Talk:United States pro-life movement

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Move? (2)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus for either option. I see a strong consensus that the article titles should be parallel, consistent with the earlier discussion, but unfortunately there is just no consensus whatsoever on the question which of those two sets is to be used. Nor is the argument for either side so extraordinarily strong or so extraordinarily weak as to justify finding a consensus with the editors basically equally divided between the two proffered options. The unfortunate fact is that we are locked into the status quo, which most agree to be undesirable, because there is simply no agreement on what action should be taken to end it. The alternative would be for the closing admin to basically choose one over the other by fiat (or perhaps by a coin flip), something I'm quite unwilling to do (not to mention that it is also beyond the closer's authority). In these circumstances, I suggest that the most practical approach would be to pursue a compromise solution that everyone can agree to. T. Canens (talk) 07:24, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Abortion-rights movementPro-choice

(Background: The last discussion closed with no consensus in favor of any title, but with a strong consensus in favor of parallel titles. Thus, please indicate under the appropriate heading which set of parallel titles you prefer. Discussion should take place under the discussion heading.) Roscelese (talkcontribs) 05:45, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Abortion-rights movement and Anti-abortion movement[edit]

  1. Support. While not perfect, of the parallel structure options, this offers the least loaded terms. "Pro-life" and "Pro-choice" have the following problems: a) each of these names carries an implicit indictment of the other side, b) each of these names would be unintelligible to someone not versed in the abortion debate, and c) they are merely the propaganda tools of these interest groups; I'd rather Wikipedia not be harnessed for either side's purpose. HuskyHuskie (talk) 05:42, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support, clearly "choice" is ambiguous, also clearly, "pro-life" is wrong, since several "pro-lifers" support the death penalty, clearly not a pro-life stance. (talk) 05:48, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
  3. Support. The name "Pro-life" does not of itself specify that the life mentioned is the life of a fetus; it could be taken to mean "against capital punishment" or about animals' lives, if the reader did not know before what organization "Pro-life" was for. The word "abortion" in these article' titles makes the meanings clear. The "rights" and "anti-" in the names reflect the POV of the movements described, not necessarily Wikipedia's POV. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 06:02, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
    I'll give you $100 if you can find someone who comes to the pro-life article looking for information on vegetarianism. NYyankees51 (talk) 15:56, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
  4. Support, clearest and least propagandist arrangement. I'd also support merging both articles into one (e.g. Abortion debate). Though I wouldn't object to separate articles (or a single combined one) specifically about the history and usage of the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" themselves. --Kotniski (talk) 12:42, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
  5. Support. Clear and non-POV, moving away from perpetuating what is effectively a slur coined by the anti-abortion movement ("pro-life" implying that people who support abortion are "pro-death", which is clearly ludicrous). "Pro-life" may be common, but it is not NPOV and it is a term which is primarily used by its supporters, not its opponents (as is "pro-choice"). Both "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are highly ambiguous. The above is obviously the best choice to my mind. -- Necrothesp (talk) 08:11, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
  6. Support Titles should be parallel, avoid both WP:EUPHEMISM and usages that identify the user as a partisan. Kauffner (talk) 13:22, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
  7. Support Wikipedia should be encyclopedic concerning these articles. Like some media sources have recently decided, we should refer to each group as either "anti-abortion right supporters", or "abortion right supporters". That is the clear and concise choice to name the articles in a neutral manner. To have the articles named "pro-life" and "pro-choice", it implies the opposing views are "anti-choice" and/or "anti-life". (10:10, June 23, 2011)signed Dave Dial (talk) 18:56, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
  8. Support Encyclopedic vs. propagandistic. — kwami (talk) 18:59, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Pro-choice movement and Pro-life movement[edit]

  1. Support: Parallel names are preferable for obvious reasons. Abortion-rights movement and anti-abortion movement accomplishes this, but with one side being given a very positive name (the "rights" side) and the other negative (the "anti-" side). The other alternative is pro-choice movement and pro-life movement. Although these names are biased, being selected by the respective movements, they are widely used and I believe fall under WP:POVTITLE. I oppose moving Pro-life movement to anything else. –CWenger (^@) 05:46, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support When is this going to stop? Parallel names are preferable, per CWegner, and WP:UCN is also preferable. This option satisfies both.Griswaldo (talk) 12:33, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
  3. Support Yes, when are we going to stop doing this? Pro-life movement has almost zero chance of being moved, so we might as well move pro-choice back to paralleling it. NYyankees51 (talk) 15:45, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
  4. Support. Clearly the most common and recognizable terms. Powers T 15:16, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
  5. Support per all of the above. It is clearly better, if possible, for political campaigns to be described for what they favour rather than what they oppose. Sam Blacketer (talk) 15:06, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
  6. Support While I don't personally particularly like these names, I still think WP:UCN is the most important principle to abide by when choosing article names. I would wish that the media and people in general would start using the less slogan-y names suggested above, but fact is that Pro-choice and Pro-life are clearly the most commonly used names by reliable sources. But whatever happens here, I would be strongly opposed to keeping the status quo. The main concern here must be to get back to parallel titles quickly.TheFreeloader (talk) 19:40, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
  7. Support Obviously pro-life is a common name used regularly by reliable sources and also groups use it to self-identify. Pro-life is fully within the policies WP:POVTITLE and WP:UCN. Similar with pro-choice. – Lionel (talk) 20:28, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Keep as is: Abortion-rights movement and Pro-life movement[edit]

  1. Support I'd be inclined to say that we should keep these pages here - it still seems far too soon for any changes to be discussed. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:15, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
    E-head, the issue that it may be too soon to discuss this is a legitimate point, but it's not the issue here. (Ask User:Roscelese why this is being done now, if you're curious.) Are you saying to keep it the way it is because you think it's too soon for a change, or is this your real preference? If so, why? HuskyHuskie (talk) 07:22, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
    I'm saying it because I think its too soon. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:55, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
    Too soon after what???? --Kotniski (talk) 12:39, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
    Too soon after this and this. We can't keep doing this every two months. NYyankees51 (talk) 15:50, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
    Well isn't that the point? Come to a rational decision one way or the other (rather than stay with two unmatching titles) so we can stop continually debating it?--Kotniski (talk) 16:11, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
    The easy way to do that is to not debate it. How given the above discussion is an admin supposed to close it. Currently both sides look like "no consensus" with each other, so they'll have to vote count to pick which set of names to go for - more likely the close will be avoided for several weeks/months like last time. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:53, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
    The previous two discussions clearly established that clear consensus to move cannot be attained. When clear consensus cannot be found,t he status quo must remain. NYyankees51 (talk) 21:48, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
    The consensus above looks to say that the two articles should have parallel titles. Given they currently don't have parallel titles that's a big sticking point. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:14, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
  2. Support Way too soon to bring this up again. Pro-life move discussions have consistently closed No Consensus, and Abortion-rights was just closed Move a couple weeks ago! Lionel (talk) 09:31, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
    Which makes this seem like an ideal time to discuss it and finally sort it out one way or the other. "No consensus" is hardly a satisfactory or conclusive result, and it can hardly be satisfactory to retain two non-parallel titles as we have now. If you support retaining the status quo, please say why you think one article title should have the "pro-X" form and the other the descriptive form. If there's no rational justification for such inconsistency, we need to resolve it one way or the other.--Kotniski (talk) 10:51, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Swap around: Pro-choice movement and Anti-abortion movement[edit]



  • "Pro-life" is not a position taken to be vegans, so I don't see how "pro" life this is, since most keep eating animals. (talk) 05:53, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I could not disagree more with CWenger's stance (not unique to him, I realize) that it is "negative" to label the pro-life side as "anti-". As someone who believes that abortion is murder, I'm quite proud to be "anti-"abortion. I was also a fervent "anti-communist" when I was younger, and I'd like to think that 200 years ago I would have been anti-slavery. This notion that "anti-" is negative is a crock of dogs**t; there's nothing better than to be "anti" something evil. I don't personally know one pro-lifer who feels slighted by being called "anti-abortion". HuskyHuskie (talk) 06:11, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I hasten to add that I do not consider "pro-choicers" to be evil. Most of my close friends disagree with me on this topic, but they do so civilly, simply because they proceed from a different set of assumptions than I have. They honestly don't see an embryo as a person, so logically, from their perspective, its indefensible to tell a woman she can't have an abortion. I respect that thinking, and I love these people, whom I simply believe to be misguided into supporting a practice that I regard as evil. But please don't say I'm attacking the pro-abortion rights crowd or any individuals, because I'm not. HuskyHuskie (talk) 06:11, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
CWenger, your point about the abolitionists is a good one. I actually about it even before I made the post (though I had not considered the temperance movement), but felt that it didn't affect the point I was making. I really wonder if someone with expert historical knowledge could weigh in. What, for example, were the anti-abolitionists called, or the anti-temperance movement? Did they also have two "pro" sides? (I can see the anti-abolitionists and anti-temperance movements both describing themselves as "pro-choice" --Don't call me 'pro-slavery', I'm not "pro"-slavery, I just think that everyone should get to choose for themselves whether or not to own a slave.) But seriously, your historical point may be the strongest argument I've seen for keeping "prolife" and "prochoice". It might be easier for me to stomach if both articles included in their first two sentences some acknowledgement of the propagandic nature of their chosen names. HuskyHuskie (talk) 17:57, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I take no stand on which set of titles to use. However, I'd like to forestall arguments that argue against "anti-abortion movement" because the "pro-life" label also encompasses, some say, opposition to stem cell research, IVF, to this, to that and the other. The article as it stands and as it stood does not cover these other debates; it is about the opposition to abortion. This is the common understanding of the term and the only position shared by all people calling themselves "pro-life." Let's not make decisions based on what title would be appropriate if a complete rewrite were to take place, since that rewrite is unlikely ever to happen. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 06:29, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I am in complete shock that pro-life has been proposed for move again. And this proposal is one of the most manipulative tactics I've ever seen. Under the guise of "parallel" names and "no consensus last time" pro-life has been dragged into yet another move discussion. Pro-life has been the subject of move discussion for the entire year. When it wasn't being
    discussed it was being surreptitiously moved or merged. Instead of improving the encyclopedia, dozens of editors have been occupied arguing ad nauseum over pro-life for half a year! This is abusive, unproductive and outrageous. Editors are fatigued. I hold responsible one editor in particular for this travesty: Anthony Appleyard. This admin pushed through the renaming of pro-choice, and then attempted to push through the renaming of pro-life. When he failed in renaming pro-life he opened this discussion based on his close which renamed pro-choice, claiming the titles need to be "parallel." Any other editor would be at ANI for gaming the system. After 6 months of this, it's obvious the objective is to continuously discuss pro-life until the pro-abortion cadre achieves the result they want. If you are so concerned about "parallel" titles, Anthony, why not just move abortion rights back to pro-choice? If you recall you moved that article in spite of that discussion leaning no consensus and over objections to your close raised at the time. I bet one gently used sonogram machine that you find no objections and you will avoid wasting another month of our time. Be bold, Anthony, be bold. Lionel (talk) 19:29, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Here is the problem. Pro-choice was moved "successfully" with LESS "consensus" and support than there was for moving Pro-life (which another admin closed as "no consensus"). Apparently no one has noticed this or is as bothered at this than I am. No admin (well, besides me... which lead to my first ever block, though that is a different story) has the will to question or even go against Anthony, even though there have been tons of questionable admin actions on his part after he has become quite involved in these discussions (though we can give him credit for undoing some of them). I argue that there NEVER, EVER was clear consensus to move this article in the first place, and that the rogue admin actions should be reverted. However, his actions have now created a situation where the article names lack parity. So it gives the illusion that we allow one side to use their own term of self-identity, but we impose a more "neutral" term on the other side (and thus creating a sense or urgency to correct this wrong). And we are in this situation, not because of the will of the people, and because of consensus, but because an involved admin made a questionable closure and move, where there was less than 60% support, where on the other article, an uninvolved admin made a different closure as "no consensus" with over 70% support. The whole situation is a bit ridiculous now. If Anthony doesn't take Lionel's plea to be BOLD and self-revert, I think an uninvolved admin needs to step in, examine the original move, and objectively decide if my take on the situation is correct (and that the article should never have been moved in the first place). Step back to square one, so there isn't a sense of urgency of trying to get the article naming parity back. And then re-examine the situation if needed (and in a centralized discussion format, with proper announcements and notifications). -Andrew c [talk] 20:08, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Well put, Andrew. And I did notice the questionable close of pro-choice and registered my concerns. I noticed your reverting of abortion-rights and I applaud you for your courage. Notice that the third admin, Sarek, also has had some issues as of late. I was going to use the "R" word myself, but thought better of it. But you're dead on: these actions are best described as rogue. Btw, did I mention that that ultrasound prints color scans of your baby and plugs into USA and Euro outlets? Lionel (talk)
      • Alternatively pro-life should probably have been moved. I didn't complain about it at the time, because I thought a merge was by far the best option and that it wasn't therefore worth fighting for. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 11:42, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Point of process. This is a very peculiar move request, because it involves two articles with multiple naming options. My question is, if we get to a point where we have 12 people supporting #1, 8 people supporting #2, and 3 people supporting #3, what happens to the articles? If we close it as "no consensus" and don't change anything, then the option with the least supporters wins. No point getting into statistical analysis yet, because my numbers are hypothetical. But it could be like only 5% of voters get their way, because consensus doesn't equal majority rule (and the two decent options which restore parity split the vote). -Andrew c [talk] 20:16, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
    • I had wondered about that myself. To do this correctly we really need second and third options, where first option counts for 3 points, second option 2, third option 1. We don't want to turn this into too much of a simple vote-counting process but it might be appropriate here because both sides obviously have strong points (at least in my opinion). –CWenger (^@) 20:41, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Yeah this is the point I came here to make. The only real way to go is to vote count between the top two options (which look like the ones which are going to get the most votes/support) - are the "pro life/pro choice" guys happy for "abortion-rights/anti-abortion" to win (and vice versa) on that basis? If not then I think we need mediation to look at this. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:06, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
        • I would suggest people stop speculating about how the discussion will be closed, and concentrate on providing substantial arguments for their preferred options – maybe then something resembling consensus will be reached. Let's remember that there are other possibilities apart from simply renaming the existing articles or leaving them as they are - we could merge them, or maybe split out information relating specifically to those who use the terms "pro-choice" and "pro-life" (bear in mind that the abortion debate takes place all over the world, and those two terms are not used everywhere).--Kotniski (talk) 10:38, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
          • Unless there is a large change in people's views just allowing this discussion to run its course isn't likely to be particularly productive. If an admin wasn't willing to move pro-life before they aren't going to solve this one in any reasonable way. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 12:14, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
            • As its still 6-6, I've requested mediation, I hope this will help :). -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:42, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
              • at 6-6 with 2 other opinions (keep as is), it should end as no consensus, and remain as is, if it were closed normally. (talk) 10:50, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
                • No, that would be exactly the wrong way to go about it. "Keep as is" has the fewest votes in favor. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 17:17, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── There is no consensus for option 1, nor for option 2. And an admin would be cautious about closing this controversially. Remember the firestorm that erupted when Anthony Appleyard closed and moved pro-choice -> abortion-rights without consensus. There was also a controversial move of pro-life by, hmmm, what was his name, it's on the tip of my tongue, almost got it, oh yea: Anthony Appleyard. That move also created a firestorm of discontent throughout Wikipedia and ended up at ANI. In the end Anthony Appleyard had to undo the move. I think an admin would want to avoid the scrutiny, recrimination, accusations of bias, perceived loss of impartiality, that accompanied Anthony Appleyard's rash decisions. I would hope that the closing admin would learn from the mistakes made by Anthony Appleyard. – Lionel (talk) 20:54, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

