was a subscription-only link besides, so that criticism doesn't merit inclusion. JamesMLane 09:37, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think Meelar's version makes a good compromise in terms of POV. The "hypocrisy" issue was a big deal in the news a month or so ago because of this legislation (which may have originated in a speech from Hillary Clinton on the subject, or may have just gotten publicity from it.) I can find non-subscription articles on it if you think it's important. Dave (talk) 21:29, Apr 25, 2005 (UTC)

The last two paragraphs are not even close to fair or objective. It is simply a list of what Pro-choice critics have to say about the pro-life views, most of which is completely irrevelent to the subject matter. Death penalty, war, economics, sexual education, the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and political distraction all have nothing to do with pro-life and do not belong in this article. Having a Pro-life stance is completely independent from any of these topics, and yet these last two paragraphs would lead one to believe that most pro-lifers also support war and the death penalty, and reject sexual education in school and try to distract voters from concerns. Furthermore there is no such "critic" section in the pro-choice article, therefore I will be removing these paragraphs from the article. I will leave the discussion of Pro-life as a loaded term, because the Pro-choice article has the same discussion in it. There are plenty of books and websites out there that criticize Pro-life, this website should not be one of them, unless of course, a section of criticism is included in the Pro-choice article as well. For the record I am pro-life, but happen to be against war, against the death penalty, for sexual education in schools, and I am not a Roman Catholic. Hopefully this helps whoever inserted those criticisms in the article to understand why they do not belong there.

The fact that people have taken umbrage with the term and have very often said that it is contradictory is certainly relevant to the article and can be done in a way which clearly notes that this interpretation is one offered by opponents. This falls well within Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy, and certainly within common sense. It would apply equally well to the Pro-Choice article. If you don't agree to the specific content of these paragraph, please edit or suggest changes, but their intent is not at all out of line and does not warrant their removal. You seem to be confusing the reporting of an opinion/interprtation with espousing the opinion. Wikipedia strives to do the former, not the latter, and removing a section on a common criticism is certainly not a "fair" or "objective" thing to do either. --Fastfission 23:41, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

While there is nothing wrong with including material about how the pro-life position is opposed, the article is light on why it is supported.

Please be bold and add it in (neutrally, of course). It would help the article. YOurs, Meelar (talk) 13:07, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)

Links section

I cut any link in the External Links section that didn't have at least 100 pages linking to it according to Google (which is a pretty lenient line to draw for notability). This is of course an arbitrary number and if any of the sites cut are REALLY quite useful/representative/do something radically better than the other sites listed please feel free to add them in. But we need to have some standards here and an emphasis on less links rather than more -- "Wikipedia is not a repository of links". --Fastfission 23:58, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

Well, now someone has reverted it. Could we please discuss this on here? There are way too many links on here to be useful, if we could cut it down to a few I think it would be much more appealing. The separation between "external" and "pro life" links seems meaningless on here. --Fastfission 05:05, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
I absolutely agree with you that there are way too many links. Furthermore, in their zeal to restore the links, various editors have violated the Manual of Style, putting some external links under a subheading of "See also" (which is for internal links) instead of "External links". Perhaps the people tossing in this plethora of links could find some pro-life site online that has a link directory, and we could link to that instead of trying to turn Wikipedia into a link directory. JamesMLane 07:00, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Supposed inconsistency

One can be pro-life and still support execution, if one looks upon support for execution as a necessary act to protect the innocent from further murders by the convicted. A reasonable step for pro-lifers to support would be to reserve execution solely for those who are convicted with certainty (circumstantial evidence is not enough), and where the convicted individual shows no contrition, and where that person, by psychological assessment, clearly represents a threat to re-offend, and where it cannot be certain that the person can be successfully kept in custody until natural death. In any event, someone who claims to be a Christian would love even the convicted murderer, and therefore would not celebrate at the person's execution, but rather mourn the death. Also, it cannot be regarded as inconsistent to favour execution of a murderer, since pro-life is a short form for what may be unspokenly be understood by some to mean "pro-innocent-life".

Geoff Capp

It still amounts to statistical likelihood of committing further murders. Saddam Hussein, a mass murderer, has a lower statistical likelihood of killing someone than does the average teenager with a car. George Bush has a far higher stastical likelihood of causing the death of another human being than does Saddam, and shows no contrition for causing death. I'm neither a Bush fan, I am opposed to the death penalty, but I would sooner support Saddam's execution than Bush's.
As for "pro-innocent-life" - the Bible says we are all born guilty...inherited sin and all that. And Jesus makes a point of saying sin is sin. So the idea of innocent life is, for many denominations, heresy. In addition, how can a person, without being there, know who is guilty? In the absence of a perfect legal system, statistically a certain proportion of people executed are innocent. So, if one supports the death penalty, then one supports the execution of "a few" non-guilty people. So such a person would hold a non-absolute position on "innocent" life.
If a person holds a non-absolute position on "life" then he/she should (if American) support Democrats, since abortion rates are lower under Democrats (Clinton, Carter) than under Republicans (Reagan, Bush I, Bush II).
The position is inconsistent in hundreds of ways. And as for the "pro-life" terrorists who bomb clinics and shoot doctors... Guettarda 04:47, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I still have no problem supporting the death penalty if it is irrefutably proven that an individual committed murder and represents a continued danger. Even a mass murderer, if repentant, can be spared such a penalty because they may accept psychiatric help. The death penalty, as I propose it, could never apply to those where there is no irrefutable proof: David Milgard, for example. The many men who have spent years in jail but have been cleared in recent years were convicted on circumstantial evidence. On the other hand, there is irrefutable proof or outright confession by Paul Bernardo and Clifford Olson. I don't know if Bernardo is still a threat, but I don't want Olson out of prison... ever; Olson kept haranguing the legal system, even in prison, for the first few years of his imprisonment; he doesn't appear to be at all sorry for what he did. I will never celebrate anyone's execution, however, and it offends me when I hear of people cheering at the news that an execution has been carried out.

If as you say execution is the sacrifice of one person for the good of society, and can be supported by pro-life people, then stem cell research should be supported too, since you're sacrificing a days old embryo for the advancement of science, which can ultimately save many more lives. Xunflash 22:17, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Proposed move to "Pro-life"

It's not a proper noun, most in-text hits seem to be lowercase, and the WP manual of style discourages capitalizing the letter after the hyphen in hyphenated words. Most inbound links are looking for l/c, as well. Niteowlneils 02:52, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one sentence explanation, then sign your vote with ~~~~
  • Support. – AxSkov (T) 03:39, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. JamesMLane 08:24, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Dwain 17:13, July 18, 2005 (UTC)
  • Support--that usage is much more common. Meelar (talk) 18:11, July 18, 2005 (UTC)
  • No vote. Comment Question: Shouldn't this article be consistent with Pro-Choice, which is capitalized? —Lowellian (talk) 03:25, July 21, 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose unless Pro-Choice is also moved to pro-choice. The two articles should be consistent with each other. —Lowellian (talk) 03:32, July 21, 2005 (UTC)
I have added a request to move Pro-Choice to pro-choice. In hindsight, of course, I should have done them both at the same time (I'm a big fan of consistency as well. Niteowlneils 04:25, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. I also think the lowercase usage is more common. And of course I also support renaming Pro-Choice. Jdavidb 13:22, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Support this article should be called Pro-Life. --   NERD42    EMAIL  TALK  H2G2  UNCYC  NEWS  18:08, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I've moved it to Pro-life, I'm moving Pro-Choice to Pro-choice now to match up. Talrias (t | e | c) 10:39, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Why was this move undone? --Nerd42 22:01, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Edit to Pro-Life reference

Two actually.

I added a link (

And I made a small point reguarding claims of sexism and misogynism from the pro-choice sentiment. This is in reference to the title of "Pro-Fetus" and lack of sympathy to women, which is often a large point in the pro-choice argument.

LOL I'm Pro-Life. My favorite charity is the Crisis Pregnancy Centers that make sure both mother and baby (yes, I just used the B-word) are both taken care of. So I guess that makes me Pro-Baby. --Nerd42 21:59, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Reshaping civil law?

What the heck? Excuse me, but Stevirtigo (or whatever his name is) doesn't know what he is talking about. His rewrite of the definition proves that. He suggests that civil law is under attack by Pro-Life "Christians" who are trying to reshape the laws in their beliefs. Civil Law in Western civilization was shaped by the Ten Commandments. The same ones that are being banned from Court Houses because the laws are being re-shaped against anything religious, moral or from God by secularists, liberals, atheists and others. The United States was founded by Christians and it is the above groups that are "'re-shaping" civil law in their immoral image and not the reverse! Dwain 17:27, July 18, 2005 (UTC)

Without in any way endorsing the above opinions or statements, I prefer the original version of the intro. Meelar (talk) 18:10, July 18, 2005 (UTC)
"Civil Law in Western civilization was shaped by the Ten Commandments"..."laws that are being banned from Court Houses because the laws are being re-shaped against anything religious, moral, or from God by secularists, liberals, atheists and others." Wow, in the face of such a juvenile crackerjack FoxNews interpretation of history and current issues, how can I possibly respond? How bout this: Maybe you could finish the 12th grade and experience a little life before lecturing people on the nature and meaning of God and the Holy Spirit, and basing a revert on a POV notion of which particular "side" is more or less moral than the other. With the utmost possible respect, given the circumstances. -SV|t 05:23, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Can we avoid gratuitous personal attacks and concentrate on the issue at hand? That goes for both of you. Wikipedia is not a debate forum. I've edited Stevertigo's version of the intro, removing
While the pro-life movement is a part of the wider human rights movement, it should not be confused with more universally-oriented "human rights organizations," and with other human rights causes such as the anti-death penalty or anti-war movements.
Specifically, I'm not sure what's meant by universalism--I clicked on the link, but none of the meanings seemed to be really applicable. Secondly, the part about the human rights movement seemed to me to skim over a lot of important controversies (for example, many believe that reproductive choice is a human right). I didn't think it added that much to link two fairly disparate subjects that early in the article, so I just removed the whole thing. I also changed "reshape" to "shape", for NPOV (we don't want to get into an argument over what the "original" form of the laws were, etc), and added a sentence to note that it's not exclusively a Christian phenomenon. Finally, I noted that it's generally linked to the Christian right. Is this version more acceptable? Meelar (talk) 14:00, July 19, 2005 (UTC)
Of course you're right about the incivility --apologies to you and Pitchka. Universalism needed a more general intro, which I just added: essentially, universalism is just the -ism of "universality" meaning that any issue or concept which has "universality" as an abstracted component of its ethos, methodology, or appeal, can be said to be somewhat "universalist." So, for example there are concepts in "universal jurisdiction" (i.e. UN, World Court...U.S. unilateralism) which may differ somewhat in their moral ethos, but still all represent somewhat a concept of universal (in human context "global") application.
Human rights: "many [claim] reproductive choice is a human right." Yes, but that doesnt change the fact that "fetal rights" are human rights too. Its a "fine point" within the broader human rights debate, which hinges on a selective preference for the rights of women over the rights of unborn children. The argument tends to come down to a practical decision, not a principled one, which supports womens rights based simply on the unviability of a fetus. Its not based in the same moral principle as anti-war, for example is, but rather its based in a pragmatic compromise to allow women the legal power to make unreviewable life and death decisions for unborn children. (The only other such "pragmatic" legal concept, AFAICTOATM, is the U.S. legal sanction to the executive branch (U.S. military) to make unreviewable life and death decisions over non-U.S. people.)
Linking to Christian right perhaps only confuses the issue —there is little debate among Christians (leadership at least) over the moral issue of abortion. Likewise, (in the U.S. in particular) the distinction between Christians and right-wingers regarding the pro-Life movement is rather nondescript. In fact, given that far right politics can equate to fascism, little association can be made between a moral opposition to abortion, and "far right" opposition to abortion --even though they are politically linked. Perhaps the movement is best described as a political compromise of universal moral principles for particular support for anti-abortion politics. Likewise there is almost no discussion within the wider pro-Life movement of a secular-moral outreach or political platform. The movement is based in and driven, not by moral principle, but by Christian moral principle. The term "reshape" was an excellent distinction, but it still may be lost on those who wish to push a "Christian-originalism" doctrine. -SV|t 19:30, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, but I'll have to take issue with a few of your justifications: I disagree with "doesnt change the fact that "fetal rights" are human rights too." Many, possibly most, pro-choice advocates argue that fetuses aren't people, and that life begins at birth (thus the cries of "My body, my choice" at any NARAL rally). We should represent this conflict.
I also dispute that "there is little debate among Christians (leadership at least) over the moral issue of abortion". I think we can agree that there's a significant contingent of people who consider themself Christian but are nevertheless pro-choice. Even church leadership is divided--for example, WP's own religion and abortion article says that "Protestant stands on the issue of abortion vary widely". Moreover, I think we can agree that the vast bulk of the most active pro-life people--the activists who really follow the debate and drive the controversy--are members of the Christian right, mostly Evangelical/fundamentalist Protestants, along with conservative Catholics. As such, it's much more accurate to link to Christian right than to generic Protestantism and Catholicism.
Anyway, those are my points of disagreement. How would you rephrase the current version of the intro? I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Best, Meelar (talk) 20:21, July 19, 2005 (UTC)
I appreciate your responses as well. "Many, possibly most, pro-choice advocates argue that fetuses aren't people" -- This certainly needs clarification under the main subsection sections. The legal argument, (or even the legal sanction of the notion) that fetuses arent "people" doesnt change the fact that human fetuses are, (in ways which most would consider important) human beings. Its a fine point, and one which is deliberately muddled by both sides in both political, moral, and legal debate (note the finer differences between each context).
"...that life begins at birth (thus the cries of "My body, my choice" at any NARAL rally)." This again, doesnt really offer proof that all or most pro-choice views are based on a claim that 'human fetuses arent human.' At its core, PC is simply a pragmatic argument that claims a lack of choice can equate to a defacto death sentence for many women. Of course, most abortions are mere convenience/luxury services, which simply afford women social liberty rather than a medical health service. The pro-choice appeal has long been based in a confusion between these two very different issues, and the since before the 1973 "compromise" was really based on the indeterminate factors of a pregnancy.
"I think we can agree that there's a significant contingent of people who consider themself Christian but are nevertheless pro-choice..." True, perhaps, but at least among outspoken Christian leaders, there is no debate at all -- in fact its a unifying issue between many Catholics and Protestants. Perhaps the Black community presents the most interesting example of balance between support for liberal womens "reproductive rights" while actively supporting many conservative values. So, yes, there is enough disagreement to say that C =/= PL, and PL = CR, but nevertheless C ~ PL. -SV|t 00:33, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
I would disagree with that first point--IMO, if you talked to pro-choice leaders, they would argue that fetuses have no "right" not to be aborted; the leaders would almost certainly avoid the pragmatic argument, or at least not emphasize it.
As for the second point, I think we're somewhat speaking past each other. The outspoken religious leaders who oppose abortion are almost all conservative protestant evangelicals. It's most accurate to simply attribute pro-life specifically to the Christian right.
It might help if you would suggest some changes to the current version of the lead on talk. What needs to be different? Best, Meelar (talk) 01:20, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
Ive been working a bit on reproductive rights --I'd appreciate it if you could take a look. Again, it doesnt matter if PC people say something is or isnt designated as "human," and therefore is or isnt deserving of human rights. If its human, its human. The absolutist PC argument is a runaround of human rights, just as much as the absolutist PL argument is a political advocacy of religious belief. Any social and legal statement must, by the restrictions on definitions of human rights to "life" and social rights to "liberty," be a compromise. A review of Roe would likely be a good thing for both general "sides," as it would (as expected) allow more modern medicine to make feasible the restricton of abortions to earlier stages, but both sides would no doubt view such a compromise as a loss anyway. "Evangelical Christian" is more of a denominational term, while the debate is more between "absolutist Christian" vs. "absolutist feminist." Sinreg, -SV|t 19:03, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
I'll take a look at reproductive rights, but right off the bat, I'm going to object to your statement above that "it doesnt matter if PC people say something is or isnt designated as 'human', and therefore is or isnt deserving of human rights. If its human, its human."--this is pretty much directly contradictory to NPOV ("Perhaps the easiest way to make your writing more encyclopedic is to write about what people believe, rather than what is so"). I'll discuss any issues I might have more specifically at Talk:Reproductive rights. We should probably segregate the two discussions--any changes or comments about this article should go on this talk page, any changes or comments on reproductive rights should go there. Best wishes, Meelar (talk) 13:56, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
Life/not life: This might be a good debate to throw at wikien (you get mail?) just because its a great example of POV/NPOV and how to deal with it-- peopel have been debating it with my Flat Earth Society example, which is fairly limited --as its not really active. I think we both understand each others positions, but just because the FES says the Earth is flat doesnt mean we have to write article which reflect a neutrality toward that "POV." Sinreg, -St|eve 19:21, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

