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Language Matters: Legislation, Medical Practice, and the Classification of Abortion Procedures

Johnson, Timothy R. B. MD*†‡; Harris, Lisa H. MD; Dalton, Vanessa K. MD, MPH*; Howell, Joel D. MD, PhD**¶∥††‡‡

doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000149803.31623.b0
Current Commentaries

The story of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 presents a case study of the way medical practice changes in the real world and a cautionary tale about the importance of language in medical practice and the law.

*Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, †Department of Women's Studies, ‡Center for Human Growth and Development, §Bioethics Program, ¶Department of Internal Medicine, ∥Department of History, **Program in Society and Medicine, ††Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, ‡‡and Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Reprints are not available. Address correspondence to: Timothy R. B. Johnson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, L4000 Women's Hospital, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor; e-mail:

Vanessa K. Dalton is supported by the BIRCWH Career Development Program K12 HDO1438-01

Received August 4, 2004. Accepted October 7, 2004.

© 2005 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists