Talk:The Silent Scream

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Could someone take the liberty of catergorizing this article? Obviously, some choices would be abortion, etc.

Counter Strike Clan[edit]

It turns out that someone by the name of Iced Liquid is advertising his counter strike clan here. If you all see it again, please edit it out. Thanks.


Since the page has been nominated to be checked for neutrality, I thought it would be useful to start a discussion here before changing or reverting the article in a manner that might start an editing war. Regardless, the article's last paragraph clearly needs to be cleaned up extensively if not removed altogether:

However, Planned parenthood's credibility in these "scientific" statements should be questioned. Planned parenthood loses money when people don't make the choice they want. It has been known to slant the truth by denying women the right to see an ultrasound, run clinics under unhealthful, unsanitary conditions, and not advise women of abortion alternatives lest they lose business from women who might otherwise chose to keep their babies. There was a lot more detail on these before that content was removed from this article, probably by someone allergic to any truth that costs them money. Scientists who don't work for planned parenthood will tell a different story. There are lots more like it at

This portion of the article obviously violates NPOV standards, and contains an irrelevant personal attack against editors who removed similar content in previous edits -- not to mention the endorsement of a website (and, presumably, its ideology) within the body of an article. I'd very much like to remove this portion of the article, as it is far below Wikipedia's quality standards, but I wanted to open up a discussion first in order to prevent the same kind of "angry edits" seen here from cropping up again. SporkIt (talk) 16:25, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

After an IP added more stuff to promote's's attack on Planned Parenthood[1] I took the liberty of removing those additions, along with the self-referential stuff -- any arguments about the article's content ought to take place on the talk page, with the NPOV tag directing any who want to join the discussion.

However, I'm unsure we ought to be using Planned Parenthood as a direct source for discussing the film. The URL currently directs people to a page which asks for donations, rather than any actual critique. --Tom Tresser (talk) 15:17, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Since I wrote that last part, the proper page has been restored. --Tom Tresser (talk) 15:20, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

The introduction is not well written, specifically : "the fetus is described as appearing to make outcries of pain and discomfort. The video has been a popular tool used by the pro-life campaign in arguing against abortion, although it has been criticized as misleading by members of the medical community". What is an "outcry"? I presume that was what meant was that the fetus made cries of pain and discomfort. However that too is wrong - the fetus was not "described" as doing this, it did it! Then it wasn't just cries of pain/discomfort, but physical movement to avoid the instrument. That should be mentioned. Finally to say that the medical community criticised it is misleading. There are members of the medical community on both sides. Why say "pro-life campaign" on one side, and "medical community" on the other? it would be more appropiate to refer to "pro-life camppaign" and "pro-choice campaign". — Preceding unsigned comment added by JohnC (talkcontribs)

You may be right that "is described as" is unnecessary, but your suggestion takes it too far in the other direction. We could say "the fetus appears to make cries..." As for the medical community criticizing it - the current phrasing neither says nor implies that all medical professionals criticized it. It would be factually wrong and contrary to the sources (eg. TIME) to portray these individuals merely as representatives of the pro-choice movement. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 05:12, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
"is described as" is necessary to distinguish between the subjective narratives of advocates and what actually happened as a matter of objective fact. The article is not going to present narratives as facts. That would be advocacy and a serious NPOV violation. Sean.hoyland - talk 06:03, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
My impression was that "is described as" was in reference to the voiceover narration. Unless there is disagreement that the film appears to show a fetus doing such and such a thing (even if the fetus is not actually doing these things)? –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 06:29, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I assume that is what the careful phrasing is doing. There needs to be some kind of clear attribution to the source of the narrative because it's nothing more than the narrator's subjective interpretation of what they observed. Given that others have said the interpretation is incorrect and inconsistent with current scientific knowledge I don't think using "appears" without any attribution to the source of the narrative is an option. Sean.hoyland - talk 07:34, 30 September 2011 (UTC)


