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Abortion Restored in Reproductive Health Database

Dean of the John Hopkins University Public Health School, Dr. Michael J. Klag, ordered the school’s federally-funded online database of reproductive health literature reprogrammed to restore the word ‘abortion’ as a search term. Administrators had set POPLINE, the world’s largest database on reproductive health, with more than 360,000 records and articles on family planning, fertility and sexually transmitted diseases, to ignore abortion as a search term. Kiani was still stoned to death on July 5, 2007. Ebrahimi’s death was stayed due to the public outcry, and last week the Iranian judiciary amnesty commission released her from prison.

The move to censor abortion-related materials was met with harsh criticism from libraries trying to access the articles and women’s health advocates, according to UPI. POPLINE representatives said that the decision to do so was tied to their funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), reports Medical News Today.

“The public should know why a federal resource would censor relevant medical information, and who directed such interference,” said Ted Miller, communications director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, in a statement. “We applaud Dean Klag’s decision to restore abortion’s inclusion on the list of searchable health terms and look forward to learning how and why such interference happened to such a critical resource. Americans deserve to know whether politics played a role in this matter. It is important that government resources, especially those about health care, provide accurate and unbiased information.”

Sources:

United Press International 4/5/08; Medical News Today 4/7/08; New York Times 4/5/08; NARAL Press Release 4/4/08

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