Government Website Caves on ‘Abortion’ Ban


The federal government appears to have reversed itself on the ban of the search term “abortion” in its huge reproductive-health database Popline.

A few hours ago, I noted the absurd blockage, the story of which was broken by bloggers (including Maud Newton) and also reported by Wired.

At the time I wrote, you could type the word “abortion” into the Popline database and get zero hits. Now, you get 536 hits — wait, now it’s miraculously up to 730.

Hold on, now it’s registering 1,087 hits. Popline’s techs may be fiddling with the database to restore its ability to search for the word “abortion.”

And why shouldn’t you be able to search it? After all, USAID-funded Popline boasts that it’s the world’s largest clearinghouse for reproductive-health literature.

No word yet from Popline’s Debbie Dickson on whether the ban was officially lifted just within the past couple of hours. But that’s what seems to have happened.

I just now tried to search “abortion” on Popline and got 1,374 hits. It’s a miracle of rebirth.