My rewrite.

I moved the article to anti-abortion movement (and the pro-choice article to abortion-rights movement) and rewrote it article to make it more informative, neutral, and clear. I also removed a gigantic list of external links to the websites of anti-abortion groups. Please do comment. Neutralitytalk 20:06, August 28, 2005 (UTC)

BTW, here is an transcript from IRC (edited to removed irrelevant stuff):

  • (16:00:20) Neutrality: I must be insane
  • 16:00:30) Neutrality: I moved pro-life --> Anti-abortion movement
  • (16:00:36) Neutrality: and rewrote the article
  • (16:00:45) bumm13: watch the flames fan! ;)
  • (16:00:46) Neutrality: I'll be hearing about it for a week
  • (16:00:48) ***Cyrius gives Neutrality a suicide pill
  • (16:00:48) Phroziac: Neutrality: nice.
  • (16:00:51) Phroziac: is it more neutral?
  • (16:00:53) ***Neutrality puts on revert battle gear
  • (16:00:56) Neutrality: Yes, very
  • (16:01:01) Neutrality: I'll get the diff, hold on
  • (16:01:27) Neutrality: I removed the list of links to anti-abortion groups that was half the article
  • (16:01:34) Neutrality:
  • (16:01:55) Neutrality: ooh, and way too U.S.-specific
  • (16:02:04) Neutrality: add a ==In the United States== subsection

--Neutralitytalk 20:06, August 28, 2005 (UTC)

A separate article should be made differentiating between "pro-life" and "anti-abortion", as they are not co-terminous. See my comments below. — Ram-Man (comment) (talk) 16:52, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

People already voted to name it "Pro-life" and now you just up and move it based on an IRC conversation!? To frame the argument "anti-abortion" vs "abortion-rights" is the most extreme example of POV I've ever seen permitted on Wikipedia. --Nerd42 21:53, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

From article

While "anti-abortion" is the neutral term most often used in news accounts, many people within the movement tend to call their beliefs "pro-life" or "right-to-life," names that began to appear in the early 1960s.

I'm not sure this is a fact. On most news accounts the term "Pro-Life" is used. And this article could get very heated over the new-ish title. --Lord Voldemort (Dark Mark) 15:50, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Why in the world does pro-life redirect to this page?! I understand that those opposed to abortion say that they are pro-life, but they are no co-terminous. Anti-abortion is a subset of pro-life. Pro-life may (or may not be) opposed to euthenasia, death penalty, "right to die", and other things that have nothing to do with the anti-abortion movement. For instance, Terri Schiavo was a pro-life issue that had nothing whatsoever to do with the anti-abortion movement, although popular media and politicians made the same false assumption that it somehow had something to do with abortion (don't ask me how!). — Ram-Man (comment) (talk) 16:50, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
Even webster's dictionary in its definition of pro-life treats the anti-abortion aspect as only a part of the overall belief in legal protection for all unborn biological human life. It may leave out the other usages of the word, but even the dictionary shows that the two terms are not the same. — Ram-Man (comment) (talk) 16:56, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
I agree. Someone moved this article awhile back, and I don't really understand it either. --Lord Voldemort (Dark Mark) 17:25, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
The article in its current form belongs at this title, so I removed the redirect and created an initial article on the term "pro-life." It still needs more information on some of the broader philosophies surrounding the term, but it's a start. The article was modeled on the pro-choice article. — Ram-Man (comment) (talk) 17:49, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

Article moving confusion

Well, someone decided that "pro-life" was the same thing as the "Anti-abortion movement" (it isn't), and that "pro-choice" is the same thing as the "Abortion-rights movement" (it isn't). They were both originally articles about the terminology and the notion of semantic framing. I can't find the originals of either anymore -- the histories and all of the redirects seem to have lost them. The Google caches of our Pro-Life and Pro-choice pages are the only record I can find; perhaps someone else can sort this all out. I'm a bit dismayed myself at the loss of information. --Fastfission 18:13, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Yes, Neutrality thinks he owns the pages and the subject matter. Dwain 22:10, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
Since the pro-life article has been given a seperate life of its own, I stopped its talk page from redirecting here so that both articles can exist on their own. Hopefully this should end confusion, at least with regards to the pro-life article. I can't say the same thing about the pro-choice article. Someone still needs to work on that. — Ram-Man (comment) (talk) 16:23, September 9, 2005 (UTC)

Another round of changes

I went ahead and fleshed this out a bit, clarifying some ambiguities and striving to show the fine points. Comments welcome, of course. Alienus 23:09, 2 November 2005 (UTC)


This article could benefit from sourcing some of the assertions. For example, the paragraph that discusses violence by persons who say they are anti-abortion implies that there is a connection between anti-abortion groups and violence. An assertion like that should be sourced in order to avoid slander. For example, a sourced comparison of violence done by anti-abortion persons and violence done by pro-abortion persons could provide verifiable and balanced information. Wanfactor 03:45, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

About Anti-Abortion and Pro-Life.

I'm Pro-Life myself. I am currently doing some edit(s) on abortion-contravery-related articles so that they accurately represent the Pro-Life position. If you have any concerns about these edits, please don't hesitate to contact me here or on my Talk page. I don't want to get into an edit war on this, I want to help Wikipedia maintain it's NPOV standards. Please check up on me and my edits for both of us to be sure that this is indeed what is happening.

  • Something must be understood by all about the abortion contraversy: There is a difference between being Pro-Life and merely being against abortion. While all Pro-Lifers are against abortion, not everyone who is against abortion is Pro-Life. The Pro-Life position incorporates advocating human rights for unborn children, the elderly, and the handicapped. It does not address captical punishment or military issues at all - the Pro-Life movement claims to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves." The vast majority of anti-abortion people, at least in the United States, are Pro-Life. The opposite position is Pro-Choice. The contraversy should be presented using those terms, because that is what the people concerned call themselves.

However, I do see why there is a need to have an article on the "anti-abortion movement" - because there may be people somewhere who, for example, think abortion is wrong but euthanasia is fine. Or think abortion is wrong except for aborting handicapped children. Any "anti-abortion movement" article ought to simply list different movements against abortion, both historically and at the present, and let the facts about who different people are and what they believe speak for themselves.

Neutral-point of view. --Nerd42 18:32, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Note that I'm saying here, since most "anti-abortion" people are Pro-Life, the main article on it ought to be Pro-Life, not this. --Nerd42 21:55, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
to furthe clarify: this ought to be a disambig page. --   NERD42    EMAIL  TALK  H2G2  UNCYC  NEWS  18:10, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Welcome to POVpedia, the free abortion clinic that anyone can edit!

Excuse me, ladies and gents, but why is there a Pro-choice but no Pro-abortion movement when there's only brief mention of Pro-Life and a huge article on the "Anti-abortion movement"? Yeah, uh, I would call that bias, and I would also call it undemocratic as I understand people have already voted to move this article to Pro-Life. What the crap is going on here? --Nerd42 17:10, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

At risk of pointing out the obvious, being pro-choice on abortion does not entail being pro-abortion. There are lots of people who strongly support the woman's right to choose an abortion, yet view it as something that ought to be avoided. These people typically support contraception and responsible sexual choices. Of course, you could argue that anyone who makes exceptions for rape isn't really anti-abortion, just against the right of women to have sex without punishment, but that's another matter, entirely. Alienus 17:23, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
At risk of pointing out the even more obvious, "support the woman's right to choose an abortion" is POV terminology. "Support the legilisation of abortion" would be more NPOV don't you think? I think this whole section has huge POV issues that need to be worked out. --NERD42  EMAIL  TALK  H2G2  UNCYC  NEWS  02:37, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I don't think that at all. People who support women having a legal right to an abortion are not pro-abortion. If this looks POV to you, it's probably because you're so conservative that everything looks liberal to you. Alienus 03:09, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
If that is so, then what does the term "Pro-abortion" mean? Whom does it refer to? I would assume it refers to anyone supporting abortion legilisation. There may be other reasons why we do not use the term "Pro-abortion" on Wikipedia (i.e. because that is not what Pro-choice individuals call themselves) but to unilaterally assume abortion to be a mother's human right is just as POV as to assume an unborn child has human rights.
Therefore, if we have an article entitled anti-abortion movement then the opposing article should be called pro-abortion movement. If we instead have an article called Pro-Choice then the opposing article should be called Pro-Life. Treat both sides the same. If that looks POV to you, you've been listening to left-wing propoganda for so long that everything looks conservative to you. --NERD42  EMAIL  TALK  H2G2  UNCYC  NEWS  21:01, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Pro-abortion would require actually claiming that abortion is a good thing, and perhaps even supporting laws that mandate abortion. In practice, those who identify as pro-choice would actually prefer that there be fewer abortions, not more. The difference is that they would limit them on the demand side, not the supply side. Women who do not find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy are not motivated to opt for an abortion, after all. I'm sure pro-abortion people exist, perhaps in the Chinese government, but they are not substantial participants in this debate.
The actual issue is whether or not a person supports the legal right to an abortion. Even though pro-choicers may be against actual abortions, they do support this legal right. It would be accurate to say that they're pro-abortion-rights, but misleading to shorten that down to pro-abortion. On the other hand, the pro-lifers are against both the legal rights to an abortion and abortion itself, so it's not particularly misleading to call them anti-abortion.
As I've just demonstrated, you don't usually get very far trying to pretend that a mirror image of your opponent's argument is a valid refutation of their view. Next time, think this through a bit more deeply. Alienus 18:28, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Under your definition, "Pro-abortion" individuals do not exist.
I'm not saying that Wikipedia's treatment of Pro-choicers ought to be changed - but that the Pro-Life side ought to be treated the same way the Pro-Choice side currently is.
By the way: "the legal right to an abortion" is POV terminology, as I've already explained, since a substantial number of people believe that abortion is not a right. You ought to instead say "a (proposed, possible or the creation of a) legal right to an abortion," because to expressly acknowledge the existance of such a right is POV. --   NERD42    EMAIL  TALK  H2G2  UNCYC  NEWS  03:15, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think many people are genuienly pro-abortion, but I did give a possible example: those in the Chinese government who support forcing abortions on women who already have a child. If it makes you feel better, I don't think that the majority of those who oppose the legality of abortion are anti-abortion. Those who oppose abortion even for pregnancies due to rape might qualify as anti-abortion, but anyone who makes an exception is not.
As I explained in my edit comment -- and you failed to address or even note -- to say that someone supports the right to do a thing does not mean that the right does or should exist. I can speak of supporting the divine right of kings, but my support for it being a right does not magically twist reality. To be quite frank, you seem so hostile to the notion that some people believe that women ought to have (or continue to have) the legal right to choose an abortion that you would twist the text until it's POV and also quite awkward. I don't think this is an improvement, so I feel compelled to oppose it.
If you can't address this argument, I ask that you leave the text unchanged. If you disagree, let's bring others in and seek a consensus, so as to avoid an edit war.Alienus 10:10, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
The terms "Pro-abortion" and "anti-abortion" applying to anyone wishing to legalize or prohibit a thing are accurate. If you oppose gun control, you're "Pro-Gun". If you support gun control, you're "Anti-Gun". As I've said, I am not concerned with how the Pro-Choice position is being covered in Wikipedia. I'm concerned that the Pro-Life position isn't being treated the same way. We currently have "Pro-Choice" vs "anti-abortion". I think we should have "Pro-Choice" vs "Pro-Life" because NPOV ought to mean that people are called what they call themselves.
If you are talking about "the divine right of kings", you imply the existance of a right unless you place it in quotes.
And one more thing. How is arguing that "the legal right to have an abortion" be changed to "a proposed, possible or the invention of a legal right to have an abortion" a POV edit? --NERD42  EMAIL  TALK  H2G2  UNCYC  NEWS  20:04, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm inclined to disagree with this whole stream of conversation. I think people really are pro-abortion because I think you all are interpreting the term too narrowly. I'm not advocating that people should be called pro-abortion (since it's polite to address people on their own terms) just that in practice they are pro-abortion. Let me explain. Someone who wants abortion to not be against the law is "pro (read: in favor of)-abortion as a legitimate process" or "as a legitimate option" or "as a legitimate choice" (hence pro-choice). The people who support Roe v. Wade are, ipso facto "pro (read: in favor of)-abortion as a legitimate proceeder through all nine months of pregnancy" since that is what Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolten in effect legitimize (as explained in subsequent cases). Someone may be "personally opposed (anti) abortion" but if they maintain that abortion ought to be legal they are certainly "pro-abortion as a legitmate proceeder." Furthermore if they accept that abortion improves women's lives under select psycological, physical, familial, or relational factors they are "pro-abortion as an induvidual (or personal) good." There are even a very very few (cf Catholics for Free Choice) who are in favor of abortion as even a moral good. But even those who either think of abortion as morally indifferent or a necessary evil, they are still are (unless they support abortion restrictions) "pro-abortion of demand."
So. let's recap. We can agree that most pro-choicers are not pro-abortion in the sense of considering abortion a desirable moral good and hoping every woman procure at least one (though some people consider it a practical good for such reasons as population control in addition to psycological or physical health), I maintain that there are many many men and women who are in favor of abortion not as a moral good but rather as a pragmatic good, a legitimate proceeder, option, choice which out to be available on demand for adults and minors for any reason whatsoever. This amounts to a practical approval of abortion even if not a moral approval.
I suppose my arguement is that pro-abortion is just as correct a term as anti-abortion for the two groups. In both cases there is a spectrum and the terms can be understood in ambiguous or incorrect ways, but both terms describe a practical reality on both sides. Pro-choice people really do want abortion on demand through all nine months even if they at the same want to work to decrease abortions. Pro-life people really do oppose abortion in most circumstances even if their primary basis of opposition is an ethos conscerning human life. I suppose I'm just argueing for a more wide understanding of these terms. Most pro-life people I know who use the term pro-abortion do not actually mean to refer to a formal adherence to the priniciple of the beneficience of abortion but rather a material adherence to the practical doctrine of the availablity of abortion for any reasons without questions. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 20:19, 24 January 2006.
I think I pretty much agree with you, and my main argument is the same thing the guy brought up under the next heading. (i.e. if we are going to call the other side "Pro-Choice" we need to call this side "Pro-Life") --Nerd42 14:06, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Difference from "pro-life" section? (combine the two, disambiguate, or at least pro-life as main page?)

