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Reproductive Health Database Censorship Due to Abortion Advocacy Articles

After investigating why the word “abortion” would be removed as a search term from the world’s largest reproductive health database, National Public Radio (NPR) reports that the restriction stems from seven articles by an abortion advocacy magazine available on the website. The Dean of the John Hopkins University Public Health School, Dr. Michael J. Klag, ordered the school’s federally-funded online database POPLINE reprogrammed to restore the word ‘abortion’ as a search term last Friday.

The issue of A: The Abortion Magazine, published by Ipas, an international reproductive health advocacy group, that caused the administrators of the database to make their decision focused on abortion rights as human rights. NPR reports that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will not fund abortion and disapproved of some of the articles Ipas published.

Anu Kumar, executive vice president of Ipas, said, “Not only does the current U.S. Administration deny funding to health organizations that provide abortion care, it does not even permit the free flow of information about this important topic, especially when we know that 40 million abortions take place every year; almost half of which are unsafe.”

POPLINE continues to refuse to list abortion as one of its instant searches, though the issue is a vital one to the topic of reproductive health.

Kumar told NPR, “Women are literally dying while we’re dithering over words.”

Sources:

NPR 04/09/08; Ipas 04/09/08; Feminist Newswire 04/07/08; POPLINE