  • In those cases, someone badgered me to make the move, and criticised me for not making the move :: I was caught between two sides. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 21:16, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
So hopeully mediation will lead to a good answer we can all live with. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 20:57, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
  • it's an excellent, well-thought-out, thoroughly rational solution. Pesky (talkstalk!) 06:50, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Re-naming article[edit]

Vote after vote has consistantly reached a majority in favour of removing the slanted, propaganda term of "Pro-Life". Why has this not been changed yet? This would not stand on any other article, so why here? (talk) 15:24, 1 July 2011 (UTC) Harlequin

Amzingly enough, such does not appear to have been the case. No consensus to change the name was reached as far as I can tell. I know you 'do not like the title, but that is specifically an insufficient reason to change it. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:32, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Aside from the fact that discussions are WP:NOTAVOTE, what votes are you looking at? NYyankees51 (talk) 19:44, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
This is all very exciting, but really this discussion should be occurring on the mediation page. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:38, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Since this is the way that the movement characterises itself, I don't see why there is even a discussion here. Certainly those on the other side of the issue should be free to call themselves 'pro-choice', or whatever name they wish to use, without Wikipedia editors upbraiding them for their choice? I wasn't aware that this was our job. Personally, it would smack of incivility akin to, well, my declaring the terms 'Democrat' or 'Presbyterian' off limits to a group of people simply because I didn't happen to like them or the way they described themselves.--Lyricmac (talk) 22:43, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Please make your comments on the mediation page if you wish them to be taken into account.
The general argument made against pro-life is that the name isn't neutral and on Wikipedia names are required to be neutral, Climategate is located at "Climatic Research Unit email controversy", and North Korea for example doesn't get its preferred title of "Democratic People’s Republic of Korea". You may feel that Pro life is more neutral and that's fine, the issue is that half the community disagrees with you and that is why we have had extensive discussions about this topic. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:04, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

I am pro-abortion, for reasons not 100% alligned with the concept of Women's Reproductive Rights, but not opposed to the concept either. That said....

The Pro-Life Movement exists by that name. I think a better solution is to reach an agreement that the term "anti-abortion" be inserted in this article, at certain points, and not at all necessarily on a 1:1 basis. Strategic placement is fine. I've taken the trouble to do this, in spite of the complaints of the editor "Binksternet." If the anti-abortion folk will consent to this, the article deserves to stay. If not, they're engaged in spin and deserve to be beleaguered. Tapered (talk) 00:16, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

I'll be watching this page. I've helped enforce sanity @ Carlos Gardel re birthplace. Check to see. Tapered (talk) 00:25, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Most Voters of Reagan Being Not Pro-Life[edit]

This is stated in the article but I find that very controversial. The source named, McKeegan, M. (1993), "The politics of abortion: A historical perspective", Women's Health Issues 3 (3), pp. 127–131, I think might be well biased, so I am deleting that reference until a better one is given. To state that most Reagan voters weren't pro-life is definetely not granted. (talk) 19:38, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

I can ask to someone please transcribe the exact part of the source where this claim is made so we could have a better knowledge of it and of his basis. (talk) 21:07, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

In the abstract it clearly states "When Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980, the new right was quick to claim the victory, even though polls showed that most Reagan voters opposed banning abortion." You can purchase the full article. Binksternet (talk) 21:39, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for showing that source. I ask however to someone to corroborate what is claimed with another, preferebly neutral or pro-life source, since the one provided is obviously from a pro-choice supporter. I am not saying that she is wrong just that other people might claim the opposite. (talk) 22:51, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

McKeegan is a reliable source, published by Women's Health Issues, a peer-reviewed journal. Don't try to take McKeegan down to the level of petty politics. Binksternet (talk) 23:46, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Remember that Republicans and Democrats were not differentiated on the abortion question in 1980. Even in 1982, the Jess Helms bill on conception being the start of human life was filibustered into nothingness by two Republicans. In 1992, a significant number of secular and pro-choice Republicans voted for Perot, not Bush Sr, giving Clinton the White House. By 1996, the two parties had sifted through their members such that many pro-choice Republicans became Democrats and many pro-life Democrats became Republican. By 1999 the political divide regarding abortion had become conventional wisdom; but it was not always thus!
Reagan talked up traditional values but he did not push the pro-life button during his 1980 campaign, for fear of alienating the many pro-choice voters. It was only in January 1981 that he declared a pro-life administration. Binksternet (talk) 00:13, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

The term was adopted to put a positive image on the anti-abortion cause[edit]

I don't think the following change is historically accurate:

  • The term "pro-life" was adopted to put a positive image on the anti-abortion cause, to highlight the taking of a human life rather than the restriction of women's rights.
  • The term "pro-life" was adopted instead of anti-abortion to highlight the belief that they consider abortion the taking of a human life, rather than an issue concerning the restriction of women's reproductive rights.

The clunky change dumps for no good reason the phrase "adopted to put a positive image". The source says, "Movement leaders chose the 'pro-life' label to put forward a positive image, and to focus attention on their core argument—that abortion amounts to taking the life of an unborn child." I think that the "positive image" bit is important and central to the term, and the authors/editors of the Encyclopedia of women in American politics seem to think so too, as they made certain to include it. Binksternet (talk) 00:43, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Good to know which (of 4) changes was under discussion. My wording is clunky, but the first wording seems to accept as fact that abortion IS the taking of a human life. I think you'll agree if you read it again. That's why I changed it. I think that's more important to the potential 'spin' of the statement. "They consider" or something like it is necessary to indicate that it's their belief and not fait d'accompli.Tapered (talk) 02:47, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
PS: Some of the edits I made today were reversions of changes to my previous edit--by pro-life 'spinners.' 02:53, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I tried a few ways to insert "they consider" or "their belief" but none of them flowed very well. Looking at the green sentence above, I don't see that the reader will be confused about what is being said; they will read that the term "pro-life" was meant to focus on the life part of their argument rather than on the restrictions which they wanted to put in place. Binksternet (talk) 02:59, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Just reworded description of Dr. George Tiller. He had been described as a late term abortion provided, as though that was his primary life function. He was a physician whose practice included late term abortion. The language of the article now reflects this fact--without obscuring the fact that he DID perform them. Tapered (talk) 04:21, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Again removed spin/POV/propaganda language fr/ the 'Violence against abortion providers section,' and the weaselly characterization of Dr. Tiller. Tapered (talk) 00:48, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Re: The 'Violence' section. The long defense of the pro-life/anti-abortion movement against its identification with violence hasn't been referenced. It't unnecessary because other referenced facts to the same effect are included. As such it amounts to progaganda. That's why it's been removed. Tapered (talk) 01:02, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Why is lifenews being deleted?[edit]

Lifenews as a source was deleted twice without real explanation Jorge Peixoto (talk) 04:27, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

It's simply not an objective source. I just went to and read "About Us". It was "Formerly the Pro-Life Infonet". It aims "to furnish news content to media that share the pro-life perspective", etc, etc, etc. It's explicitly a pro-life organisation. Wikipedia needs more independent sources than that. HiLo48 (talk) 04:34, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
1) Because it has a cause, it can't report objectively? We are talking about objective information - police investigations. We are not talking about subjective "I like it" / "I don't like it".
2) A New York Times editor has said "one has to be out of his mind to read this paper and not see it is pro-choice" Will you remove any New York Times references regarding abortion?
3) The article foeticide includes information from the National Advocates for Pregnant Women. They are pro-choice. They clearly have a cause. Will you remove that source? Jorge Peixoto (talk) 04:50, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Also, there is a second source: Jorge Peixoto (talk) 05:21, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we can automatically prohibit sources like LifeNews just because they have a cause, as Jorge said. We have to take each citation on a case-by-case basis; if there's no reason to believe the citation is false or skewed, there shouldn't be a problem with using it. Same would go for liberal sites like HuffPo. NYyankees51 (talk) 14:55, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Undue weight for threat vs death[edit]

I removed the bit about a guy convicted of threatening pro-lifers. Here's the bit:

In May 2011, a man who described himself as a "pro-choice terrorist" was indicted with six counts of making threats against pro-life leaders, including Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life and Princeton University Professor Robert P. George. ( )

My take on that bit is that it is undue weight compared to the preceding death of a pro-life activist. Binksternet (talk) 16:57, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Possibly more to the point, it's another instance of users trying their very hardest to pretend that it's just as bad for pro-lifers activists as it is for abortion providers - we don't list threats in Anti-abortion violence, and we shouldn't list them here. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 17:06, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Check the article again. PeRshGo (talk) 17:27, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Without digressing too much, no, the article doesn't list threats (which is fair, because it would be unreadably long if it did). The "Anthrax threats" subhead is about actual letters containing white powder sent to people; the powder wasn't anthrax, but the incident wasn't just words, as it was in the Shulman case. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 17:49, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

The idea that there needs to by symmetry between the pro-choice and pro-life articles is misplaced. The information need only be relevant to the topic at hand, which it clearly is.LedRush (talk) 17:33, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

On the contrary, symmetry is a good thing, because of WP:UNDUE. The more weight we give to non-violent incidents on the "pro-life" article while cutting material out of Anti-abortion violence, the more credence we lend to the claim that it's a problem both "sides" have. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 17:49, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
No. This is an article about the pro-life movement. No one should be advocating and introducing NPOV issues.LedRush (talk) 17:54, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
What do you mean, no one should be advocating and introducing NPOV issues? If there's an issue with NPOV, it should be addressed. Why should this article be exempt from the rules? Roscelese (talkcontribs) 18:08, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
I mean that we shouldn't introduce POV problems to this one based on your view of what is comparable or not comparable in another article. WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTSLedRush (talk) 22:26, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Including the incident is a POV problem. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 22:49, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Symmetry is desirable because the topics are closely connected; so close that suggestions have been made to join the pro-life and pro-choice articles. A reader comparing the anti-pro-choice violence to the anti-pro-life violence must not be given the impression that they are at all equal because they are not. There is a far greater incidence of violence against pro-choicers. Binksternet (talk) 18:06, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Your POV is noted, but it is irrelevant. The topic at hand is violance against pro-lifers in the pro-life article. The information in question is cited and notable, so there really isn't an issue. I can't change the human rights section of the Italy article because the violations there aren't as big as the one in the Turkey article. It simply doesn't make sense. If readers think that threatened violence by self-proclaimed terrorists isn't equivalent to actual bombings with multiple murdered victims, they have all the info they need to make that determination now.LedRush (talk) 18:12, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
If I have a POV it is to have a neutral encyclopedia that describes topics in a balanced way. If by examining my previous post you are accusing me of having a POV then it follows that you think anti-pro-life violence is roughly equivalent to anti-pro-choice violence. Where did you get that conclusion? I challenge you to prove a rough equivalency with reliable sources. Binksternet (talk) 18:49, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
I have not provided an opinion on rough-equivalency, and neither has Wikipedia or this article. Your challenge seems odd to me.LedRush (talk) 19:20, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Then please explain what you perceive as my POV. Binksternet (talk) 20:24, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
You said that "A reader comparing the anti-pro-choice violence to the anti-pro-life violence must not be given the impression that they are at all equal because they are not. There is a far greater incidence of violence against pro-choicers." This is your POV. My point remains that WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS, and this article should be created with what is best for this article and what informs our readers best. I don't care what the other article says, and as long as this article is correct and cited well, you shouldn't either. If you want to inject your POV on whose violence is worse (as if the sections don't speak for themselves), go get some RSs and make sure that it fits in well with the article and isn't WP:UNDUELedRush (talk) 22:26, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
It seems I was correct, that you do not think there is a greater incidence of anti-pro-choice abortion, that the two are roughly equivalent. You are the only person I've ever known who holds that opinion! The mainstream position is that the violence against abortion providers and patients is the big problem. Why would the Board of Registered Nursing single out violence against abortion providers and patients but not mention violence against protesters outside the clinics? Why would U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno form the National Task Force on Violence Against Health Care to investigate violence against abortion providers but not even mention violence against pro-life protesters? Why would legislation (The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act or FACE) address only health care workers and patients but not protesters? Binksternet (talk) 23:05, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Get ahold of yourself, man. I've never professed such an opinion and why you'd attribute it to me is beyond me. Try to keep your personal advocacy opinions to yourself and address points based on WP policy.LedRush (talk) 23:15, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't think that the weight argument would warrant the removal of the information. I think the current text does a decent job of informing the reader of the stats that the sources provide. - Haymaker (talk) 00:07, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