This article presented only planned parenthood's opinion that the movie was bogus. It was not neutral so long as it did not present the Pro-life, and the scientific position as well. There were no references to check on Planned parenthood's opinion and confirm it as a scientific one. Most Wikipedia articles have references so you can go to the original sources and check the facts for yourself. The only references for this movie that are given is a single book written from planned parenthood's perspective. In so doing, this article was about as neutral as a classroom history text on the civil war written by a Southern plantation slave owner. Pro life opinions were added to present the other side of the debate and then were removed by someone else. Priests for life presents the other side of the story, but priests for life has been subsequently described as "attacking Planned parenthood." Planned parenthood is never described as "attacking pro-life." It's almost as if someone has arbitrarily decided to censor anything negative said about planned parenthood-as if they are beyond reproach and every word they say is gospel. If references are given to prove that the claims being made about planned parenthood's business practices are true, or if references are added confirming the scientific validity of the movie under discussion, they are taken out as "lacking neutrality." This is sloppy scholarship, and it is not an honest report of the facts. It is an an attempt to control how people think about an issue by slanting the issue so that only one side of the argument is ever heard. This article will only be truly neutral when the truth is allowed to be told along with the counterarguments that other side of the debate wishes us to be aware of. To only tell the truth planned parenthood wants us to hear, and not the scientists, medical doctors, or the film makers, is to slant it with a very dishonest kind of bias commonly known in the communist world as propaganda. --Dave M.D.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12:01, 1 January 2008

Instead of complaining here about infallible communist slavers, you could follow the usual Wikipedia processes for very controversial subjects. The second thing to read is probably Wikipedia:Dispute resolution. There is a whole grueling tedious process to deal with this. The first thing to read is Wikipedia:Verifiability. If you were the editor who contributed the bit above that was removed, I'd note as a newcomer that it contained several opinions and no citations from reliable published sources as per the WP:V rules. Tempshill (talk) 04:51, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

The "overview" is one of the most biased I have ever read in Wikipedia. It is obviously written by a supporter of abortion. It must be altered.

The Silent Scream versus Silent Scream[edit]

Currently the article Silent Scream is about a straight-to-DVD horror movie. I think the anti-abortion movie The Silent Scream is the notable work that should be in its place. Tempshill (talk) 04:51, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I moved the 2005 film to Silent Scream (2005 film) and moved the Silent Scream disambiguation page to Silent Scream. The issue is no more. Tempshill (talk) 05:03, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Link Issue?[edit]

At the end of this stub of an article is the brief mention that Planned Parenthood issued a rebuttal to "The Silent Scream. Now, while my own personal opinion is that both the points made by the video and the counterpoints made by Planned Parenthood should be present in the article itself, I do not believe myself to be familiar enough with the subject to qualify to add either. This, however, I do not feel is as much of an issue as the fact that the external link doesn't actually go to any form of rebuttal from Planned Parenthood, but instead to an article from Washington Monthly, dated 1989 (found at ), which only gives the rebuttal a passing mention, instead focusing on the topic of abortion in a more general sense and the arguments therein, with what seems to be a Pro-Life position. Were this described as a position regarding the abortion debate as a whole, I could understand its presence in a relevant article, but given what the link's implications are and its presence in THIS article? All things considered, this reeks to me of intellectual dishonesty. At the very least, a link implied to be a rebuttal to a position should speak from the same position. What's more, looking over the Planned Parenthood website, we find a PDF for their brochure "The Facts Speak Louder than 'The Silent Scream'", the link for which is and a similar article is found at . As these better reflect what is implied by the statement "In 1985, Planned Parenthood, the leading abortion provider in the United States, published a rebuttal to some of the film's claims" than the current link I shall be replacing the "Beyond the legal right; why liberals and feminists don't like to talk about the morality of abortion" link with it. (talk) 22:25, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

If you think the third-party source is "Pro-Life", as you put it, then you haven't read it. Fiddler on the green (talk) 22:12, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Editing and Neutrality[edit]

I have seen an edit war take place on this page between pro-lifers and pro-abortionist. The pro-abortion side, tries to insinuate that Planned Parenthood is a neutral body or Scientific body to give more weight to the rebuttal that Planned Parenthood made in reply to the movie The Silent Scream. I have seen it posted that Planned Parenthood is the Nation's largest provider of abortions in the United States and then I have seen Pro-Abortion members remove that on the claims that it is not neutral information. I have seen it pointed out that Planned Parenthood is not a neutral party in this debate...they aren't. But I have seen pro-abortion members remove that information on the grounds that it violates the neutrality rule. I have seen it posted that Planned Parenthood has a large financial interest in keeping abortion legal and as available as possible. They do, but again I have seen pro-abortion members remove that info based on it violating neutrality rules.

I think we need a discussion on what is and what is not neutral. If a party has a large financial interest in the continuation of abortion, it is not against neutrality rules. However, if Pro-lifer groups also had a large financial interest in ending abortion and that information was purposely left out, then that is not neutral. However, in this case, it is common sense that anyone who is gaining financial rewards to fight against abortion stands to lose that financial reward if the fight is won. No fight, no money. Not true of Planned Parenthood. So in this case it is not against neutrality rules to point out that Planned Parenthood stands to lose big financially if they lose the abortion debate.

