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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 4, 2008

NARAL Pro-Choice America Applauds Public Health Official's Swift Action on Web Site Censorship

Johns Hopkins official will investigate reasons for abortion's exclusion from list of searchable terms

Washington, DC – NARAL Pro-Choice America applauded the decision of the dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to look into why a federally funded health care web site had blocked users from searching for topics related to abortion.

Wired.com had reported that Popline, http://db.jhuccp.org/ics-wpd/popweb/> , the U.S. government-funded medical information web site often cited as the world's largest database on reproductive health, had blocked searches on the word "abortion."

Michael J. Klag, the dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, issued a statement on Friday in which he said abortion had been restored to the list of searchable terms. He also said he had launched an inquiry into this matter.

"The public should know why a federal resource would censor relevant medical information, and who directed such interference," said Ted Miller, communications director of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "We applaud Dean Klag's decision to restore abortion's inclusion on the list of searchable health terms and look forward to learning how and why such interference happened to such a critical resource. Americans deserve to know whether politics played a role in this matter. It is important that government resources, especially about health care, provide accurate and unbiased information."

The concern over political interference in such a decision is an unfortunate reality with the Bush administration. Since his first months in office, President Bush and his administration have politicized public health and subverted science in favor of an ideological agenda on a range of health issues. NARAL Pro-Choice America has catalogued the administration's actions at http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/issues/bush-administration/bush-ideology-science.html

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Contact:
Samantha Gordon, 202.973.3032


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