That's nice, but it does not answer the problem of undue weight given to the very minor aspect of violence against pro-life protesters. The only incidents we describe here in this encyclopedic summary should be the highest level of violence, not threats. Binksternet (talk) 15:59, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Yup. The edit assumes that the problem I summarized in the phrase "non-violent act" was that it wasn't consistent with the heading, which is a silly assumption when for weeks now we've been pointing out that the problem is the undue nature of including something that wasn't even an attempt at violence to try to make it look like "pro-lifers" totally have it just as bad. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 16:08, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
The problem is we have activists editing Wikipedia on both sides of the debate with the sole purpose of making their side appear superior. Pro-chociers want to cover up any misdeeds done by their cause and Pro-lifers want to bolster the bad acts against them. The more we continue indulge this idea that this is a genuine impartial debate over "weight" the farther we get away from what these articles really need, and that’s a truce between activist editors so they stop intentionally undermining one another and disrupting Wikipedia. PeRshGo (talk) 17:30, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I just reverted NYyankees51 who edit-warred the bit back into the article. NYyankees51 has not taken part in this discussion. Binksternet (talk) 19:24, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, neither has PhGustaf, who removed it, so I don't see your point. And you have taken it out three times in three days, the last one just barely missing a 1RR violation, so you are edit warring as well. NYyankees51 (talk) 20:31, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
I've discussed the problems related to the text, and I must point out that there is no consensus for inclusion. Though you have taken part in this discussion thread, you have not addressed any of the textual concerns. Binksternet (talk) 21:26, 23 July 2011 (UTC)


The name of this article is currently being discussed at Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases/2011-06-22/Abortion-rights movement. Any interested user is welcome to participate. NYyankees51 (talk) 02:03, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Removal of bit about groups condemning violence[edit]

It might be true, and Tapered, it isn't necessarily spin, but NYyankees51, as the editor who wishes to include it, the burden is on you to find a source for it. You cannot say that it must remain in the article until someone refutes it. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 02:27, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

It's a reasonable generalization based on the positions of all mainstream pro-lifers. It's just like how we make generalizations in the lead. If it's this much of a problem, we can find every pro-life group and leader which/who has condemned violence and list them, but that would be tedious. NYyankees51 (talk) 03:01, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Or find a secondary source that says so. Since we're necessarily citing partisan sources anyway, it shouldn't be hard. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 03:02, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
The generalizations in the lead section are there because of cited article body text. Generalizations in the body of an article are okay if they are not challenged. This generalization has been repeatedly challenged. Any replacement or reworking of the bit must be cited. Binksternet (talk) 03:05, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for that explanation. Tapered (talk) 08:24, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Tiller Death[edit]

I believe the description of Tiller's death is unduly graphic and sensationalist. How about, "shot at close range at his customary church service and died instantly?" Tapered (talk) 21:09, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Fine with me. NYyankees51 (talk) 21:36, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Local newspaper has expunged actual accounts of murder fr/ website. Tapered (talk) 22:31, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Issues with new title[edit]

I realize that the moving admin was acting in good faith, but this move just raises new issues. Pro-lifers object to abortion regardless of legality. NYyankees51 (talk) 18:11, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

I and others have raised some concerns at Talk:Support for the legalisation of abortion#New title. –CWenger (^@) 18:16, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, let's try and keep this as organized as possible, and put all discussion over there. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 18:57, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay I will. NYyankees51 (talk) 19:02, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
I commented over there but yeah, this needs to go back to pro-life or pro-life movement. - Haymaker (talk) 19:54, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Most people are happy with it. Just drop it. DeCausa (talk) 20:13, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
There is no way your going to get it moved back. Chasing the Cavalry made that pretty clear. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:09, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
WP:ARBCOM NYyankees51 (talk) 04:09, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Arbcom will side with neutrality. Its a pillar and the guideline on common name isn't. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:09, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually, ArbCom don't rule on content, but would likely implement discretionary sanctions, topic bans or even site bans. Nuff said. Steven Zhang The clock is ticking.... 07:17, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Chase me ladies recommended taking it to MEDCOM, whatever that is. --Kenatipo speak! 16:21, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

I just filed for formal mediation. Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Opposition to the legalisation of abortion NYyankees51 (talk) 21:55, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

I had an interesting conversation with "Chase me, ladies" about his recent decision, on his talk page. (He said I was the only one that complained!) But he grew tired of it, so I copied it to the bottom of my own talk page (if you're interested). It may give insight as to how the deck is stacked, so to speak. --Kenatipo speak! 23:27, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Do reliable sources really avoid "pro-life"?[edit]

The argument against using Pro-life for a title largely seems to be based on the premise that reliable sources like the NY Times avoid the term for reasons of neutrality. But is that true? Here is a NY Times magazine article from May of this year entitled, "The Reincarnation of Pro-Life". When I search the site for uses of "pro-life" I find almost 70,000. In comparison, the word "abortion" is used about 95,000 times. Here are some more results:

There is a lot of fluctuation in the usage of pro-life relative to abortion, but I see no evidence that any of these organizations is avoiding using "pro-life".

What is the evidence that "pro-life" is avoided by reliable sources for reasons of neutrality? --Born2cycle (talk) 07:57, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Probably because if they don't mention the word "abortion" they aren't talking about abortion. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:17, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Probably? LOL! You're just making that up. But I'll walk through the first page of hits at NY Times just to verify...
  1. "Pro-life Nation". "I had been warned that interviewing anyone who had had an abortion in El Salvador ..." [1]
  2. "The Year of the (Pro-Life) Woman" "WHEN President George W. Bush signed the bill banning partial-birth abortion in 2003, ..." [2]
  3. "Can This Be Pro-Life?" "Thus the paradox of a “pro-life” administration adopting a policy whose result will be tens of thousands of additional abortions each year" [3]
  4. "A Different Kind of Liberal" "Eunice belonged to America’s dwindling population of outspoken pro-life liberals. Like her church, she saw a continuity, rather than a contradiction, between championing the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed and protecting unborn human life." [4]
  5. "Bloggingheads: Pro-Gay and Pro-Life" "...discuss public opinion about abortion and same-sex marriage." [5]
  6. "Billboard Opposing Abortion Stirs Debate" ("pro-life" reference is only in Comments section of this article) [6]
  7. "Advertiser: National Pro-Life Alliance" (obviously about abortion) [7]
  8. "Commercial Focuses Attention on Issue Ads During the Super Bowl" "So how explicitly the Focus on the Family spot discusses abortion or the organization’s pro-life stance is a matter of conjecture for now. " [8]
So on the first page of results not one use of "pro-life" to refer to any topic other than opposing abortion. At this point the burden has to shift to you to show that some significant percentage of those pro-life hits are references to something other than abortion opposition. --Born2cycle (talk) 08:47, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

The evidence for NYT avoiding it is in the article you linked. The lead sentence calls it "the anti-abortion movement"; the only use of "pro-life" in the text is in scare quotes, to say what these anti-abortion people identify themselves as. It's clearly not a neutral term, and we should be careful not to treat it as one. Dicklyon (talk) 17:09, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

You mean the NY Times article that the NYT titled "The Reincarnation of Pro-Life." Come on! As to the term not being used in the body of the article, the writer, Emily Bazelon, is known to be biased on the issue, according to our own article about her. See Emily_Bazelon#Abortion_views. The content of this article is evidence that the NYT avoides the term? Really? To the contrary, this is evidence that people biased on the issue, to be "strongly critical of the pro-life movement", like Bazelon, advocate avoidance of the term, and practice it themselves. Please, let us at least try to be neutral. --Born2cycle (talk) 17:25, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
The point is that they avoid using it in a context where it would be taken as NPOV. It's used a lot to describe how groups style themselves, of course. As some of the articles point out, "pro life" doesn't mean what it sounds like; it's not even anti-abortion, really, as "Thus the paradox of a “pro-life” administration adopting a policy whose result will be tens of thousands of additional abortions each year" reveals, but is specifically all about the legality of abortion issue. Dicklyon (talk) 21:01, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
The other thing is that while the first page may all be about abortion, there are clearly at least 10000 articles on the New York Times which use the word pro-life without mentioning "abortion" at all. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:48, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Even if every newspaper in the English speaking world adopted a policy to avoid use of "pro-life", per our policy that applies here, WP:POVTITLE, unless some other term became more commonly used among all English reliable sources than "pro-life" to refer to this topic, it would not be relevant to our title deciding process, because WP:POVTITLE says we should use the most commonly used word even if it's a "non-neutral" word. If anyone knows of anything in policy that says otherwise, please share. But as far as I can tell, this idea that we should not use a name for a title simply because it has been deemed "non-neutral" by various editing bodies, and therefore should pick one that is used less commonly in sources, or even invent some other title, is not based on consensus or policy at all, and doing so is actually contrary to WP:NPOV per the reasoning at WP:POVTITLE.

If due to these neutrality polices (or any other reason) some other term becomes more commonly used to refer to the topic in question, then we should use that other name for the article title about that topic, because it's the most commonly used name, in order to comply with neutrality. But if the non-neutral name remains the most commonly used name despite the policies, then we're supposed to keep using it, because it's the most commonly used name, also in order to comply with neutrality.

In other words, whether the term has neutrality issues is not really relevant to us at all - all that matters is commonality in usage - without regard to whether it's neutrality concerns or anything else that is affecting the commonality. --Born2cycle (talk) 05:14, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

No. WP:POVTITLE says we should use the most common term if its used significantly more than other terms. Even something like Climategate, which is generally known as that, is actually titled Climatic Research Unit email controversy to be more neutral. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:58, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
No, WP:POVTITLE says we should use the most common name "when a significant majority of English-language reliable sources all refer to the topic or subject of an article" with that name. There are almost no sources that refer to this topic and never use "pro-life" to refer to it, therefore "a significant [arguably vast] majority of English-language reliable sources all refer to the topic" as "pro-life". They might also use other terms too, but I know of no other term used by as many sources to refer to this topic, and I know of no other term that is used any where near as often to refer to this topic as is "pro-life". Do you? If so, what is it?

By the way, you seem to be reading this to mean, "use the most common term if it's used significantly more than other terms" but, if the most common term is not used significantly more than other terms, don't use it, and instead use whatever the heck you want, even if it's rarely used to refer to the topic, even if you invent it." If that's not right, please clarify how you do interpret it in light of all this. Thanks. --Born2cycle (talk) 07:25, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

If you go and read through the data found in the mediation cabal case you'll find that "anti-abortion" and "abortion rights" are used at least 1/3 of the time. And yes if there isn't a common name per the tree shaping arbitration case and Climategate then it is reasonable to pick another title that is actually neutral. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:39, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
That the other terms are used at least 1/3 of the time is not disputed, at least not by me, and is not relevant here. Like I said, unless you have a significant number of sources that never use "pro-life", the significant majority that use it exists, and that's all that is required by WP:POVTITLE.

I'm not familiar with either the tree shaping or climategate cases, but I can tell you that that idea is not supported by consensus as reflected in policy.

Okay, I just glanced at Climategate and see that it's at the obviously contrived Climatic Research Unit email controversy. Yeah, I don't get that. "Climategate" is widely used in reliable sources, more commonly than any other term, and that should make it okay to use per WP:POVTITLE... Looking through the archives I see that at least Jimbo got it right: "Climategate is obviously the correct title. It is the overwhelming choice used by virtually all media. It is an accurate, non-POV-pushing description of the event, because the event was in fact a scandal.", though he gave up because it wasn't worth fighting about. Too bad. This is a great example of WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS, and now we can add this pair of contrived article titles to that steaming heap. --Born2cycle (talk) 08:38, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

While the reliable sources may use the POV term sometimes it is generally against their style-guides to do so - so how you can say that using a term that they say is POV meets WP:NPOV per WP:POVTITLE I'm really not sure... -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 17:31, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
The fact that some orgs avoid the terms might reflect a POV too. That's why all that matters to us is commonality in actual usage, and that's all we should follow. Whether the commonality in usage is higher or lower due to neutrality is of no more relevance to us than any other factor that affects commonality in usage. For us to be truly neutral, we simply follow commonality of usage, period.