It is within acceptable bounds to report such things in a debate. For instance, if a study that shows drilling has no adverse impact on drilling is released, it is OK to point out that Exxon sponsored the research for and production of the report. This does not invalidate th report but it does make people aware that they may need to verify the accuracy of the report since Exxon clearly has a financial interest in drilling for oil.

On this page, it would not be acceptable to make a statement that: "Planned Parenthood is evil and only cares about making money!" However, it is acceptable if it is a factual statement such as: "Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest provider of abortions with a large financial interest in keeping abortion legal and readily available." It is unacceptable to continuously remove a statement such as this just because you feel that it sheds a bad light on Planned Parenthood. Wiki is not here to act as public relations for any organization for or against abortion or any other issue. It exists to present facts. Removing facts from the page just because it does damage to your agenda IS against the neutrality rules and you can be banned for editing pages to either remove factual information or add false information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rush3041 (talkcontribs) 17:18, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

There is no "pro-abortionist" side in this debate. There is an anti-abortion lobby and a lobby promoting the availability of safe abortion to those in need of one. Lobbyists on both sides have a financial interest in the promotion of their message. The paid staff on both sides would be out of a job if their cause collapsed over night. Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization, just like the Right to Life Committee and the Crisis pregnancy centers. Planned Parenthood publishes its financial statements on its website for all to see. If it were a profit-making organization, it would lose its tax exempt status. It has been audited by the Better Business Bureau according to their charity auditing procedures. whether Planned Parenthood has a "large" financial interest in keeping abortion access unrestricted is a matter of subjective opinion. If you wish to substantiate that claim, you will have to compare the financial statement of Planned Parenthood with that of the Right to Life Committee and the Crisis Pregnancy Centres - if you can find them!Dr. Bernard Nathanson's personal financial records may not be publicly available; but, we can guess how much money he is making on the public lecture circuit and by selling his books and videos. We know his revenue stream from illegal abortions dried up when Roe v. Wade made it possible for women to obtain legal abortions in their own states instead of travelling to Nathanson's clinic. So, we know he has a huge vested interest in peddling his message. So, do you want to substantiate your claims by providing all the relevant financial information, or just drop it?Ermadog (talk) 19:25, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
No pro-abortionist side? Then why are words like child put in quotation marks, making the rather pro-abortionist insinuation that an unborn fetus does not qualify as a child? Not that I'm on either side of that fence, personally, but when you put quotation marks around select words to give a sense doubt, that's a lack of neutrality. As far as I'm aware, the scientific community has not yet come to an official conclusion as to whether or not a fetus is to be regarded as a person, therefore I don't find either side's motives in these senseless edit wars to be valid. Opinion has no place in an encyclopedia, and that's really all there is to it. (talk) 04:02, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

More neutrality problems and POV[edit]

This paragraph is not neutral. I wanted to run it through the Talk page first before making it more neutral, as I don't want to get into an edit war.

"as a result, the defense of the pro-life campaign shifted from a mystical and religious perspective to one based more on now outdated scientific and medical discoveries, such as the claim that fetal brainwaves are present at week 6, which has been disproven."

1) "mystical perspective" - what? I have never heard of such a thing regarding the abortion debate. This should be removed or changed to something more appropriate.

2) "now outdated scientific and medical discoveries" - The video presents an ultrasound of an abortion, as well as the process of the abortion. This is by no means "outdated." This should be changed to maybe "scientific and biological perspectives"

3) "fetal brainwaves are present at week 6, which has been disproven" - Everywhere I have looked has mentioned either week 6 or 40 days as the time when brainwaves are present. In addition, the article linked, from what I can tell, doesn't even mention fetal brainwaves. This should certainly be removed.--Minimidgy (talk) 22:00, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Re: "mystical and religious perspective". In the early days of the anti-abortion campaign, the focus was on the alleged "soul" of the fetus. This is a religious and mystical concept, and as such cannot be proven. Additionally, religions and denominations within religion have been divided as to when "ensoulment" occurs. More recently, the emphasis has been on purely biological factors such as the uniqueness of DNA, which cannot be discovered using ultrasound. In fact, the only scientific data that is discoverable via ultrasound is the fetal heartbeat, which previously had been discernible via stethoscope. The suggestion that "Silent Scream" reveals any new scientific discoveries is unsubstantiated.
Re: The "brainwaves are present at 6 weeks". This urban legend was based on a speech by Dr. Hannibal Hamlin in 1964, not on any research paper. You can find the myth debunked here: 'Brain Waves' When??? and here Fetal Brain Development: Myths and Disinformation. You'll notice that both articles cite modern text books showing that neurons, dendrites, and axons, which produce brainwaves, do not begin to develop prior to week 20-24. Regular brainwaves do not show up prior to week 34.Ermadog (talk) 04:14, 8 February 2010 (UTC)