The very name of this section can be taken as an insult toward those people who "prefer to call themselves 'pro-life'" It seems a little rediculous to have both the section "pro-life" and "anti-abortion," especially considering the "pro-abortion" redirects you to "pro-choice." Let's not take sides here. Either combine anti-abortion and pro-life into one section or split up pro-abortion and pro-choice into two sections. Other people commented that the reason pro-life and anti-abortion have two pages is that anti-abortion is only one facit of the pro-life movement and the members do not always overlap. Well "choice" is not exactly the same as the abortion rights movement either. Having one section (called "pro-choice") for one group and two for the other indicates, whether intentionally or not, that the writers of the article accept that the pro-abortion group should be called the pro-choice group but scoff at the idea that the anti-abortion group should be called the pro-life group. Let's not get into that contraversy anymore than we already have. It is unbelievable that "pro-life" once directed to "anti-abortion," and it's still fairly hard to believe that anti-abortion is still the main page. I think anti-abortion should be combined with "pro-life" under the name of "pro-life," but if nothing else this page ought to deal with the places where the two don't overlap with pro-life being the main article. This is only rational since almost everyone who, in practice, opposes abortion thinks of themselves as "pro-life" not "anti-abortion." It's only the curtious thing to do to make the primary article "pro-life." The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 19:54, 24 January 2006.

AGREE TOTALLY 100%!!! That is the point I was trying to make under the previous heading. --NERD42  EMAIL  TALK  H2G2  UNCYC  NEWS  20:09, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
The "pro-abortion" article automatically redirects to "Pro-choice" - would it not make sense to have the "anti-abortion" article redirect to "pro life" to be consistent? I know, some might argue that not all anti abortionists call themselves pro life, but then again there are pro abortionists who don't call themselves pro choice, either. Let's stick to common usage - it's an English wikipedia, and English speaking individuals are generally more familiar with the term pro life than anti abortion. DonaNobisPacem 07:50, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, I have not read through the article yet, so maybe I shouldn't be commenting. It seems that the term 'pro-life' by itself does not always refer to the abortion debate (stem cell research, euthanasia, etc). And it is true that all pro-lifers are against abortion (or against abortion in most cases). On the other hand, it is easy for someone to be pro-choice and say "I would never personally have an abortion, but I respect the right for another woman to choose". Personally, they would be against abortion, but still pro-choice (therefore the term pro-abortion would not apply to them). It seems like this article is focusing on the political movement to make abortion illegal, where the pro-life page is focusing on a more general set of views (not exclusively political or anti-abortion). That said, if the term "anti-abortion" is so offensive, could we just move the article to pro-life movement? or would we have to expand the page to cover other issues (stem cells, euthanasia, etc)? Is there any other way to make it clear that the focus of this article is the political movement attempting to illegalize abortion? Is this just a POV fork of abortion law? It seems like there is one article for "Gun politics" and no individual article for either the pro-gun or gun control movements (just individual organization pages). Likewise, there is no pro-choice movement page. So I ask is this page necessary? (and I would wonder if right to life and culture of life should exist as well)--Andrew c 15:30, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
It seems to me that a possible solution would be the following: add a comment to the pro-choice page that while a person may support a woman's right to choose, they personally object to abortion on moral, ethical, or other grounds.
Then, on the pro-life page, have distinct descriptions of the different aspects of the pro-life movement: a section on euthanasia, abortion, stem-cell research, death penalty - and make it clear that not all those who identify themselves as pro-life are necessarily against all of the above actions.
Thus, we eliminate the need for a separate "anti-abortion" article. What does everyone think?

Edit war by, you've been trying to make a number of changes which violate the NPOV requirement. I've done my best to keep whatever parts are improvements, but I've mostly had to revert your changes. Now you've upped the ante by starting an edit war, which is entirely unacceptable.

Let me make this very clear: you will not succeed in making changes that go against consensus on this article. Any attempt to edit war will get you banned from Wikipedia, and I will make certain of this.