In other words, to be neutral, we shouldn't give any weight, one way or another, to considerations of neutrality in deciding titles. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:03, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree. If it was clear cut (so say 10:1 or something). But it isn't and so WP:POVTITLE doesn't apply. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:16, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
That's not what POVTITLE says. The Tree shaping reasoning does not apply here because that was based on the assumption that no short names are available. Here we have them -- anti-abortion, pro-life -- we're just having difficulty picking one. The climategate reasoning is crap, as in WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS, and is no precedent to follow. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:37, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
I suggest we agree to disagree. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:02, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Eraserhead, you said "there are clearly at least 10000 articles on the New York Times which use the word pro-life without mentioning 'abortion' at all." Can you please find an article where "pro-life" is used not in reference to the abortion issue? NYyankees51 (talk) 19:08, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Sorry I meant time magazine - from the searches above there are 19500 hits for pro-life and only 9200 hits for the word abortion, therefore there must be 10000 hits (at least) which mention pro-life without mentioning abortion by obvious subtraction even if all the articles on abortion also mention pro-life. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:13, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
    • Yeah, but, what's your point? That "pro-life" is used in contexts that have nothing to do with abortion? If so, please answer NYyankees51 question to back this up. If not, please explain what point you're trying to make by sharing this factoid. --Born2cycle (talk) 19:41, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
      • I have no idea without doing detailed analysis. Maybe people bring it up in comments, maybe pro-life is used with a wider meaning or for completely different things. I really don't know. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:44, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
        • Okay... so you had no point... thanks for sharing? --Born2cycle (talk) 19:59, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
          • If its only being bought up in the comments, or its referring to something other than abortion then it isn't really relevant to Time magazine's personal opinion on abortion and abortion wording is it? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 20:30, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
            • If you have a point, please spell it out as clearly as you can, because there is something apparently obvious to you about these numbers that is not apparent to me. Thanks. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:35, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
              • People might bring up Pro-life with regards to abortion in the comments section on a serious press source website (if they have one) on all sorts of random topics without referring to Abortion - this doesn't mean that the publication in question supports that word use. Additionally those hits will appear at the bottom of the Google search results as they are less important.
              • Alternatively the source in question is referring to Pro-life turkeys or something else that has nothing to do with abortion.
              • Clearly all articles on abortion which mention pro-life are also highly likely to mention the word abortion somewhere in the article and thus appear in both search results that you presented at the top.
              • Sorry but search hits aren't the be all and end all of data. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 20:46, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
                • If you can find an instance of "pro-life" being used in the context of anything other than abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, etc. please share. NYyankees51 (talk) 21:16, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
                  • Sure, absolutely. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:23, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
                    • LOL! How about in a reliable source? --Born2cycle (talk) 21:38, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
                      • Can you at least try and be civil? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:34, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
                        • It is generally considered uncivil not to discuss in good faith. If you don't have answers to the questions, just admit it. You're making a very odd argument, and so far the only proof you have is pretty laughable, hence the "LOL". Otherwise, Born just asked you to provide RSs, which is standard operating procedure in a discussion like this. If you can't comment on the content, throwing around ridiculous accusations won't help.LedRush (talk) 13:54, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Fine I admit I couldn't find any sources. I still have an issue with lack of civility and saying LOL as well as Born2Cycles continual rude edit summaries are totally unnecessary to make the point. So far the discussion over all the pages has generally been pretty civil I see no reason why we should stop doing so now. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 14:42, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

I gotta tell you, I can be a bit of a civility nazi, but I don't see much here to criticize. The only borderline uncivil edit summary is the "LOL", and it's really, really pushing it to call that uncivil. It's not the nicest thing in the world, but it hardly seems uncivil by WP's definition. Having said that, a reminder to remain constructive in comments is rarely a bad thing.LedRush (talk) 15:12, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
It's perfectly possible it's straws breaking camels backs and all that :). -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 15:32, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I apologize. Is it uncivil to convey that something someone else said or posted made me laugh? I literally laughed out loud when I checked out those links. I'm still smiling about. As far as my edit summaries - nothing rude is intended there either. I'm kind of a civility Nazi myself, and try to hold myself to those high standards, though I realize this type of medium can lead to miscommunication. Just let me know. Thanks. --Born2cycle (talk) 03:17, 7 August 2011 (UTC)


The sentence, "The term pro-life was coined in 1973 by U.S. leaders of the anti-abortion movement who styled themselves "right-to-life", is unsupported by the cited source and is contradicted by M-W, which states that the term dates at least to 1971 ( Not to mention that the supposed origins of the term "pro-life" don't belong in the lead, and the sentence is plainly POV. Thus, it's deleted. Cloonmore (talk) 10:55, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps you'd like to add your name here? HuskyHuskie (talk) 03:55, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Disambiguation page[edit]

Since pro-life can refer to three things: abortion, euthanasia and stem cell, does anyone agree we should create a disambiguation page and redirect "pro-life" to it? Pass a Method talk 03:33, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

No. While opponents of abortion might also oppose assisted suicide and embryonic stem cell research, opposition to abortion is the common and predominant usage of the term. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 03:46, 24 August 2011 (UTC)


To legalize is to make the illegal legal. In places where abortion is legal, it is impossible to support or oppose its legalization. The correct title would be Opposition to the legality of abortion, I believe. -Silence (talk) 02:49, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

It seems appropriate and uncontroversial to me, but because of the title-related wrangling that has been going on for months, I wouldn't go ahead and do it just yet; let's wait a little and see if there are any objections. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 04:02, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Have we waited long enough yet? -Silence (talk) 01:16, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I mean, it's not like you need to wait for my permission. But I say that since there doesn't seem to have been objection, it's at least worth a try. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 04:49, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Would not Opposition to abortion legality and Support for abortion legality be more direct? Clearly the two articles should be kept in sync, whatever the change. LeadSongDog come howl! 13:45, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Of course using "legality" would avoid the "s" vs. "z" variations. LeadSongDog come howl! 14:10, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I have no strong objection to the shorter versions. Short is nice. Bit in this case it sounds a bit stunted, more like a newspaper headline than an encyclopedia article. "Opposition to abortion legality" could be read as "the legality of opposing abortion," for instance, in place of "the opposition to the legality of abortion." So the longer version is a tad less garden path-y. Note we have articles like International aid to combatants in the Iran–Iraq War (not *"International aid to Iran-Iraq War combatants") and Institutional support for the queries on the independence of Catalonia (not *"Institutional independence of Catalonia queries support"), so Wikipedia has its verbose precedents. -Silence (talk) 18:37, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
wp:AT does call for titles to be consise and to consider avoiding national varieties of English. LeadSongDog come howl! 05:22, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree that conciseness is very important. But wp:AT lists four other criteria, which must be balanced against conciseness: Recognizability, Naturalness, Precision, Consistency. My argument isn't that conciseness is irrelevant, nor do I deny that your suggestion is more Concise than mine. Instead, I argue that my title is, compared to yours, slightly easier to Recognize ("Support for abortion legality" might on occasion be interpreted as "The legality of support for abortion", for instance), at least as Natural, at least as Precise, and at least as Consistent (as shown by my examples of similarly structured article titles). Based on Recognizability, then, and perhaps a slight advantage in the other 3 areas, I think that the 7 extra characters in my title (i.e., the weakness in Conciseness) are warranted. It's a trade-off either way, but I just find it intuitively easier to parse Support for the legality of abortion than Support for abortion legality at a quick glance. Though I'll agree that both our titles are a big improvement over the current, factually inaccurate titles. (I'm not sure what the relevance of 'national varieties of English' is to my version, though. Legality is not dialectic-specific.) -Silence (talk) 03:42, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't be too concerned over the possibility that someone might interpret the title as "The legality of support for abortion". The BrEng/AnEng issue is with legalisation vs. legalization in the present titles. Of course redirects can handle it, but that's just one more bit of unnecessary distraction. The simplest and most natural versions might be Support for legal abortion and Opposition to legal abortion, though I'm sure there would be some way to misconstrue those too. LeadSongDog come howl! 04:57, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Support for legal abortion doesn't work, because that suggests that pro-choice people only support abortion when it's legal. In fact many pro-choice people oppose abortion as a practice, but support its legality, which is almost the exact opposite of 'support abortion provided that it is legal.' Still, everyone seems to agree that 'Legalization' isn't an acceptable version. Let's get more opinions. I suggest a straw poll, on here and the 'Support' talk page (we can just pool the votes at the end, no biggie), between Opposition to abortion legality and Opposition to the legality of abortion. Then we'll make a move proposal for whichever one wins the straw poll. -Silence (talk) 04:23, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I see that argument, yet this misinterpretation seems to me less serious than the implication in the current titles that abortion was illegal everywhere and that people either support or oppose legalizing it. In truth abortion's status was more mixed than that. Wherever one stands politically on the issue, it's important to understand its longstanding history. I don't know if "Support of legal abortion" works any better, but I still think "Support for legal abortion" and "Opposition to legal abortion" are good titles. If you can't be clear... at least you can be brief! Wnt (talk) 04:20, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
I suppose the first step is to compile a list of candidate titles? Having mulled it over a while, it occurs to me that we could also consider Advocacy for laws restricting abortion and Advocacy against laws restricting abortion as titles. These would not have implied nationality, nor implied status-quo laws. I'd also consider Advocacy for legal access to abortion and Advocacy against legal access to abortion. The support/opposition dichotomy is intrinsically conflated with the concept of parliamentary opposition which makes the opposition side an implied underdog in the debate. It would, to my mind, be helpful to drop that terminology. LeadSongDog come howl! 18:02, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

The second paragraph....[edit] confusing -- especially "opponents in favor" -- so I suggest replacing it with something simpler and clearer.

  • Current: "Advocates generally maintain that the human fetus (and in most cases the human embryo) is a person and therefore has a right to life. Opponents in favor of legalized abortion, often self-described as "pro-choice" advocates, generally advocate legal abortion as an important facet of women's reproductive rights. The "pro-life" concept is sometimes broadened to include positions on other issues, such as opposition to euthanasia and embryonic stem-cell research.
  • Proposed : "Pro-lifers maintain that the human fetus (and in most cases the human embryo) is a person and therefore has a right to life. Pro-choicers generally advocate legal abortion as an important facet of women's reproductive rights. The "pro-life" concept is sometimes broadened to include positions on other issues, such as opposition to euthanasia and embryonic stem-cell research.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Moriori (talkcontribs) 21:18, 4 November 2011‎ (UTC)

That doesn't work, because it characterises all individuals in each group as holding a position based on the same reasoning. LeadSongDog come howl! 05:52, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Now that you mention it, it doesn't particularly say anything of substance about the reasoning behind a pro-choice position, which can take various forms (I don't know if the same is true of opposition to abortion rights). Weird non-parallel there. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 06:38, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

first sentence[edit]

"Opposition to the legalization of abortion is a political movement — that's not English. Opposition cannot "be" a political movement. It can often take the form of, manifest itself in, or lead to. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:04, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Another point to consider is that the name of the "movement" must be self-identified. – Lionel (talk) 06:13, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Both are exactly right. NYyankees51 (talk) 23:35, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
See [9]. NYyankees51 (talk) 23:40, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Of course "movement" is itself something of a misnomer. Most advocates on these topics are firmly entrenched in one position and have no intention of being moved. LeadSongDog come howl! 17:46, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Catholic church pro-death penalty?[edit]

"Others argue that the death penalty can be a fair punishment for murder, justifiably inflicted by lawful authority, whereas abortion is an attack on an innocent.[citation needed] The increasing attention paid to this controversial position may result from the large Roman Catholic membership of the pro-life movement, striving to adhere to Catholic Church teachings on the death penalty.[57]"

The only way this paragraph makes sense is if the Catholic Church was in favor of the death penalty for murder. I don't think this is an accurate characterisation. "The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty in nearly all cases" [[10]] Puddytang (talk) 19:22, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, it's slightly more complicated than that. The RCC teaches that capital punishment isn't inconsistent with its teaching on human life and can be justified, but that the circumstances which would justify it rarely come about, and that (unlike with abortion) one can be a "good Catholic" and still support broader uses of the death penalty (war too). And then of course there is a diversity of views among the Catholic laity; we should never presume that "the hierarchy teaches" = "Catholics believe." –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 04:01, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Add bible quotes and prolife early christian documents in 3.1 Christianity?[edit]

I think we should add Isaiah 44:2 (KJV: Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.) and Luke 1:41 (KJV: And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:) under Christianity's objections to abortion from the view of prolifers.

The Didache calling abortion infanticide is a nice thing to note in the article also. JBGeorge77 (talk) 20:57, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

We have enormous amounts of information in several articles devoted specifically to Christianity and abortion, history of the same, etc.; we could expand the section, but we would need to be careful in doing so and make sure that we attribute all content to reliable sources (especially keeping in mind that secondary sources are necessary for interpretation of religious texts...the quotes you've provided don't tell us anything themselves) and give it due weight. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 23:13, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Legal aspects: Mugger stabbing pregnant woman in the belly. Legal murder charge?[edit]

Holding a mugger responsible for murder from stabbing a pregnant woman in the belly isn't possible with prochoice laws is impossible. I remember a long time ago watching this video where Newt brought up this scenario/question: Can you hold a mugger legally responsible for murder or manslaughter if they slab a pregnant woman in the belly and the baby dies. If yes then legally it was a human life. If not a pro-choicer wouldn't get to hold the murder responsible while stilling calling the baby part of the woman's body because the woman is still living.