It bothers me that such an inaccurate piece of propaganda is categorized as a "documentary". Wouldn't a better category be Category:American propaganda films ?--Atlantima (talk) 22:00, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Cosign. (To elaborate: I'm not sure what Wikipedia's policy is on things that are ostensibly documentaries - for example, Triumph of the Will is filed under "documentary" even though a lot of the footage was staged - but it needs to be labeled as propaganda even if the documentary category is kept, as TotW is.) Roscelese (talk) 03:13, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
The two categories can both be applied, if sources are found to support the term documentary. Otherwise, remove documentary and add propaganda. Binksternet (talk) 20:13, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Biased orgs are mischaracterizing it as propaganda. IMDB classifies it as a doc. Lionel (talk) 00:33, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Propaganda is not so bad a word as you might think. Good ol' American flicks such as Winning Your Wings with Jimmy Stewart, and Frank Capra's The Battle of China are termed propaganda. Binksternet (talk) 00:52, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Hell, Top Gun could arguably be called propaganda, and it's the greatest film of all time. MastCell Talk 04:07, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I feel the need... the need for speed Lionel (talk) 05:41, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
It is a documentary because no one debates that it is true footage. The debate deals with the narrative, just like with any Michael Moore documentary. Personally, I feel that if you watch it with the sound off, it is just as horrifying. The fetus's central nervous system is in tact enough to feel pain and respond to external stimuli. It is difficult to watch. Johnnytucf (talk) 14:32, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
the film itself (opening credits) uses the word educational film (cit.: "An American Portrait Films Educational Presentation") E-Kartoffel (talk) 18:27, 17 December 2012 (UTC)


This edit is misleading. Bodian did not "concede" that fetuses exhibit reflex movement. He offered an alternate and (to him) more sound explanation for what the film insisted was evidence of fetal pain - namely that it was in fact a reflex movement. that's not a "concession" to the correctness of the film - quite the opposite. If we're going to quote him - by name, no less - then we probably owe it to him to accurately represent what he said. MastCell Talk 01:29, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Cosign. I'll also be adding more info from the article shortly. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 02:13, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

PP largest provider of abortions[edit]

