SLA member Gail L. Sorrough was shocked to learn on 31 March that that the administrator of the reproductive-health database Popline (Population Information Online) had placed the search word "abortion" on its stop list or file of blocked terms.
After finding that a routine Popline search on the word "abortion" retrieved fewer citations at the end of March than it had in January, librarian Gloria Won, who works with Gail at the Medical Center of the University of San Francisco, e-mailed database officials to ask about the discrepancy.
To her shock, Popline's Database Manager/Administrator informed them, "We recently made all abortion terms stop words. As a federally funded project, we decided this was best for now."
Outraged, Gloria and Gail alerted the SLA community, talked about it on discussion lists, and notified medical librarians of the decision, and soon word had spread to the blogosphere and the mainstream consumer news media.
The result? A short five days later the dean of Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health announced that he was reversing the decision.
Read the full story in American Libraries