If someone can find the years old video than I think this is a strong perspective to add under Legal and political aspects. Or maybe there is a newer thing to cite that shows that the U.S. should give pre-born babies the legal status of human with this logic. JBGeorge77 (talk) 21:38, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Hold your horses there - if you're suggesting that we add content because it "shows someone should do something," that's a good time to stop and re-examine your reasons for editing. Ditto the whole "gotcha" bit about not being able to prosecute someone who stabs a woman if a fetus isn't legally a person (because battery isn't a crime if the victim is a woman, right?) This whole section seems more WP:NOTFORUM than anything else. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 23:18, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand where you got that I made this section for pep rallying or something. I just wanted ask if we should put Newt's reason in the article. He was using this scenario to justify the pro-life stance/OPPOSITION. I was hoping someone could remember it better than me so we could add a citation for it. I watched the video on google videos though and it is more a year old so it might just be wishful thinking unless there is someone who is a avid about watching politics. JBGeorge77 (talk) 19:48, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Roscelese, he said "Holding a mugger responsible for murder from stabbing a pregnant woman in the belly isn't possible..." Yes, of course it's possible to prosecute for battery; but battery isn't murder, and that's the point. Shouldn't it be a more serious crime, i.e., murder, if a human life is taken? --Born2cycle (talk) 22:10, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Not that debating these issues is in any way germane to this talk page, but it's really not that challenging to write legislative language that makes it a first-degree or capital crime to terminate a woman's pregnancy without her consent. —chaos5023 (talk) 22:17, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
But we already have a first degree penalty for murder. We jail all known murderers for hundreds of years, anyone, no matter their creed, color, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation when they murder someone. If there is no baby, than there is no justification for capital punishment. It's not like they are stealing the U.S. President's yacht, or blocked the President from adopting little kids from Africa where it would be easy to go 'overboard' and it would be acceptable. Not calling abortion human murder is like if a lesbian is murdered but people look over it and defend the killing because she was unwanted and seen as a disease[d] because of what she was. Babies should have equal justice under law. JBGeorge77 (talk) 01:05, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Exactly what is this section about? Who is Newt? I think I can answer that myself if I suspect that an American editor has failed to realise that this is a global article and that his first paragraph is meaningless to most of the world. I also suspect that this whole section has nothing to do with the article. It's just American political point scoring. If it's not, it certainly needs some better explanation for us alien foreigners to see any point in it. It (whatever IT is) may be on your TV news, but it sure ain't on mine. HiLo48 (talk) 01:11, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Newt is Newt Gingrich, a conservative republican who is in the republican primary for the presidential race in the U.S. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JBGeorge77 (talkcontribs) 01:34, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I did guess that, but I shouldn't have to guess. Many non-Americans wouldn't have a clue. And still, what's this all about? Did Newt murder a foetus? What does this section have to do with the article? HiLo48 (talk) 02:43, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Americanisms? History of the use of the terms pro-choice and pro-life in the UK[edit]

This applies equally to both artices but I posted it first on the other one: Talk:Support_for_the_legalization_of_abortion#Americanisms.3F_History_of_the_use_of_the_terms_pro-choice_and_pro-life_in_the_UK Petecarney (talk) 09:36, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

the term "pro-life"[edit]

Of course this has been debated many times but I'd really like to see the term "pro-life" removed from the article. Either that or see antiabortionists start opposing the death penalty. Mfhiller (talk) 06:42, 7 May 2012 (UTC)mfhiller

What does one issue have to do with the other? If a person is opposed to abortion they can't be in favor of killing in self defense or imposing the death penalty on a person who is already serving a life sentence and commits murder? Tomsv 98 (talk) 22:11, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
The point was poorly made, but the intent was clear. Calling oneself "pro-life" while supporting the death penalty does have a rather obvious intrinsic contradiction. That contradiction can only be resolved by acknowledging that the term is a rather arbitrary POV push that really stands for "pro-a-very-specific-thing-which-I-choose-to-refer-to-as-life". But this is moot. We've just been through a lengthy community discussion on article titles, the results of which should be awaited and accepted. LeadSongDog come howl! 07:25, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Without disrespect to any of you three, none of the above matters. What matters is that some reliable sources have described that an apparent contradiction exists and have resolved it in one or another way, not that we believe in the contradiction or how we prefer to describe it. Accordingly, mention of the term "pro-life" is appropriate for the scope set by the current title of the article or any of the alternative titles. Also, there are new developments in that community discussion, to which I have replied at its talk. JJB 17:39, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Rename: Opposition to abortion[edit]

People that oppose abortion would punish women that have illegal abortions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Raoulis (talkcontribs) 22:57, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

The current title is the result of a long series of discussions. It is intended to parallel Support for the legalization of abortion; while abortion rights opponents also oppose abortions performed illegally, implementing a parallel title in the other article and calling it "Support for abortion" would wrongly suggest that supporters of abortion rights want people to have more abortions, instead of merely keeping this option legally available. The titles are less than ideal, but other title options were more objectionable on grounds such as NPOV. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 03:41, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

"Opposition to legal abortion"[edit]

User:Magog the Ogre has moved this article to the above (from Opposition to legalized abortion) with the edit commentary "even better name still". I can't find where this was discussed - although I'm sure it was discussed somewhere (just not obvious to me) as this has been such a long-running controversy. I think the new title sounds slightly odder than the previous one. For reasons I can't quite put my finger on, this new title somehow suggests "Opposition to legal abortion but not illegal abortion" in a way the old title didn't (to my ears at least). It's not a major issue - commonsense hopefully would tell readers that's not the case. But it still just sounds slightly strange. DeCausa (talk) 08:33, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Probably a good thing to review Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Abortion and Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Abortion article titles. Was there ever a followup discussion to nail down the final answer? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 22:06, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I've drafted one, though it doesn't necessarily pretend to finality, at User:Chaos5023/Abortion advocacy movement coverage; my understanding is that ArbCom is chewing over it to see if they like it. —chaos5023 (talk) 00:50, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
It seems like every time I look at the article it becomes even more ridiculous. What exactly was wrong with Pro-Life and Pro-Choice again? If I remember correctly the only people opposed to those titles were POV pushing activists anyways. PeRshGo (talk) 05:27, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Not really. It was mainly the "activists" (quite possibly US-based activists) that thought those titles were right. I think we're passed all that now. However, I've just been looking at 9/11 Truth Movement and 9/11 Conspiracy theories and see an analogy. Those two articles seem to work quite well with the former being a narrower article on the self-designated "movement" itself (organisation, adherents, activities etc) and the latter being the broader article on the issue generally. That could have been a template for this. But one of the problems with this controversy is that all this energy went into the title leaving a not-very-good article underlying it all. I suspect all a 2-article solution would do is create two very-poor articles out of 1 not-very-good article. DeCausa (talk) 14:44, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
We already have a general coverage article, Abortion debate. The outcome that my RFC draft points at is one where we have articles scoped (under some set of titles to be determined) to the US pro-choice and pro-life movements, which are about the movements, with the issues covered by Abortion debate and relatives. —chaos5023 (talk) 07:33, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
PeRshGo, Pro-choice and Pro-life are utterly useless as titles because they're frigging adjectives (WP:TITLE calls for titles to be nouns, for extremely solid reasons), so they automatically fail to unambiguously identify a topic. —chaos5023 (talk) 07:33, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

This is a poorer title, because it implies that what these people are opposed to is 'legal abortions' - but illegal abortions would be fine! In reality, of course, what these groups are opposed to is not primarily the legality of abortion but the act of abortion itself. (If abortions were made illegal, they wouldn't suddenly stop opposing them.) I don't know why we don't use the logical title Opposition to abortion for that reason. Robofish (talk) 01:35, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

What should the related category be called?[edit]

Contributors to this talk page may be interested to know that I have nominated the related category, currently titled Category:Pro-life movement, for discussion at CFD. Comments are welcome at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2012 August 1#Category:Pro-life movement. Robofish (talk) 21:29, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

RFC draft affecting this article open for collaboration[edit]

Hey. For those whom it may concern, I've been working on an RFC draft, User:Chaos5023/Abortion advocacy movement coverage, a followup to WP:RFC/AAT, which, if made an actual RFC, may affect the title of this article. It's open to collaboration, so please pitch in if you're interested. —chaos5023 (talk) 16:57, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Pro-life and right-to-life movements: distinct, same thing?[edit]

As part of working on User:Chaos5023/Abortion advocacy movement coverage, I would like some feedback from people who consider themselves reasonably expert on the history of anti-abortion political advocacy in the United States. Specifically, I have encountered assertions that the pro-life movement and right-to-life movement are meaningfully distinct entities, and also assertions that they're the same thing. Can anybody provide me with useful insight into the question of which is the case -- or even, if I may hope, references to support for either position in reliable sources? —chaos5023 (talk) 20:27, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Abortion advocacy movement coverage live[edit]

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Abortion advocacy movement coverage is now a live RFC, and would affect the title of this article if consensus is found in favor of its primary conclusion. It is now in its structure phase, where its arguments and options are refined before opinions are registered. Please participate! —chaos5023 (talk) 03:40, 1 October 2012 (UTC)

History section: Brent Bozell and the 1970 DC protest[edit]

Is it just because the event is not well known forty years later or are there reasons for not mentioning the event outside a hospital in Washington, D.C. led by L. Brent Bozell, Jr. as what is regarded to be the first pro-life protest in the United States? If there is no reason not to mention it, I will draft a section. --Sephiroth9611 (talk) 15:34, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Abortion advocacy movement coverage ready for community feedback[edit]

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Abortion advocacy movement coverage, an RFC that will affect the title of this article if consensus is found in favor of its conclusions, is now in its community feedback phase and ready for editors to register opinions and arguments. Please add your feedback; thanks! —chaos5023 (talk) 15:46, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

This RFC is scheduled to close quite soon. If you're going to register an opinion, please do so in the near future. :) —chaos5023 (talk) 17:37, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Opposition to legal abortion[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Opposition to legal abortion's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "Bazelon":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 22:47, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Refactored Anti-abortion movements[edit]

After the result of WP:RFC/AAMC scoping this article specifically to the US pro-life movement, I refactored some material that wasn't about the US to Anti-abortion movements. Editors who have been keeping an eye on this page will likely want to watchlist that one as well. —chaos5023 (talk) 06:32, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Additional section on pro-life activists' demographics?[edit]

I was wondering if the page might benefit from an additional section on characteristics/demographic data on activists in the pro-life movement? I have references to 4-5 different academic sources that list demographic details of pro-life activists (for instance % female/male, % with college education). Perhaps the demographic findings from these articles and books, which begin in the early 80s and conclude with quite recent surveys, could be summarized in a new section? Cfordahl88 (talk) 01:24, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. —chaos5023 (talk) 02:08, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, this would be useful and encyclopedic. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 03:47, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Great, here is a suggested draft I have composed

Attributes of Pro-Life Activists

"Significant scholarly attention has been given to establishing the demographic characteristics of activists in the pro-life movement. A 1981 survey of dues paying members of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) by sociologist Donald O. Granberg found that survey respondents held conservative views on sex, sex education, and contraception. Additionally, Granberg’s survey provided basic demographic characteristics of his sample: 98% of survey respondents were white, 63% were female, 58% had a college degree, and 70% were Catholic. Granberg concluded that conservative personal morality was the primary mechanism for explaining an individual’s involvement in the pro-life movement.[1]

A 2002 study by Carol J.C. Maxwell drawing on decades of survey and interview data of direct-action activists within the pro-life movement found that 99% of the sample was white, 60% was female, 51% had a college degree, and 29% were Catholic. Like Granberg’s 1981 study, Maxwell concluded that pro-life and pro-choice activists held two different worldviews which in turn are formed by two different moral centers.[2]

More recently, sociologist Ziad Munson studied the characteristics of both activists and non-activists who considered themselves pro-life. The pro-life activists of Munson’s sample were 93% white, 57% female, 66% Catholic, and 71% had a college degree. Of non-activists who considered themselves pro-life, Munson found that 83% were white, 52% were female, 45% were Catholic, and 76% had a college degree. In Munson’s analysis personal moralities and worldviews are formed as a consequence of participation in pro-life activism. Munson’s analysis differs from previous scholarly work in its assertion that beliefs result from activism rather than causing activism. For Munson, life course factors make an individual more or less likely to become an activist.[3]

Taken cumulatively, studies indicate that activists within the pro-life movement are predominantly white and the educated, with a majority of pro-life activism constituted by women. However, scholars continue to dispute the primary factors that cause individuals to become pro-life activists. While some have suggested that a particular moral stance or worldview leads to activism, others have suggested that activism leads individuals to develop particular moral positions and worldviews."


  1. ^ Template:Cite jstor2134620
  2. ^ Maxwell, Carol J.C. (2002). Pro-life activists in America. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 052166040 Check |isbn= value (help). 
  3. ^ Munson, Ziad (2008). The making of pro-life activists. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226551202. 

Thoughts? Thanks! Cfordahl88 (talk) 03:05, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Part of the material verges on "D'oh." "conservative" generally means supporting the status quo ante - and "pro-life" was, indeed, the status quo ante - thus we would be saying that people who support a "conservative position" tend to be (D'oh) "conservative." The onky part which is really usable is that most of the studies whow a clear majority to be female, and a clear majority are Roman Catholic, among pro-life "activists," and that both activists and non-activists are relatively well-educated and white. How much coverage in the aricle does this really warant? Collect (talk) 17:45, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

I understand the point you are trying to make. However, I think you would need to justify (and edit, for the sake of comprehension) the following statement: "...-and "pro-life" was, indeed, the status quo ante-". What does this statement mean? I read nothing in this article-which details the history of the pro-life movement in America-that indicates that "pro-life" positions were present in mainstream American life, culture, or politics prior to the middle of the 20th century (this is just to say that it would be a pretty simplistic to say that the pro-life movement in America is purely conservative, or that all members of the movement draw on a vague sense of "tradition" to justify their support). Additionally, I do find in the existing article references to the heterogeneous composition of pro-life activists (that there are, for instance, feminist pro-life activists, etc.). The question remains (for the pro-life movement and other social movements and political issues more generally): what motivates people to support a certain cause? Some studies on pro-life activists and supporters have found that support is motivated by either moral or political (often conservative) beliefs (this is the "D'oh" thesis, as you so drolly put it). Others find that participating in the pro-life movement actually stimulates the development of certain moral or political visions (these studies point to the fact that many pro-life activists were, at earlier points in their life, quite 'liberal'). My suggested contribution to the article offers demographic data of the pro-life movement. From this data, scholars have come to different conclusions--some might be tautological, but they avoid sweeping assumptions and generalizations (e.g., "pro-life"=conservative, etc., etc.) and contribute something to knowledge about the movement. It might be quite clear to you, as an informed Wikipedia user, that the pro-life movement is somehow linked to American conservatism, but I don't think we should assume this of all users who visit this page.