As I've said each and every time I undid your damage, you need to come here to Talk, and try to justify your suggested changes. Refusal to do so amounts to vandalism. This is your last warning. Alienus 22:02, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Alienus: I'm new to this process, and I apologize that I didn't take the time to read all the fine print before acting. Anyhow, I stumbled upon this site and found it to be flat-out biased, and I've noticed that others have also made the same observation on this Talk page. I carefully went through it and tried to make it more objective. You, on the other hand, merely reverted the page back, without any "negotiation," thereby invalidating my input. In fact, the first time it occurred, I thought it was a server error, so I re-submitted my input. I think it's inaccurate to accuse me of starting an "edit war," since you were the one who first starting the machine-like "reverting" -- I merely followed suit when I figured out how. I would appreciate a point-by-point rebuttal on my additions/changes. But I will start off by saying that my first input regarding the Roe effect was incorrect; I noticed this when I came back later with a fresh mind. My last edit corrected it so I would expect that this should be restored immediately.

LotR 14:36, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem with writing an unbiased article is that people who are biased in one direction will see true neutrality as being biased in the opposing direction. After all, there will always be zealots who are certain that anyone not wholely behind their cause necessarily opposes them just as wholely. The reason people keep complaining is that their complaints are unreasonable and cannot result in permanent changes to the article, so there will always be another wave of complaints. This is unavoidable, and it is why there are people like me who immediately revert undiscussed changes that violate neutrality.

And, yes, reversion is absolutely the right thing to do when massive, undiscussed changes threaten the validity of an article. It took two reversions just to bring you to the table so you can talk about what you want and learn why you can't have it. It'll likely take more reversions before you give up and understand that neutrality is different from getting your way. Just because you're Catholic doesn't mean that the article is ever going to make Catholics happy.

Now, if you have specific suggestions that you can justify with specific evidence, this is the place to convince the consensus of editors that these changes would be wise. But I'll tell you now, unless you give up in advance on your ultimate goal of a pro-life bias, you will never be content. I'll make sure of it. Alienus 21:03, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Alienus: Agree with your first paragraph, and completely agree that there will be unreasonable edits and vandalism that need to be reigned in, but disagree with your contention that I fall into this category. I will repeat that I'm not the only one who has made the observation on this Talk page about the direction of the bias. My goal is not a pro-life bias, but neutrality. Even though I have already apologized for making the changes before reading the fine print, it is now unfortunate that your tone with me remains quite hostile. You have now stated that the purpose for me to come to Talk is for me to "learn why I can't have it," and you iterate twice that I "give up." I will make another attempt to assume good faith on your part, but if you are going to flat out reject any further input or justifications from me, then I guess you will indeed "win," and I will indeed have to "give up," because further dialogue will be impossible. I asked for a point-by-point rebuttal of the modifications you deleted, but didn't get one. So, I will make a point-by-point justification of them.
  • I created internal Wikipedia links to Hippocratic Oath, Natural Law and Biblical. This is not POV.
  • Term "pro-life" took hold after, or because of, the Roe v. Wade decision. Case in point: Annual March for Life rally is held every year in DC on the anniversary of the decision.
  • Commentary on adoption, and marriage/fertility trends are true statements, not POV. I know several couples who married late, and long to have children. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to adopt foreign children because the domestic supply is scant. These statements do not depend on one's POV.
  • Roe effect is a documented (and reasonable) counter-hypothesis to the cynical one that was proposed (which, quite frankly, I never heard of). But, assuming that it's true that Christians adopt children to advance the pro-life cause, the hypothesized outcome would act as a positive feedback mechanism for pro-life. The Roe effect, on the other hand, states that abortion-on-demand will inevitably lead to a demographic change away from pro-choice. Assuming this is true, this would be a negative feedback mechanism. Therefore, the paragraph, in its present version, is incorrectly written -- my last edit corrected it, and the addition of the Roe effect enhanced the content.
  • Acts of violence at abortion clinics are extremely rare, and are generally condemned by the "anti-abortion movement." This is not POV.
  • There was (is) a lengthy paragraph that implicitly portrays pro-lifers as hypocritical, with a cynical quote from a U.S. Representative. This was (is) POV. The counter-"paragraph" was one sentence long, with half a sentence of counter-point. I thus added additional counter-point to create neutrality: Others distinguish abortion from these other issues because, they argue, it involves the intentional killing of an innocent human being, compounded by the sheer numbers involved (~46,000,000 abortions have been performed since 1973 in the U.S. alone). For these reasons, they believe abortion simply takes precedence over all other issues. These are true statements, and it's the proper counter-argument to the accusations in the previous paragraph. I am not attached to this exact wording, but there should be a more substantial counter-argument. If you prefer a counter-quote, there are many sources we could turn to.
  • There was (is) another paragraph implicitly attacking pro-life politicians as being self-serving. This was (is) POV. There was (is) no counter-point, and as it stands now, violates NPOV. I added a counter-point (with an implict counter-attack) to make the paragraph neutral: On the flip side of the coin, anti-abortion/pro-life activists claim that pro-abortion/pro-choice politicians do not truly care about the average woman, but rather serve powerful special interests (e.g., the abortion industry). Again, I am not attached to this exact wording, but a strong counter-point needs to be made to achieve NPOV in this paragraph.
LotR 16:02, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

You made a lot of changes at once, to the point where Wikipedia's Diff is confused. When even Wikipedia can't make heads or tails of the changes, editors tend to give up and revert. A better way is to propose a specific change here -- just one, not twenty, at a time -- and make sure there is no good reason for it to be opposed.

Sometimes the problem is also deeper than it appears. For example, it turns out that the ancient version of the Hippocratic oath does forbid abortion. However, it specifies that the doctor mustn't use a specific method that is rather unsafe, which fits in with the notion of trying not to kill the patient. These days, we have much safer methods, so it's unclear whether any of the original reasoning applies.

Moreover, the ancient has all sorts of crazy things that we'd immediately reject today. For example, it forbids surgery and also requires that only men be trained as doctors. Because of these problems, the ancient oath has fallen into disfavor. To the extent that the oath is used today as a ceremonial, symbolic, and non-binding pledge, it has been modified to remove all mention of these ancient errors, including the restrictions on abortion.

In short, any mention of the Hippocratic oath is misleading if not balanced with some summary of what I mention in this paragraph, so adding a link doesn't go nearly far enough. For that matter, the Natural law article makes no reference to abortion, so people following the link may find themselves wondering why they bothered. As you can see, not only is this topic controversial, but the article is in a delicate state where it needs further careful cleanup. It is not a good place to make changes unilaterally and without a full grounding in the issues.

It's also not enough for insertions to be factual; they have to be relevant and that relevance itself must be sourced. For example, your commentary about adoption trends was just that; commentary. For it to have a place here, you'd need to cite a reliable source that supports the idea that these trends, as described, exist and are relevant. Otherwise, it's original research, which is unacceptable.

I could go on a bit more, but I'm trying to get a point across. The point is not that your changes will always be rejected, but that some of them are doomed from the start. It's not my closed-mindedness, but rather the rules of Wikipedia, that prevent them from ever having a place here.

