A prominent pro-life group is accusing Facebook of bias after it placed restrictions on the organization’s content and labeled as “false news” the claim that “abortion is never medically necessary.”
Live Action – one of the nation’s most well-known and popular pro-life groups – says it received a message from Facebook Aug. 30 stating, “Your page has violations.” Facebook flagged a video of a speech from Live Action founder and president Lila Rose.
“Your page has reduced distribution and other restrictions because of repeated sharing of false news,” the message from Facebook said. “People will also be able to see if a page has a history of sharing false news.”
In the speech, Rose said, “If you talk to a doctor who is not indoctrinated by leftist talking points… you will discover that abortion – which is defined as the direct and intentional killing of an embryo, a fetus, a baby in the womb – is not a medical treatment.” Abortion, she said in the speech, is “never medically necessary.”
Two “independent” fact-checkers cited by Facebook said Rose’s claim is wrong and that “certain life-threatening conditions during pregnancy can make abortion medically necessary to save the mother’s life.” The fact-checkers are two pro-choice doctors who have performed abortions: Daniel Grossman and Robyn Schickler.
Links from LiveAction.org and from Lila Rose’s Facebook page are impacted. Live Action says it has the largest total online reach of any pro-life organization.
Rose said the medical facts are on her side.
“We have doctors – OB/GYN, board-certified – who are also featured in our videos who are saying the exact same thing. In fact, thousands of doctors agree with Live Action, with me, that abortion is not a medical treatment,” Rose told Fox News.
The statement from Grossman and Schickler said, “Preserving both the life of the mother and child by inducing early pregnancy as the [Live Action] video suggests is only possible if the fetus’ gestational age is advanced enough that it stands a chance of survival outside the womb. As this is not always the case, early delivery is not always a suitable alternative to abortion.”
Rose said, however, that the two doctors are misrepresenting her position.
“You don't have to go in there and kill that baby, dismember that baby, poison that baby to death before delivering him or her,” Rose said. “You can give her a chance at life.”
Live Action’s website says the group never has claimed that the “child’s life can be saved every time.”
“But [pro-life] physicians do say that every effort should be made, and no life needs to be intentionally killed,” the website says.
On Twitter, Rose wrote, “Removing a baby in an ectopic pregnancy is not elective abortion. A miscarriage is not abortion A preterm delivery in a rare life-or-death emergency is not abortion. The baby’s death is NOT intended. Abortion INTENDS to & directly kills a child.”
Removing a baby in an ectopic pregnancy is not elective abortion— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) September 1, 2019
A miscarriage is not abortion
A preterm delivery in a rare life-or-death emergency is not abortion
The baby’s death is NOT intended
Abortion INTENDS to & directly kills a child
Learn more: https://t.co/Iu9ukVefWN
Live Action’s website notes that more than 1,000 physicians signed the Dublin Declaration, which states, “As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.” The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which has more than 2,000 members, holds a similar position.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.