Cfordahl88 (talk) 19:58, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

In simple words - the status quo ante before Roe v. Wade was simple - abortions were substantially barred except in limited cases. Pardon me if I conflate that situation with the views of the "pro-life" folks. Further than that, you appear to be making original conjecture on what the demographic studies actually mean, which is what we are not supposed to do on Wikipedia. Collect (talk) 21:19, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

I am not "making original conjecture" on the studies, but summarizing the analysis made by the scholars themselves. Again, this is not my own opinion--the social scientists who conducted these studies collected data and then analyzed it (i.e., they saw the demographic trends and attempted to explain them). I apologize if in the above this seemed to be my own analysis, but I cannot stress enough that it is not. Your original point is that the pro-life movement is conservative and therefore conservatives are more likely to be pro-life. I believe this assertion runs contradictory to the scholarly literature on the pro-life position/movement as well as the language of the article as it exists now (for instance, a liberal argument on the pro-life position could be made). Your position is certainly understandable: because we know (from, for instance, the polls cited above)that most people who call themselves "pro-life" also call themselves "conservative", it is a simple misstep to then assume that "pro-life" is inherently conservative. I am simply arguing that when a scholar suggests that a conservative moral position is more likely to lead one to hold a pro-life position they are not offering a "D'oh" statement or being tautological--they are expanding the readers knowledge on the pro-life movement. It is great if one has an intimate knowledge of the history of reproductive technology in America and its place in the popular/political imagination. However, not every reader brings that knowledge along with them when they access this article. It may be that someone who does not pay attention to the issue, or someone who grew up in a different cultural context will access this article. If that is the case, they might find it helpful to know that many scholars who have studied the pro-life movement have found that its adherents hold conservative moral positions (again, this might sound obvious to you and many others readers I'm sure, but perhaps it is not to others). Cfordahl88 (talk) 22:27, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Cfordahl. This is the main article on the topic, and to a large degree we should be giving information from the ground up. A great deal of information in the article is "d'oh" to people who are already informed, but many readers are not. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 23:19, 16 December 2012 (UTC)


Various sources also refer to the US pro-life movement in reference to euthanasia. Should the lede reflect that? Pass a Method talk 12:56, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Article title is too US-centric[edit]

There are people in countries other than the US, e.g. Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, who are opposed to the legality of abortion (among other things), and who identify themselves by the self-descriptor "pro-life". These people are part of the same school of thought as the "US pro-life movement", consuming much of the same books or other media, etc. In our globalised world, few social or political movements are limited to one country, even while the same movement can be more significant in some countries than in others. It's probably fair to say this school of thought is more significant in the US than in any other Anglophone country, save maybe Ireland. Should this article be called "pro-life movement"? I sympathise with those who feel this descriptor is biased and misleading, although it is their chosen self-descriptor. But calling it "United States" presents it inaccurately, as something limited to one country rather than something which exists across several. SJK (talk) 09:45, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

It certainly is more of a significant movement in the USA, so much so that previous discussion about the issue resulted in this title. The problem was that the previous material was so outrageously US-centric that a change to the title was seen as a positive move. Perhaps the solution to your observed problem is to make it more obvious to the reader that other countries are covered at the Anti-abortion movements article. Binksternet (talk) 14:05, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Without evidence shown that the Irish pro-life movement is actually part of the same international political movement as the US pro-life movement, as opposed to an essentially separate movement that uses the same terminology, all that's needed to address this is to indicate that the Irish movement uses this terminology in its entry in Anti-abortion movements, or if that movement is independently notable, for it to have an article Pro-life movement in the Republic of Ireland or Irish pro-life movement or some such. You're thinking of the title of this article as if it were trying to identify all "pro-life" labeled political advocacy as being US-related; it isn't. It's identifying the scope of this precise article as being the US political movement that identifies using that terminology. Other movements, whatever they call themselves, are covered in other articles. —chaos5023 (talk) 17:10, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
The problem is, right now, Pro-life redirects to this page, which is suggesting that there is nothing outside the US which calls itself "pro-life", when opponents to the legality of abortion in other English-speaking countries commonly use that term to describe themselves. If we changed Pro-life to redirect to Anti-abortion movements, that might be better. In terms of whether the US pro-life movement is "essentially separate" from say the Irish one, well, the US pro-life movement is not a homogenous entity, but composed of several components; some of those components are more connected to other countries than others. In particular, if we look at the conservative Catholic component of the US pro-life movement, which is a substantial component (but not the whole of) the US pro-life movement, it has significant links to similar Catholic movements in other countries, and to the international Catholic authorities in the Vatican and elsewhere. The non-Catholic component, the international links may not exist to the same degree. So asking about whether the US and Irish "pro-life movement" are "essentially separate" or not might not be a question that has an answer. If you are complaining that the "pro-life" movement in the US and Ireland are not one movement but two, well, one could equally complain that the "pro-life" movement in the US is not one movement but several; maybe this article should be titled "United States pro-life movements"? SJK (talk) 22:19, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
If I remember correctly, this article once had a more global title, which was replaced with the US oriented one when it became obvious that the contents of the article were almost entirely about the USA. If you can turn the article into a global one, maybe it can retrieve a global name. Right now, it hasn't got a chance. HiLo48 (talk) 23:25, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
SJK: Redirecting Pro-life to Anti-abortion movements would be worse than redirecting it here, because that's a step in the direction of equating "pro-life" and "anti-abortion", which is a serious NPOV violation (not less so for the number of politically activist Wikipedia editors who desire it). If I could wish for a solution to the issue you raise that doesn't make other issues worse, it would be for Pro-life to be rewritten into a non-polemic scholarly article on the history of the branding term "pro-life", with appropriate crossreferences to articles covering the movements that use it, like this one.
HiLo48: Please don't rewrite this article out from under the scope defined for it by a rather painstaking and grindingly prolonged process. If other articles with other scopes are useful for covering related subject matter, just write those articles. —chaos5023 (talk) 00:20, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Of course the term "pro-life" is a non-neutral term, it is chosen by advocates of a particular ideology. And even that ideology is broader than just abortion, commonly also including opposition to euthanasia, and in some but not all cases opposition to the death penalty also (see consistent life ethic). For the record, I don't agree with their views. But pretending that this ideology is something which exists in only one country, as opposed to something which is a global phenomenon (even if it is more powerful in the US than in many other countries), ignores globalisation. There is no singular "pro-life" movement in the US, but several; and all of those movements are present to varying degrees in other countries than the US. Pro-life needs to redirect somewhere other than here. SJK (talk) 11:04, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

"life ethicists"[edit]

Is not a term found in the source given for Few pro-life activists are also consistent life ethicists. It is either just simply unsupported or simply WP:OR reading into a source that which is not explicitly in the source furnished. Collect (talk) 23:28, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Consistent life ethicRoscelese (talkcontribs) 02:35, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Removal of content[edit]

I don't get why this was done. The edit summary "Undue weight. Rmv per removal of all non-Christian refs" sheds little light. --NeilN talk to me 14:15, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

once refs to all non-Christian religions are removed from the article, as they have been, there's no purpose in a "religions" section. And it gives undue weight to one religion. Cloonmore (talk) 14:28, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
If you're trying to make a pointy edit about this, don't. There's discussion about different sects of Christianity in there. --NeilN talk to me 14:39, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
It would be better, once the issue has been joined on the Talk page, to discuss it here rather than to keep making reverts only explained by edit summaries. Outline form requires more than one subheading under a main heading, and "consistent life ethic" though associated with Cardinal Bernadine, isn't exclusively a religious opinion. I would suggest making "Christianity" (certainly the dominant religious tradition in the US) one subtopic under Religious views on abortion and then combining the others, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism, in a separate subtopic. None require great detail in an article that is about the pro-life movement in the US and not about opinions on abortion in general. Badmintonhist (talk) 14:53, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Agreed if sources can be found that focus on the U.S. branches of those other religions. --NeilN talk to me 15:01, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Are there really suchs thing as "U.S. branches" of Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism" that distinguish their views on abortion from those of Jews, Muslims, and Hindus in other countries? Binksternet, by the way, was not exactly accurate when he said that foreign sources were being relied on in the sections on Islam and Hinduism. Some of the sources were foreign and some were American. But, again, I would stress brevity . . . conciseness. The article is not about world religious views on abortion but about the US pro-life movement. Readers can find out about differing religious perspectives on abortion in other articles. I notice there is nothing about religious opinions on abortion in the United States pro-choice movement. Badmintonhist (talk) 15:25, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
I removed the stuff that isn't about Christianity because it's obvious that non-Christian religious beliefs are not any kind of significant motivator of the US anti-abortion movement. Anti-abortion Christians on the other hand very often cite their religious beliefs as a motivator. The sourcing to connect the general principles to the US specifically weren't there and should be added, but the subject at least is relevant. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 15:20, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
In general let's build this article's text on references that specifically discuss the U.S. situation. When this article's name was changed to be usonian, the text contained more global issues. I agree with the various recent removals but I suggest that the text can be rebuilt based on Amerocentric references. Binksternet (talk) 15:43, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
I am unclear if you are agreeing with this removal. --NeilN talk to me 15:49, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
I am specifically referring to any removal of sources discussing non-U.S. issues. That removal by Cloonmore was overly enthusiastic, pointy even, but it removed a source talking about Poland and the EU, and a Russian-language source. Taking these sources away is a good idea. Binksternet (talk) 17:41, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Frankly, the whole article as should be reorganized to better conform to its title. For example, we don't need a section on "The debate" unless we are talking about a debate within the pro-life movement since we are talking about folks who have already taken one side in the larger debate. I would also change the section titled "Religion and views on abortion" to something like "Participation by religious groups." There we could place the material currently in the "Roman Catholics" and "Evangelicals" subsections of the "History" section and briefly mention participation by American Jews, Muslims, and Hindus. Also a section or subsection on secular participants might be included. Badmintonhist (talk) 18:01, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

M. McKeegan??[edit]

In the third paragraph of the History section of the article I notice the sentence "Two pro-life U.S. Presidents–Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush–were elected, although according to M. McKeegan, the majority of Reagan voters were pro-choice." I'm wondering why we should be quoting an "M. McKeegan" here (I believe her first name is Michele, by the way). Some sort of polling expert I'd never heard of before? If she's merely a person contributing an article to a partisan periodical then I would like to think that she got her statistic here from some authoritative source. That source, and not "M. McKeegan", is the one we should be using for our article. Badmintonhist (talk) 05:07, 24 March 2014 (UTC) PS: Even if we find polling data that seemed to support this assertion we need to be careful. Both sides of the issue are notorious for distorting responses. Particularly common is the practice of counting folks who are somewhere between the extremes of wanting all induced abortions outlawed and wanting to permit all abortions right up to birth, as part of one side or the other. Frankly, I find the notion of a polling "majority" (not a mere "plurality") of Reagan voters being clearly "pro-choice" inherently suspicious. PSS: This is how Kirkus Reviews begins its review of M. Mckeegan's 1992 book Abortion Politics: Mutiny in the Ranks of the Right: "In an informative if partisan work, Planned Parenthood official McKeegan argues . . . " Of course, I wouldn't want bring this individual down to the level of partisan politics. Badmintonhist (talk) 16:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Template:article discretionary sanctions[edit]

That template, at the top of this page, says "The Arbitration Committee has [[{{{t}}}#Final decision|permitted]] Wikipedia administrators...". Ditto the template at the top of Talk:United States pro-choice movement. Would someone like to fill in the link to the case where ArbCom permitted the sanctions, or in some other way suppress the raw wikicode that is currently displayed? Thanks, -sche (talk) 05:36, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

"Violence against abortion providers" section[edit]

This section contains more info about right-to-lifist organizations squirrilly rushing to condemn anti-abortion violence than info about the violence itself! Also, the description of Mahoney's comments neglected to point out that his comment clearly attempts to excuse, or at least explain sympathetically, the motives of violent anti-abortion criminals in the 1990s. Flip Benham's comments are also sympathetic to violence-encouraging, inflammatory anti-abortion rhetoric, and dismiss all objections as efforts to "silence the Christian message". Finally, the section neglects to mention that there is a wing of the anti-abortion movement which openly endorses and encourages violence against abortion workers. I have attempted to correct these errors. Goblinshark17 (talk) 03:45, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

UPDATE: Someone has removed Flip Benham's comments, which are notable because he was head of Operation Rescue, a significant RTL group, and because he attempted to discount violence and blame the victims, in contrast with the intro to the paragraph, which emphasizes RTL groups' condemning the violence. Someone has also removed the opinions of those RTLs who openly support and lionize violence. I don't insist on including the latter because they are, almost by definition, fringe elements, but Benham's comments are definitely notable and required for balance and even WP:NPOV. I am, accordingly, restoring some of Benham's comments only. Goblinshark17 (talk) 06:19, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
It's a 20 year old quote by one person, not "some right-to-lifers," about incidents 2 decades ago, which was embellished by POV "blaming the victims" verbiage, and for all those reasons runs afoul of WP:UNDUE. Cloonmore (talk) 12:42, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

"Violence against pro-life people" section[edit]

