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Abortion access

Are the articles in this section credible?

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About our abortion essays:

Our web site's large section on abortion contains many of the most-visited essays on our web site. In fact, our abortion section was typically rated by Yep's Internet rating service as the second or third most-popular medical resource on the Internet. According to Yep, the number of Internet users interested in medical topics and who visited to our abortion essays are only exceeded by those who visit a web site devoted to nursing jobs and humor.

We get many queries from students about our abortion essays. "S" asked: "I need to know who the authors are and why this is a credible source."

bullet The first question is easy to answer: we have a copyright notice near the bottom of each essay which identifies the author. It is usually Bruce A Robinson, our website's main author.
bullet The second question is more difficult to answer. Credibility of essays and reports is often a problem, particularly on the Internet. This is especially true on extremely controversial topics like abortion access, equal rights for gays and lesbians, same-sex marriage, the death penalty, corporal punishment of children, physician assisted suicide, etc. In particular, abortion topics are difficult to handle because they often deal with unprovable, religious and philosophical beliefs. Consider the words of Paul Campos:

"Whether or not abortion should be legal turns on the answer to the question of whether and at what point a fetus is a person. This is a question that cannot be answered logically or empirically. The concept of personhood is neither logical nor empirical: It is essentially a religious, or quasi-religious idea, based on one's fundamental (and therefore unverifiable) assumptions about the nature of the world."  1

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Why we feel that our essays are credible:

One reason is that we do not promote a specific religious point of view. We are a multi-faith group consisting of an Agnostic, Atheist, Christian, Wiccan and Zen Buddhist. So, even if we wanted to promote our beliefs, we could not because we do not have a common position. Instead, we simply report what both or all sides to each topic believe.

For example, on the topic of Post Abortion Syndrome -- the depression that some women suffer after an abortion -- pro-life groups' web sites generally state that this problem is extremely widespread. Pro-choice sites either ignore the problem, or say that PAS is a rare problem, or say that PAS is non-existent. Our site gives what we feel is an accurate portrayal: that it is extremely widespread among those women who believe at the time of the abortion (or later) that abortion not only kills an embryo or fetus, but it involves the actual murder of a human person. PAS appears to be quite rare otherwise.

Pro-life web sites often emphasize individual cases of deaths happening to women who have abortions. Pro-choice sites tend to say that abortions are extremely safe. We report that deaths do happen, but that they occur at a lower rate than do maternal deaths during pregnancy and delivery. Thus, an abortion is safer than a live delivery for the woman. (Of course, it is not safe for the embryo or fetus; it is killed.)

Finally, our web site's abortion essays contain hyperlinks to both pro-life, pro-choice and medical web sites. Pro-choice and pro-life web sites are typically biased in that they provide hyperlinks only to web sites who express beliefs similar to their own.

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  1. Paul Campos, "Opinions: PAUL CAMPOS: Abortion and the rule of law ," Scripps Howard News Service, 2002-JAN, at: This article is no longer online.

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Copyright © 2002 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Originally written: 2002-DEC-6
Latest update and review: 2009-JAN-27
Author: B.A. Robinson

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