The American Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has decided to remove all references to “medical abortion” in the 2019 edition of its standard reference.
The journal will continue to publish references to the term, which it defines as “an abortion performed with the intent to terminate a pregnancy.”
But the language of the new edition will be stripped of the references, which are often the basis for discussion in the literature about medical abortion.
The decision to remove the references to medical abortion comes after years of complaints from both sides of the abortion debate, as well as from the medical community, about what they see as a failure to accurately represent the scientific evidence for the use of medical abortion in pregnancy-related care.
The journal said it was not trying to “slander” the procedure.
But it said the removal of references to abortion is “in line with what has been recognized in the medical literature on medical abortion,” and that “this does not diminish the need for accurate and comprehensive information about the medical aspects of medical abortions.”
Dr. Jill D. Smith, the president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, told the Associated Press that she believes the journal’s decision is a “very welcome move.”
The American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynsci, the National Abortion Federation and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all issued statements in support of the journal, saying the removal “is a critical step in the right direction.”
“We hope this will provide the scientific community with a framework to further advance the debate around the scientific validity of medical intervention in pregnancy,” Dr. Elizabeth D. Avila, the vice president for research at the American Medical Women’s Association, said in a statement.