Are Shulman and Miller-Young really notable enough to merit inclusion in this article? Shulman pled guilty to a single count of "transmitting a threat to injure another person". This may be notable since it was a felony, but if wikipedia were to try to list all the threats that have been transmitted against abortion workers, it would take up more computer memory than wikipedia has at its disposal! And Miller-Young did what, shove someone and damage his gory sign? That hardly seems worthy of inclusion in a wikipedia article. See also the "Undue weight threats vs death" section on the TALK page above, in which an editor explicitly stated that the article would only cover actual violence, not threats. Goblinshark17 (talk) 03:59, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

I think that whatever we cover, it should be in a sentence or two, tops. It might be relevant to include Pouillon and Shulman as the people are members of the "United States pro-life movement", but it's not really a significant theme. Certainly a section on "violence against pro-life people" as though it were actually a phenomenon is unreflective of the sources and undue. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 13:32, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
I've WP:BOLDly gone ahead and done that, although, having looked through the sources on Shulman while making my edit, I decided it was best to remove that incident as well. Its coverage in reliable sources was minimal.
Someone has replaced the paragraph about the murder of Pouillon, placing it in the HISTORY section, where it does not belong, as it has little or nothing to do with the overall history of the RTL movement in the USA as a whole. I have removed it. Goblinshark17 (talk) 07:18, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm the one who moved it. I think it might be proper to keep it, but I didn't know where else it could go, since "violence against pro-life people" isn't really a tenable section. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 12:51, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I see. It's kind of a tough call whether to keep it. Although he was engaged in RTL activism when he was killed, he was not killed for being a rtl, but for carrying an ugly sign which offended Drake (the murderer)'s mother. As the paragraph pointed out, Drake was not a pro-choice activist. So it's not clear that this was an abortion-related murder at all. I'm ok with putting the paragraph back somewhere, but the HISTORY section seems obviously the wrong place to me. Goblinshark17 (talk) 00:12, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure that the murder would need to be abortion-related, as its relevance would be the fact that the victim's main claim to fame was that he was a member of the movement that is the subject of the article. But I can see your point, and now that I actually articulate this to myself, I'm less sure of my own thought that it could possibly belong. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 00:49, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

"Overview" section, a paragraph about alleged mental health risks of abortion[edit]

The "Overview" section ended with an inappropriately placed paragraph about claims of an alleged link between abortion and subsequent mental-health problems. I have replaced this paragraph with a short new section on the RTL movement's use of pseudoscience and false medical claims such as the alleged abortion-breast cancer link. Goblinshark17 (talk) 07:56, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Overview section:[edit]

A proper "Overview" section is typically called a "Lede". This section should either be retitled, split up into other sections. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 10:23, 7 October 2014 (UTC)


I retitled the section "Abortion health risk claims". I think that explains the section better to new readers.

I do think the section should be expanded. Perhaps even turned into a spin off article. Unsupported claims about the mental and physical risks of abortion are pretty typical to pro-life groups in my experience. I've been to some and they would have pamphlets which contain nothing but false information. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 10:28, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

We had an anti-abortion group and a politician in my country recently publicly claim that abortion causes breast cancer. The politician's minders got to him and he recanted, but the other spreaders of bullshit keep it up as always. HiLo48 (talk) 11:16, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
REPLY: Let me guess, you're from Australia, right, mate? I read about the politician you mention. Goblinshark17 (talk) 11:48, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Yep. HiLo48 (talk) 08:27, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Harizotoh9, your idea for a spin-off article is interesting, but be advised that Wikipedia already has articles on the abortion breast cancer hypothesis and on abortion and mental health. Goblinshark17 (talk) 11:51, 7 October 2014 (UTC)


I have added a sentence to the "Controversies over Terminology" section on the use of the term "pro-abort" by RTLs to describe pro-choice organizations and individuals. Goblinshark17 (talk) 08:19, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Bold title and first sentence problems[edit]

The first sentence starts:

The United States pro-life movement (also known as the United States anti-abortion movement or the United States right-to-life movement) is

Problem is, it isn't actually known as any of those things. Really, if you Google any of the three bolded terms, you'll find that the one that shows up most is United States pro-life movement... and if you ignore the initial count that Google shows and try to go to actual pages of results, that term shows up just 81 times on the web... and if you look at the individual results, most of them are either copies of this page, links to this page, or situations where the terms simply collide (i.e., "In the United States, pro-life movement literature often features...") This is simply not a term that is in use. At the very least, this should be reformulated as:

The pro-life movement (also known as the anti-abortion movement or the right-to-life movement) in the United States is

(Note the lack of bolding. Per MOS:BOLDTITLE, we don't actually need to have the title of the article repeated in bold when it's a descriptive title rather than a naming title.) Beyond that, we should consider that we are now not defining a term and should not act as if we are, bringing the first sentence to:

The pro-life movement (also known as the anti-abortion movement or the right-to-life movement) in the United States contains elements opposing elective abortion on both moral and sectarian grounds elective abortion and supports its legal prohibition or restriction.

Thoughts? --Nat Gertler (talk) 13:57, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

My thought: could we just not? This state of affairs is the nearly-miraculous outcome of an unbelievably contentious process that took literally years to resolve, and the giant can of worms labeled "LET'S SPEAK ABOUT UNITED STATES ABORTION POLITICS AS IF THEY WERE UNIVERSAL" can just sit on the shelf forever as far as I'm concerned. —chaos5023 (talk) 17:35, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
So is the only objection here that other people might object and cause discussion? Because I've yet to hear any of those objections, and it would seem inappropriate to keep this article untouched, particularly with factual errors right up front, just to avoid discussion. --Nat Gertler (talk) 02:37, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
Right. Lovely use of tactical smarm. Fine: I strongly oppose any changes which result in defining or discussing the subject of this article as if it it were a unified global political movement or which tends to universally apply its self-labeling to all related political activism, on the basis of WP:GLOBAL and WP:NPOV. —chaos5023 (talk) 16:52, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't see where my suggestion does any of that. It is specifically addressing a movement in the United States. It just isn't inserting make-believe terms and pretending as though they're in use. --Nat Gertler (talk) 17:54, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
Agree with your proposal for the reasons you stated, and propose further a permanent ban on use of the term "tactical smarm." Cloonmore (talk) 17:54, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

RTLs are subject to violence and criminal intimidation, but only occasionally[edit]

I am inserting the word "occasionally" into the sentence which says that RTLs are targets of criminal intimidation and political violence. This reflects the well-known, undisputed fact that violence and intimidation and crime against RTLs is very much less common than anti-abortion violence in the USA. Please do not remove the word "occasionally" again without explaining why here on the TALK page.

It is, BTW, not at all clear that Pouillon's murder was "political" violence. Drake (the murderer) was mentally ill, was not a pro-choice activist, and stated that he killed Pouillon, not because Pouillon was a RTL, but because Pouillon's gory sign offended Drake's mother.

Also, the reference given for Pouillon's murder does not mention Pouillon at all! Goblinshark17 (talk) 02:44, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

The problem with Pouillon's murder is that the police (and our sources) all say that he was killed for his political beliefs.
Folks like this Theodore Shulman terrorist are rare in a country of 313 million, but so are folks like John Burt.
If we were going to say "occasionally", it'd be worth saying that for both instances, but lets just leave all the paragraphs without that. Juno (talk) 03:46, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
That's not what the police or sources say at all. We must follow what the sources say and not read our own personal beliefs into them. (didn't like the graphic imagery != supported abortion) Please don't try to pretend there's some sort of equivalence between this isolated incident by a non-pro-choicer and the widely documented campaign of violence against abortion providers that included a number of murders with an explicitly stated anti-abortion purpose. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 03:53, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not going to pretend that I know all that much about the Pouillon case but the CNN article says "Authorities say the suspect, Harlan James Drake, was offended by anti-abortion material that the activist had displayed across from the school all week."
You also have guys like Shulman out there, and plenty of other instances of violence and attempts at violence. Juno (talk) 04:11, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
Let's not libel Shulman here. First of all, he was never accused of DOING anything violent, only of making threats. Secondly, as the Mother Jones reference points out, Shulman never threatened to do anything violent HIMSELF; he merely stated that SOMEONE likely would. Therefore, his so-called "threats" should more properly have been called WARNINGS and PREDICTIONS. Finally, no one in law-enforcement ever accused Shulman of being a terrorist.
FYI, Juno, regarding Pouillon/Drake, I quote from
"[Drake] says his mother was upset by Jim Pouillon's pro-life signs and said he was protesting at Owosso High School that day. [...] Harlan Drake says, "Kind of under my breath I said 'I'll take care of that tomorrow.'" [...] Drake describes the thoughts going through his mind prior to shooting Pouillon. "I did not believe that he should be showing the sign to children, especially at a high school where young girls of impressionable age would see that and either be disgusted or scared." [...] Drake says, his nieces saw the signs and had nightmares."
This pretty clearly indicates that it was the gory nature of the signs, not their political content, which motivated Drake.
All this is beside the main point, which is, that cases like Pouillon and Shulman are rare and violence against RTLs, when it occurs, is almost invariably minor (like Professor Miller-Young who scratched a RTL protester and took away his sign), while violence and threats of violence against abortion workers are common and often severe. Goblinshark17 (talk) 06:13, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
No basis for the modifier "occasionally." Smells like OR, and obviously POV. Cloonmore (talk) 18:02, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
WRONG! It's not OR because one of the cited sources (the Mother Jones article currently reference 107 in the article) quotes an expert on the subject who points out that anti-RTL violence is much less common than anti-abortion violence, and it's not POV but well-established fact. I am putting "occasionally" back into the text. Please do not remove it again; that would be WP:EDIT-WARring. Goblinshark17 (talk) 00:00, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Doesn't seem to be more occasional than violence in the other direction. They're probably both worth describing in more general terms. Juno (talk) 00:21, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
You're kidding, right? The expert in the MoJo article cites "hundreds of thousands" of anti-abortion threats and acts of violence. As we know, these include eight murders. Plus a well-organized fringe support group which lionizes and raises money for anti-abortion terrorists. You need to read Wrath of Angels by James Rizen. Anti-abortion violence and threats in USA cannot be called "occasional" by any stretch of the imagination. Well, just go research what the FBI and ATF have to say on the subject. And on the other side, what? You're hard pressed to find even THREE significant cases of anti-RTL violence or threats--you've got Pouillon, who was killed for non-political reasons by a mentally-ill man, and you've got Shulman, who didn't do anything violent, and you've got Professor Miller-Young, who scratched a RTL and damaged his sign. No arsons, no kidnapping, no underground support group raising money for anti-RTL terrorists.
If the word "occasionally" is removed one more time, I will complain of WP:EDIT-WARRING against me. Be warned, you can be sanctioned and blocked for this. Goblinshark17 (talk) 00:35, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Quite. There is no equivalence between the two sides in terms of violence: by far the greater violence comes from pro-life people who think that abortion is murder and therefore violence against abortion is justified. No such justification exists for pro-choice people, and this greatly reduces the quantity and severity of their retaliation. Binksternet (talk) 01:29, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Would you not also agree that 5 murders in a country of 300 million spread over the course of 40 years would also qualify as "occasional"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Juno (talkcontribs)
First of all, there have been EIGHT anti-abortion murders in USA, not five. Secondly, no I would not classify that as "occasional" because it is part of a continuing pattern of hundreds of thousands (see mojo article) of acts of lower-level violence (including arsons and bombings and chemical attacks) and threats, with well-organized fringe groups (see Army of God etc) justifying, lionizing, and raising money for anti-abortion terrorists. The anti-abortion murders are the proverbial tip of a very deep iceberg, and anti-abortion violence in USA is common, not occasional.Goblinshark17 (talk) 02:21, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Correct. The number of deaths is the tip of the iceberg. Binksternet (talk) 02:34, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Please get serious. Your so-called "expert" in the MoJo article is the head of a pro-choice advocacy group. "Occasionally" is wholly of your making. Read WP:OR. Thanks. Cloonmore (talk) 03:01, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Excuse me. Jodi Magee is head not of just any pro-choice advocacy group, but of Physicians for Reproductive Health (formerly Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health). This is the second most important group whose members include the physicians who actually do abortions in the USA (the most important is the National Abortion Federation), in other words, the principal VICTIMS of anti-abortion violence and threats. If her position as head of this organization doesn't qualify her as an expert on anti-abortion violence and threats, it's hard to imagine what WOULD so qualify her. She's probably heard and seen more first-hand accounts of anti-abortion violence and threats than anyone except the domestic-terrorism specialists who work for the FBI. Goblinshark17 (talk) 03:18, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure that that person is the head of a very important pro-choice group, but as the head of the pro-choice group their opinions can't be taken as neutral. Juno (talk) 04:11, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Doesn't have to be neutral, just has to be a reliable expert. If the CEO of PRH says she knows of hundreds of thousands of instances of anti-abortion violence and threats, I believe her, and you should too. Goblinshark17 (talk) 04:21, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
But it does have to be neutral. It sounds like you hold this woman in very high esteem and I'm sure she is great but owning to her employment we can't just take her word for it. Juno (talk) 02:07, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

"Many" vs. "Most" on the condemnations[edit]

I have not actually read a huge number of condemnations of violence by pro-choice organizations, yet at the same time, I have little reason to doubt that they exist. I feel like we have references sufficient to say that "Many" pro-choice organizations condemn violence, but I'm OK with qualifying that condemnation as "most", just like we do with the pro-lifers. Juno (talk) 00:21, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

That they condemn violence by pro-lifers, or that they condemn violence by pro-choicers? Since we don't and shouldn't be talking about any violence by pro-choicers, since it's not a phenomenon, I'm not sure there's a reason to talk about condemnation from pro-choice organizations. That pro-choice groups condemn anti-abortion violence should be obvious, but also easy to source if you want to include it. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 01:45, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
But there is, and several pro-choice organizations have explicitly condemned pro-choice violence. Is it fair to say that "most" do? Juno (talk) 01:59, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
How about just "Pro-choice groups condemn the violence"? That's easy to document; I've already done so. Goblinshark17 (talk) 01:54, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm game for that, but then the same would also be said of all the pro-life organizations. I'm fine lumping them together. Might be one of those rare moments of pro-choice/pro-life unity. Juno (talk) 02:01, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
How would you guys feel if I combine the pro-choice and pro-life condemnations and topped them off with the President Obama quote? Juno (talk) 04:13, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

How about just deleting the whole paragraph on "pro-choice violence"?[edit]

The more I look at the article, the more I feel that the whole paragraph about pro-choice violence should be deleted. For two reasons:

1. Violence against RTLs in USA is simply too rare, and too low-level when it does occur, to be notable. There seems to be exactly ONE major incident, the murder of Pouillon, which as I showed above was committed by a mentally ill man who said he did it for reasons which were not political. Other than that, there's only minor incidents--empty threats, shovings, maybe an occasional slashing of tires, nothing NOTABLE. AND,

2. The paragraph is off-topic for this article. This is not an article about the United States Pro-Choice movement nor about the tactics pro-choicers use or don't use. It is an article about the United States Right-to-Life movement and the tactics ITS supporters use. Pro-choice violence or non-violence is simply irrelevent to the topic.

