Jenna Freedman posted an outrageous story about a medical database: Popline has made the word “abortion” a stopword, meaning you can’t search on the term; the database ignores the word as it ignores words like “the”.
Why? Popline responded that “We recently made all abortion terms stop words. As a federally funded project, we decided this was best for now.”
They recommend instead searching “fertility control, postconception”.
I fail to understand this rationale. Was their pressure from within PopLine or outside from the funders to hide information about abortion? Or did they decide for some reason that it was strategically better to hide information about abortion given the anti-choice climate at the Bush administration?
Either way, hiding information is not the right solution.
The contact information is:
Debra L. Dickson
POPLINE Database Manager/Administrator
111 Market Place, Suite 310, Baltimore, MD 21202
Tel: 410-659-6300 / Fax: 410-659-6266
and more information is available at Jenna’s page.
cross-posted at sivacracy
update fri 3pm:
The Dean at John Hopkins (which manages Popline) has ordered the decision reversed. See statement from Johns Hopkins (link from women’s health news); see also crooks & liars coverage