Synth??? My finger is hovering over the revert button. But humor me... Exactly why is it synth? – Lionel (talk) 03:30, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Can you direct me to the parts of the cited source which are about the subject of the article? (The other issue is obviously that it...doesn't really support the statement it was cited for. It would support the statement "An anti-abortion group says that PP is the largest provider of abortions," but that's not what Politifact says.) –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 04:41, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
No, it's not just what "an anti-abortion group says." Here's NPR confirming. Cloonmore (talk) 15:30, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
BTW, Ros, I second Lionel's reasonable request for some explanation for your "synth" edit sum before reverting. Cloonmore (talk) 15:32, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Good job, you've found a source that isn't hearsay. It's still synth - the source does not mention the subject of the article. Planned Parenthood has its own article. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 18:02, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
"source does not mention subject of the article" -- How does that violate WP:SYN? Cloonmore (talk) 19:05, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Any source which does not mention The Silent Scream is not appropriate here, and should be taken to other articles. Binksternet (talk) 18:18, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
And what WP policy says that? Cloonmore (talk) 19:07, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
From the lead section of WP:NOR: "To demonstrate that you are not adding OR, you must be able to cite reliable, published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article, and directly support the material as presented." Emphasis in original. MastCell Talk 19:30, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
NOR comes into effect when attempting to "advance a position." This case is not one of advancing a position, but of describing a detractor. A better source for guidance is WP:HTRIV, which says, "There are three types of connective trivia. Some is important to all of the subjects it connects." – Lionel (talk) 22:27, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
No, WP:NOR comes into effect any time one adds content to Wikipedia. WP:HTRIV is an essay, and a somewhat dubious and poorly written one at that (the excerpt you quote is nearly, although not totally, incomprehensible). MastCell Talk 22:32, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I understand your point, MastCell, but I think it requires a hyperliteral and constrained reading of WP:NOR to contend that it prohibits a descriptive clause as to PPFA's status as a major abortion provider. (And it still hasn't been explained how it's "synth.") This article is indeed about a film, but the larger context is obviously the abortion wars. (As we all know, since this article is subject to general sanctions.) Obviously, it makes perfect sense to inform the reader that PPFA, a chief critic of a popular anti-abortion film, is the largest abortion provider, and, if everyone stepped back from their respective POV's and considered it from a purely editorial standpoint, I think that's indisputable. I'd like to see a little more common sense in abortion articles and a little less knee-jerk policy citation with no other argument in support. In any event, here's the source that satisfies even a literalist reading of WP:NOR: "Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, of course, takes issue with the film beyond its image quality." Cloonmore (talk) 22:53, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Student-written and -edited publications are generally not considered RS. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 22:59, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Again, forgive my ignorance, but what policy says that? Cloonmore (talk) 01:11, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Pretty longstanding RSN consensus that, at most, established papers are reliable sources for events on their respective campuses. Planned Parenthood is a national organization and The Silent Scream a nationally distributed film, meaning that even if this were, say, The Harvard Crimson, the fact that we couldn't source the statement to a real newspaper would raise questions about why it should be included. But it's not the Crimson, it's a little side publication (the UNC Chapel Hill paper is the Daily Tar Heel, I believe) formed with the goal of pushing an agenda. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 02:59, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
"Established" papers? RS for "events on their respective campuses"? "At most"? As you know, there's no such "longstanding consensus." Cloonmore (talk) 10:10, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
And what was the decision there? –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 15:35, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't know about a "decision," but the general consensus was pretty much just the opposite of what you wrote above. No blanket rule, and reliability generally accepted for publications sponsored by a major college or a student body association with a full editorial board, as opposed to a club newsletter or blog.
So everything you placed in italics seems to have been made up by you. ("Pretty longstanding RSN consensus that, at most, established papers are reliable sources for events on their respective campuses.) Not to mention contrary to the position you took in that RSN discussion. Have whiplash yet? Cloonmore (talk) 01:09, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
Do you really want to fight this? Do you really think that if you went to RSN, they would determine that your little amateur fringe article is a reliable source? Save your energy and find a real source. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 01:14, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
What, not even going to try to explain your zigzags? No POV fig leaf? Disappointing. Cloonmore (talk) 02:40, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Planned Parenthood Press Release[edit]

The press release is self pub. If there are no objections I'll get rid of it. – Lionel (talk) 00:48, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

It's long policy that it's OK to cite statements by individuals or organizations if the statements are directly attributed to them. You've been around enough that you should know that. Note that the article carefully avoids any assertions about the factuality of the release. PhGustaf (talk) 03:17, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
"Planned Parenthood" has removed the. quite self-serving, release from their web site (again?). So it's uncited. Please note that for discussion above as well. -- (talk) 02:29, 21 July 2015 (UTC)


Would the editor who deleted sections of the Overview care to explain her actions? Keeping in mind that it is assumed that the Overview is sourced to the film and attribution and citing of plot elements is unnecessary. – Lionel (talk) 10:08, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

If it's sourced to the film, then in theory it should be cited to the film, rather than to an unreliable student newspaper. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 15:21, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Odd wording[edit]

In the Overview section, I find the wording "what Nathanson refers to as the child" somewhat odd and clumsy. Normally, I'd ask sarcastically if perhaps it was a squirrel. This seems to be an article prone to high emotion, so it seems a good idea to post here before changing anything, so I'm curious as to what else could be alleged in contrast to what Nathanson says there. If there is no other possibility, I feel the wording should be changed. --Nouniquenames (talk) 04:40, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

We can't just refer to an embryo or fetus as a child, because that wording is not NPOV; the concern may be that saying "fetus" would be misrepresenting Nathanson. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 04:52, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Is the developing entity not, in fact, human? I have never heard any argument (even illogical) stating that the developing entity (whether called a fetus or embryo) was not human. A young human is referred to in general as a child. Given that Fetus is used later in the section, it does not seem undue to use the term child without the clumsy caveat in this sentence. --Nouniquenames (talk) 05:28, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
If you're using the article as a pretext to "debate" abortion, you've come to the wrong place. If this is actually a serious discussion: no, inappropriate wording is inappropriate even if we have elsewhere used appropriate wording; there is no concession due to POV. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 07:37, 23 June 2012 (UTC)