I suggest, once again, that you start with specific, localized changes, and bring them up here first if you think there's likely to be an objection. Alienus 19:01, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

OK; I didn't realize that making numerous simultaneous changes was problematic, but now I understand. And again, I didn't mean to "barge-in" and cause a ruckus; my intent was to be respectful of what was already written, while providing counter-points and adjusting some of the language.
Yes, you are correct that the ancient Hippocratic oath has some anachronisms, but pro-lifers would argue that abortion isn't one of them. The point to be made is that abortion as a "medical procedure" is a very recent, contemporary concept, and this is one of the non-religous bases for the pro-life stance. The Wikipedia page on the Hippocratic Oath already gives consideration to the issues you raise, so I still propose linking to it. The links to Natural Law and Biblical I am willing to forgo.
The commentary on adoption was to point out that it's a not merely an option, but a good option. I honestly don't think this point is made at large, and in fact, it seems adoption almost has a stigma attached to it. I didn't see the harm in including it, and would still like to retain some of it, but I accept your point that it is a bit of a diversion here, and thus am willing to forgo it.
I would like to still reference the Roe v. Wade decision at the beginning of the article as I suggested.
I would also like to retain the statement that acts of violence are condemned by the movement. This ought to be said.
Again, I also propose to modify immediately the erroneous text discussing the Roe effect.
The other 2 paragraphs that I mentioned above need to be balanced. I am open to dialogue on this if my original suggestions (quoted above) are problematic. As I've already said, I am somewhat flexible on the wording, but the impetus of these counter-points should be about equal to their current counterparts.
If you agree with these proposals, I can make the changes one at a time with comments explaining the changes.
On a side note, being that I'm somewhat new to Wikipedia, I was wondering if you hold an official editorial position, or if you were the orginal author/editor, etc. Is there an editorial board? LotR 22:03, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

A link to Biblical seems more redundant than anything else. I suspect that people have heard of the Bible and could even spell the word correctly on the second or third try at the very worst. I'm much more concerned about the Hippocratic oath, and not just because it's hard to spell. It's our responsibility not to include misleading links. The link to Natural Law is a dead end, but I'm thinking of a more subtle issue.

Imagine if I linked to an article about AIDS while implying that it supports my claim that the true cause is an allergy and not HIV. That would be misleading to the point of dishonesty. In the same way, we can't link to the oath as if the modern version has any mention of abortion or as if the ancient version is uncontroversially relevant. We can say that some people support their stance by invoking the oath, but we have to at least include a few words to mention these caveats. I'm going to see what I can do about that.

Adoption is not seen as a good alternative, except by orthodox Christians, because it entails carrying the pregnancy to term. This is not something to be taken lightly, either on medical or social terms. For example, I know a woman who is pregnant right now and suffering terribly because the medicines that help her would likely harm the fetus. I know another who wanted a child but held off until she no longer required medication just to function. Frankly, the idea that adoption is a replacement for birth control is very offensive and biased.

As for the phrase, "but took hold after the controversial 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision", that's fine. It was lost as part of reverting the other changes to that paragraph.

Acts of violence are condemned by some, advocated by others. You can name some specific anti-abortion organizations that condemn violence, if you can provide citations, but to say that "all" or "most" or even "many" do, you'd need a very good source. Even with this, there is still the problem of these organizations referring to doctors and once-pregnant women as "murderers", which in combination with old-testament justice, directly excuses bombing clinics.

Let's settle this before discussing the other two paragraphs in any detail. As for me, I'm an editor, just like everyone else. I have no magical powers. Even if I were an admin, I still couldn't use those special rights to control content. You need to do a whole bunch of research into how Wikipedia content is governed. Alienus 22:20, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I fail to see how linking to Hippocratic Oath could be misleading. Assuming other Wikipedia editors are doing their job at maintaining NPOV in good faith, and assuming that readers can think for themselves, how could providing the link be a problem? Isn't that one of the benefits of hypertext markup? While I appreciate you providing an example, I disagree with the analogy -- the AIDS page would refute the false contention, and the editors should delete the false statement to begin with. In my opinion, the page still hints that the "anti-abortion movement" derives most of its rationale from the "Christian right" or "religious right" (both of these terms, BTW, have internal links), and the fact is that there are non-religious arguments against abortion.
I already conceded the adoption commentary on the grounds of its relevance to the article. However, I fail to see how anyone could not objectively see adoption as a good and praiseworthy option. I certainly understand that carrying a pregnancy may impose a great inconvenience to a mother, but pregnancy is not a disease. I have a friend who never met his biological parents -- they were college students when they conceived him just prior to Roe v. Wade. He is a wonderful, happy, loving person to this day, and the world would be a different place without him. Finally, who mentioned anything about "adoption being replacement for birth control"? Are you insinuating that abortion is just another form of birth control?
I'll repeat that acts of violence are isolated and extremely rare. I have never heard any prominent pro-life leader do anything but condemn acts of violence as a means of protest. As it stands, the statement still gives the impression that violence is "an official policy" of a fringe (but nevertheless, significant) group. I contest that.
I agree that we can settle these before turning to the other 2 paragraphs. I went ahead and made 2 individual edits, as we have discussed, to the article. LotR 15:56, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Let me take this one at a time, again...

1) The fact of the matter is that, although opinions on abortion do not rigidly follow political or religious lines, there is still a difference between the exception and the rule. As a rule, opposition to reproductive rights is associated with conservative religiosity as much as it is with conservative politics. The relevance of an ancient Greek oath is questionable at best, and a link that makes it sound relevant is simply misleading.

2) Yes, you fail to see. I think you generally lack a comprehension of the position that you oppose. Think about it from the point of view of a woman with an unwanted pregnancy.

If a woman becomes pregnant but is not able and willing to raise a child, adoption is certainly an option, and for some a good one. However, it is the woman's option, and there are many excellent reasons why she might choose not to take it. I could fill pages with these reasons, but the only one that really matters in the end is that it's her body and she has to live with it. Note, by the way, that I carefully called her a woman -- which she clearly is -- and did not suggest that she was a mother. Motherhood is a matter of choice.

Once a woman has an unwanted pregnancy, abortion and adoption are the two major options available to her. While abortion is not contraception, it is birth control, albeit the method of last resort.

A few women who responsibly use a reliable form of contraception nonetheless become pregnant, often due to such things as drug interactions or pinhole leaks (for hormonal and barrier methods, respectively). For them, abortion is an option that is available when all else fails, and not a primary form of birth control. These women did all they could to prevent the need for an abortion, but no method is perfect.

Others, however, irresponsibly had unprotected sex. Ideally, they'd have either abstained or used contraception, but that's water under the bridge. For them, the last resort is the only resort. Often, the reason they didn't use contraception is that they were ignorant; they didn't know how to have sex responsibly. Therefore, the way to prevent these abortions, which constitute the bulk of all the ones performed, is through comprehensive sexual education combined with affordable access to contraception, including emergency contraception. Women who avoid unwanted pregnancy are never in a position to consider abortion.

The next category is small but significant; women who never chose to have sex. This includes various forms of rape, that I don't think we need to get into. For these women, pregnancy means not only rewarding the rapist for his efforts but being re-victimized for nine months. Here emergency contraception becomes particularly important, and is increasingly being administered in such cases. Note that many who oppose abortions for the first two groups still make an exception for this one. While I applaud them for having the empathy to understand why rape victims should not be forced to carry pregnancies to term, their stance amounts to punishing women for choosing to have sex, which is deeply misogynistic.

The final category are those who abort for medical reasons. An example is a woman who aborts her pregnancy so that she can get chemotherapy for cancer. Note that, in many of these cases, the pregnancy could not have been carried to term, regardless, because the woman would have died. This type of abortion has been consistently protected under the law, even in places that are hostile to reproductive rights.

