Johns Hopkins University Quickly Restores Abortion Search in Health Database

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 6, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Johns Hopkins University Quickly Restores Abortion Search in Health Database Email this article
Printer friendly page

RSS Newsfeed

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 6
, 2008

Baltimore, MD ( — Just days after abortion advocates caused a stir over a Johns Hopkins University health database that suddenly stopped offering search results on abortion, officials at the prestigious university have restored the search results. JHU runs one of the largest Internet databases on health issues, including reproductive health topics.

The JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health had been blocking the searches because it worried it would lose federal funding by providing the information.

"We recently made all abortion terms stop words. As a federally funded project, we decided this was best for now," Debbie Dickson of the Popline database told the Chronicle of Higher Education last week.

Dr. Michael Klag, the dean of the Bloomberg school, told the Associated Press on Sunday that the abortion search was stopped after inquiries from the United States Agency for International Development.

The federal agency, which falls under President Bush’s Mexico City Policy preventing taxpayer funding of groups that promote or perform abortions overseas, funds the JHU reproductive web site.

Klag appeared to be ready to defy the USAID request to stop the abortion searches in a statement given to AP.

"I could not disagree more strongly with this decision, and I have directed that the POPLINE administrators restore ‘abortion’ as a search term immediately," Klag said.

After stopping the abortion searches, JHU officials suggested those looking for abortion topics put in keywords such as "unwanted pregnancy," "fertility control" and "postconception."

The problems first surfaced when a librarian at the University of California at San Francisco ran a routine search and found no results on abortion.

Several pro-abortion blogs launched a campaign targeting JHU and USAID after the news of the search stoppage became public.