Sunday, April 6, 2008

Health Database "Ignores" Abortion

Federal officials raised questions about two articles in Popline's database, the World's largest database for reproductive health, run by Johns Hopkins University.

The University had the system ignore the word "abortion" in searches of large, publicly financed databases.

After learning of the restrictions on Friday, the dean, Dr. Michael J. Klag, said: “I could not disagree more strongly with this decision, and I have directed that the Popline administrators restore ‘abortion’ as a search term immediately. I will also launch an inquiry to determine why this change occurred.”

Pro Choice advocates weren't happy either.

Ted Miller, a spokesman for Naral Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights group, said: “The public has a right to know why someone would censor relevant medical information. The Bush administration has politicized science as part of an ideological agenda. So it’s important to know if that occurred here.”

Officials said users could search for the topic using synonyms like "unwanted pregnancy." Nay-Sayers were quick to point out that an unwanted pregnancy was not a symptom for abortion.

The dean of the Public Health School lifted the restrictions after learning of them.

Health Database Censors Abortion

Popline Ignores Abortion

Can Search for Abortion Again on Health Site

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