My stance, in case I didn't make myself clear, is that abortions should be safe, legal, and rare. I think there should be many fewer abortions that there are now, but that the right way to get there is to remove the demand, not control the supply. This means being realistic about human sexuality and not punishing people for having a libido or pretending that teenagers are infants.

3) Violence is definitely a policy of the fringe, and one that the mainstream strives to disassociate itself with.

4) I saw the changes you made and will leave them alone for now. Alienus 02:14, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

The Hippocratic Oath is completely relevant; I have already stated this. Just because it's ancient, doesn't mean it's irrelevant. The ancients were human beings just like you and I. Our cummulative body of knowledge begins with them, and to this day our democracy, buildings, philosophies, mathematics, etc. have been influenced by them. The Oath served as the ethical basis for Western Medicine for over 2 millennia, and it was written centuries before the birth of Christ. You do agree that there can, at least in theory, be unethical medical practices, don't you? It specifically forbids abortion as a medical practice without any possible reference to Christianity, Judaism or Islam. You can argue whether or not it applies today, but that doesn't change the fact that this has been used as a lucid argument for being opposed to abortion as a medical procedure. I am not here to debate you about abortion, but rather to contest the pro-choice bias of an encyclopedia page that ought to present facts about the "anti-abortion movement." It is completely POV to portray the movement as some hateful agenda, based only on faith and not reason, of the "religious right" (BTW, "religious right" and "Christian right" are both POV terms that have been graciously linked on this page). And the best part of it is, you haven't denied these charges, but seem even to affirm them.
There are many points that you raised in (2) that I disagree with, but again, I'm not here to debate you on abortion. These statements do not change my mind that adoption is a good thing. Think about it from the point of view of a person who was adopted. Whether or not one is in favor of legal abortion, I cannot see why one would not promote adoption as a good thing, especially if they want abortions to be rare. In any event, I conceded the adoption commentary on the grounds that it was a bit of an aside. We should probably let it go at that, because evidentally there won't be agreement here.
It is true that the "mainstream" strives to disassociate itself with violence at abortion clinics, but I doubt highly that there are organized, sustainable groups with this policy.
Good. We still need to discuss the other 2 paragraphs. LotR 21:24, 25 March 2006 (UTC)


1) The Hippocratic oath, without further qualification, is ambiguous, because the ancient version is not the one that is sometimes symbolically and ceremonially used by doctors. Ambiguity can be misleading and even dishonest, so it must be avoided.

2) The ancient version forbids abortion for the same reason it forbids all surgery: the safety of the woman. Back then, they lacked effective antibiotics and anesthetics. These days, an abortion is safer for the woman than carrying the pregnancy to term, so the old reasoning simply does not apply. Anyone who thinks that the Hippocratic oath's comments about abortion are relevant today is unambiguously mistaken.

For these reasons, which I've explained at length, I will be removing this from the article. Please go on with the next items. Alienus 21:37, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

I have reinstated a modified sentence. The sentence is completely in line with guidelines found on Here there is also a section on Lack of neutrality as an excuse to delete. The sentence as it stands is NPOV (cf. the section on A simple formulation). You will note that the link to Hippocratic Oath exists. The Hippocratic Oath page already specifically address the concerns you have raised in an NPOV fashion. If you remove the link (or the sentence), then I will call into question of neutrality of this article, because there are plenty of links on the same page that violate the very arguments you have issued above. LotR 17:42, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

RfC: Merger of article with Pro-Choice and Pro-Life.

An RfC has been made at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Politics on the proposal of merging this article with the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life articles, rather than having a separate article. Please leave comments below.

PS - if everyone is ok with it, I will leave this RfC up for a couple more days, to try and get more input. DonaNobisPacem 09:04, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

PPS - if everyone is ok with it.....I'm in exams, and my computer crashed as well, so if any merge action is going to rely on my initiative, it will not happen until after April 20th. DonaNobisPacem 07:11, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Comments for merge

  • (as I stated above) It seems to me that a possible solution would be the following: add a comment to the pro-choice page that while a person may support a woman's right to choose, they may still personally object to abortion on moral, ethical, or other grounds. Then, on the pro-life page, have distinct descriptions of the different aspects of the pro-life movement: a section on euthanasia, abortion, stem-cell research, death penalty - and make it clear that not all those who identify themselves as pro-life are necessarily against all of the above actions. Thus, we eliminate the need for a separate "anti-abortion" article.DonaNobisPacem 06:14, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Makes sense in that it would combine two separate pages that have much overlap. It would also eliminate the POV asymmetry that presently exists, i.e., Pro-Choice/Anti-Abortion. I am assuming that the content currently found on this page would be merged (and not merely erased). LotR 21:14, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I would vote for a merge, or else change pro-Choice to pro-abortion (which I think is much less preferable). IronDuke 03:35, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I have decided that merge is the best option, however it is not because I feel the name is POV. I think it is a valid idea to seperate the different issues within the greater pro-life movement (anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia, anti-death penalty, etc). That said, I feel there should be sections about this at the pro-life article, not in seperate, individual articles. Finally, I think some of this content may be able to be merged into abortion debate as well. Sometimes its ok to cover different POVs in the same article instead of having individual POV forks (see where gun control redirects to).--Andrew c 03:36, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Comments against merge

Even though there have been no new comments in a couple weeks, I'm guessing this debate is still open, since the merge tags are still on the articles. I think it makes very little sense to merge Pro-life and Pro-choice, especially since there is already an article about the abortion debate that gives an overview of the two positions. Having another article that is about the two positions on the abortion debate would be redundant, not to mention unnecessarily long. Merging Anti-abortion into Pro-life, however, does seem to be a good idea since (as far as I know) most people who identify as anti-abortion also identify as pro-life and vice versa. romarinRosemary white bg.jpg[talk to her ] 23:53, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

The proposed merge is the merge of the Anti-abortion article into the existing pro-life and pro-choice articles, as you agree with above, not the merge of the latter two into each other, DonaNobisPacem 02:17, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok, it seemed to me that I had seen mention of merging Pro-choice and Pro-life, but maybe I misread. In that case, why is there talk of merging this article with pro-choice? I understand merging it with pro-life, as I mentioned above, and maybe I'm missing something here, but merging anti-abortion and pro-choice? What would that accomplish? romarinRosemary white bg.jpg[talk to her ] 02:54, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Its now been suggested that Pro-Life be merged in here. When I say I am pro-life I mean I am against the taking of any human life, be it young or old, innocent or guilty, through abortion, the death penalty, drive by shooting, suicide, anything. Being pro-life and anti-abortion are not co-terminus.Briancua 20:28, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

other comments

While we are talking about merging, I think we should look at Pro-life tactics and Anti-abortionist.--Andrew c 03:54, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Strongly agreed. I just did a light edit fo the former, but both are sloppy and neither one deserves its own page. Alienus 04:40, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I just cleaned up this article considerably. I think the pro-life article needs a lot of cleanup as well, but since both articles are fairly short, I think they could definitely be merged. Andrea Parton 15:14, 12 April 2006 (UTC)