I propose deleting the whole paragraph and leaving it deleted. Goblinshark17 (talk) 03:18, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

1. Its enough that its been covered by our Reliable Sources, so its Notable enough for inclusion.
2. But said violence has been perpetrated against pro-lifers, which as you point out, are the subject of this article. Maybe spin it off into a new article and just leave a single sentence/tophat at the top of the section? Juno (talk) 04:16, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
No way is pro-choice violence notable enough to merit its own Wikipedia article! There isn't enough of it, and what there is is too minor. Pouillon already has his own Wikipedia article and that's all that's necessary. Goblinshark17 (talk) 04:27, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Oppose. The topic is relevant to the article and sourced. And the deleted sentences should be restored. Would violence against civil rights protesters likewise be off-topic in an article about the civil rights movement? (The answer is no.) Cloonmore (talk) 23:38, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Supporters of anti-abortion violence[edit]

It is noteworthy that there is a fringe element of the rtl movement in usa which advocates and supports anti-abortion violence. I have inserted a sentence, with links to wikipedia articles about such supporters of violence, including the Army of God. Please do not remove this sentence without saying why you remove it on the TALK page! Goblinshark17 (talk) 04:36, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Juno, I see you reverted this edit, saying "Notable is a stretch". But all the people I mentioned, and the organization Army of God, are notable enough to have their very own wikipedia articles! The fringe element of the RTL movement in USA which supports violence is certainly notable as several actual murderers and clinic bombers have claimed membership in the AOG, including Paul Hill, Shelley Shannon, and Scott Roeder.
Don't be surprised if the edit gets de-reverted.... Goblinshark17 (talk) 05:19, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Cloonmore, you have reverted my edit, removing the notable supporters of anti-abortion terrorism, but you have not explained why you did this on the TALK page. Do you really think the existence of a well-organized pro-terror fringe of the right-to-life movement is non-notable? Also, my edit was not Original Research, because the names of all the notable supporters of terrorism were linked to their very own Wikipedia pages. Therefore, I shall be UNDOing your revert soon, and just for the heck of it, adding an additional reference. Goblinshark17 (talk) 00:55, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Please recall what the article is about. It is not a compendium of the names of perps of violent acts. Whether they're notable is not the point; even if they are notable, they're notable for one thing only: having killed abortion doctors. Listing names adds nothing to the readers' understanding of the article's subject. Cloonmore (talk) 02:45, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, I agree with you that there's no need to list the names of the murderers of abortion docs. However, the article is about the RTL movement in USA, and the readers should certainly be informed that this movement includes a fringe element which provides ideological support for, and raises money for, and attempts to justify, anti-abortion murder and terror. I will be inserting a one-sentence edit describing the fringe element, as soon as I can do so without violating the 1RR per 24 hrs rule. Goblinshark17 (talk) 03:29, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Goblinshark17, you seem to have trouble with the notion of consensus. Would it be too much for you wait for a thorough discussion of this point? Your comment about 1RR sounds like you are intent on gaming the system. If you want to get more participants you can open a WP:Request for comment. EdJohnston (talk) 03:44, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Excuse me, I've been blocked once for reverting twice within a 24 hr period (by mistake, actually) so I'm trying to be extra careful not to offend again. Please note that my removal of my edit has been reverted (i. e. the sentence about the pro-violence rtl fringe element has been restored), but not by me, as the history shows, I didn't do it, nor did I canvass for it (just recently learned canvassing is a no-no). As far as consensus goes, I would call your attention to USER:Cloonmore, who repeatedly undoes other editor's edits with flimsy justification, and often does not discuss his reversions on the TALK page at all. Goblinshark17 (talk) 06:15, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Juno, you have again reverted Binksternet's re-insertion of the sentence about the RTL pro-violence fringe, saying "'Significant' is a bit much". In that case, you should simply remove the word "significant", not the whole edit. (Don't worry about it--I'll fix this error for you.) Anyway, you're wrong--the pro-violence RTL fringe is certainly significant, as several of its members have their own Wikipedia entries specifically for being parts of the fringe and for no other reasons (Michael Bray, Don Spitz, David Leach, Army of God) and several actual rtl terrorists (shelley shannon, paul hill, John Burt, scott roeder) were associated with the fringe before they went on to commit their crimes. As per EdJohnston's note, I will wait for more input before undoing your edit, but the article should certainly have at least one reference to the book WRATH OF ANGELS, the definitive text about the wave of anti-abortion violence in the 1990s, and which was included in my edit. Goblinshark17 (talk) 06:37, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Supporters of anti-abortion violence: a fringe element in the US RTL movement: should there be a sentence about them?[edit]

Consensus for conclusion with thanks to contributors concerned with liability issues. WMF Legal will intervene on that front if necessary. God bless, Go Phightins! 23:52, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

OK, this is my first attempt at initiating a REQUEST FOR COMMENT, so I hope I'm doing it right.

Should the "Violence" section of this article (US Pro-life movement) contain a single sentence describing the fringe element of the US pro-life movement which supports violence against abortion workers, lionizes (and raises money for) those who commit anti-abortion violence, and defends the murders of abortion workers as "justifiable homicides"? Goblinshark17 (talk) 07:21, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

  • NOTE: I have temporarily replaced the proposed sentence in the "Violence" section, so respondents to this REQUEST FOR COMMENT can see what such a sentence would look like in the article. If the consensus goes against the insertion of such a sentence, I will remove it. Goblinshark17 (talk) 19:27, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

GS, you need to read more about how these things work before you take unilateral action. You shouldn't act on an RfC that you just filed. Wait for consensus to emerge.

I thought it would be easier for respondents to respond, and evaluate the proposal, if they could actually see the proposed sentence. (See BobMeowCat's comment below.) The proposed sentence is currently located as the second sentence of the second paragraph of the "Violence" section, and it reads: "There is, however, a small extremist fringe element of the right-to-life movement in the USA, which supports, raises money for, and attempts to justify, anti-abortion violence, including murders of abortion workers, which the fringe element calls "justifiable homicides". [108][109][110] See also Army of God (United States)." Goblinshark17 (talk) 03:23, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Seem like you were trying to help folks understand what you meant with the RfC - in essence, a picture speaks a thousand...YADA... Fair enough but still, I think the comment is valid because you can see the reasoning that says if you go ahead and perform the edits you've just requested comments for, then just close the RfC. Maybe next time, just include the suggested language within the RfC - I would think this is doubly advantageous because folks will see it immediately without having to go to the actual article PLUS the article remains potentially unmarred until you have decided what you want to do.Aleding (talk) 21:03, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

RfC Discussion[edit]

  • Support I argue that the pro-violence fringe of the US RTL movement is certainly significant and noteworthy, witness the fact that several of its members, such as Michael Bray, Donald Spitz, David Trosch, David Leach, and Army of God (United States) all have their own Wikipedia articles, and are considered sufficiently notable for these articles to remain unchallenged, simply because they are members of the pro-violence fringe, and for no other reasons. Also, a significant number of actual right-to-life terrorists, such as Paul Hill, Shelley Shannon, Clayton Waagner, and Scott Roeder were associated with the fringe before they committed their crimes. Without some mention of the pro-violence fringe, any article about the RTL movement in USA, and any section about violence within that movement, would be incomplete. Goblinshark17 (talk) 07:21, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. The fringe element of extremists has attracted the attention of the FBI and the SPLC. They have been written about in books such as Armed for Life, Sniper: The True Story of Anti-Abortion Killer James Kopp, Wrath of Angels and the Encyclopedia of Terrorism, the section about anti-abortion clinic attacks. This fringe element is significant. Binksternet (talk) 14:02, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure anything is gained by simply listing more names (Bray, Spitz, whatever). Goblinshark17|Goblinshark, is there an addition you can propose that discusses this fringe in a way that builds on elements already present? (eg. you mention people who committed murders/attempted murders being part of this beforehand) –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 16:41, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, Roscelese, USER:Cloonmore objected to, and deleted, the list of anti-abortion murderers, and I'm inclined to agree with him/her--it seems like unnecessary padding to put it back. If the reader needs a list of anti-abortion terrorists, the article on Anti-abortion violence provides it. What I'm proposing is a single sentence acknowledging the EXISTENCE of the pro-violence fringe, without naming its members, but with a reference to Wrath of Angels by James Risen and Judy L. Thomas (and other references as well, more recent), and an "also see" pointer to the wikipedia article on the Army of God (United States). Goblinshark17 (talk) 18:11, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment This RfC seems vague to the point that it doesn't seem particularly useful. Whether or not it should contain "a single sentence" clearly depends on the sentence. To attempt to give some input. NPOV and WP:DUE should be considered regarding any such addition.--BoboMeowCat (talk) 02:20, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Reply I have inserted the proposed sentence into the article so you can see how it reads there in the "Violence" section. I have also copied it onto this TALK page just above the beginning of the "RfC Discussion." Naturally, if the consensus goes against it, it can be removed or changed. Goblinshark17 (talk) 03:12, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Support * This fringe is decidedly worth a sentence but for reasons of liability, and truthfulness, we have to be very careful about how we paint people as being affiliated with violent criminals. I think that we are best served to not name every perpetrator. Some of their affiliated includes "identifying with". The "main" article listed above the section goes into much greater specifics, if anyone is interested.
We also have to be careful with the "big T-word". Now I personally believe that these folks are terrorists and we probably have the citations to back that charge up but if we start describing them as such people from the other side will, not unreasonably, want the perpetrators of pro-choice violence to also be labeled as terrorists. Juno (talk) 02:28, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Reply/reassure The sentence as I have inserted it so you can see what it might look like, does not contain the "big T-word", nor does it name names. Goblinshark17 (talk) 03:12, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Brief, the WP:FRINGE Anti-abortion violence should be included in some form in this article. The question is, how much weight should be given to it? That's where the real debate lies. Anything more than a paragraph or two would be like giving the conspiracy theories around the 11 September attacks, more than a brief mention.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 04:56, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - the pro-violence fringe in the US has attracted significant coverage, and as such it needs to be included. How much and where, should be discussed by interested and knowledgeable editors, but I would say that a single sentence may be too little. - Cwobeel (talk) 20:57, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Unclear: I say this only because I'm not 100% sure if you're asking for a single sentence vs. more content on the specific topic or vs. no sentence at all. To be sure, the sentence needs to be included and I think the fact that there is a separate article dealing specifically with Anti-abortion violence obviates the need to have anything further in this article. To me, it is fine exactly as it is right now. Hope this helps.Aleding (talk) 21:09, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, I oppose the sentence that was proposed. I would support a different sentence that just linked to the Anti-abortion violence page. --Obsidi (talk) 03:13, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - That's fine to include anyone who promotes violence under the "Violence" heading. STSC (talk) 18:13, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Violence against RTLs mentioned in the VIOLENCE section[edit]

Violence against RTLs in USA is so rare and so minor when it does occur that it surely merits no more than ONE SENTENCE in this article. Also, the Wikipedia article about Theodore Shulman was nominated for deletion and the decision was DELETE. Since Shulman is not notable enough to merit his own wikipedia article, he's not notable enough to be mentioned in this article, which is about RTLs, not about pro-choicers. Goblinshark17 (talk) 09:50, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

If it covers violence perpetrated by, why wouldn't it cover violence perpetrated against?
There is only once sentence, the other was about pro-choice denunciations of violence/a relevant quote from President Obama.
Shulman is notable enough for a wikipedia article, I figure that he is well covered enough, interesting, and relevant for inclusion in this article, but I could be persuaded against that. Juno (talk) 10:30, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Also, why remove the SEE ALSO Army of God mention? The Army of God is the main RTL pro-violence organization, with internet publications justifying anti-abortion violence, and a significant fraction of its membership in prison for RTL violence. Goblinshark17 (talk) 10:38, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
BTW, Juno, I have re-nominated Shulman's Wikipedia article for deletion again. Goblinshark17 (talk) 10:38, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not necessarily opposed to mentioning the AOG here, but the way it was presented in the article violated the MOS. Juno (talk) 11:22, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
In what way did it violate MOS? Anyway, please replace the SEE ALSO: Army of God in some way which, in your view, does not violate MOS. Thanks! Goblinshark17 (talk) 01:10, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree that to meet the requirements of WP:WEIGHT we should have only the briefest mention of violence against pro-life activists. It's a tiny proportion. Binksternet (talk) 05:57, 24 October 2014 (UTC)