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16 AGs slam YouTube for adding ‘objectively untruthful’ context disclaimer on abortion video

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A group of Republican attorneys general are demanding that YouTube remove a “misleading” context disclaimer on a video posted by a pro-life group warning about chemical abortions. 

In a letter sent Monday to Neal Mohan, CEO of YouTube, which is owned by Google, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird along with 15 of her GOP colleagues criticized the platform for adding “objectively untruthful” context notes to certain videos, and demanded the company immediately remove or correct a misleading “information panel” attached to a video posted by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). 

That video referenced is of a woman “describing her excruciating experience of inducing a chemical abortion at home alone, without a doctor or nurse present.”

“Your bias against pro-life and pro-woman messages is un-American; inconsistent with the liberties protected by the First Amendment; and, in this case, illegal. It must stop,” the letter says. 

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The “context” note posted by YouTube states that “abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus. The procedure is done by a licensed healthcare professional.”

The AGs say that the last sentence of the notice is “both false and misleading.”

“It suggests that chemical abortions are performed by trained professionals. They are not. Although surgical abortions are still typically ‘done by a licensed healthcare professional,’ under current FDA protocols chemical abortions are ‘done by’ pregnant women themselves,” the AGs state in the letter. 

AG Bird told Fox News Digital in a statement, “Women deserve to know the truth. While brave women share their testimonies of suffering from abortion drugs at home with no doctor, YouTube is denying the reality. YouTube’s campaign misrepresents chemical abortions, targets pro-life messages, and puts real lives in danger.” 

AG Steve Marshall of Alabama, who also signed onto the letter, told Fox News Digital, “This is the latest troubling instance of Big Tech targeting of conservative viewpoints. Worse still though, YouTube is doing so by spreading false and dangerous statements.”

The letter makes reference to the case that will soon be heard by the Supreme Court, FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, which is a challenge brought by FDA lawyers challenging access to the abortion pill and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory approval process. 

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YouTube

The FDA made several moves, intending to make it easier to access and use the mifepristone pill in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year. 

The letter notes that befre 2016, the FDA required mifepristone and misoprostol to be prescribed and administered only by physicians and only in a healthcare setting, requirements that mitigate the serious risks these drugs pose to women. 

The AGs note that the FDA now allows women to receive those drugs from non-physicians through the mail and to self-administer them, all without necessarily seeing a physician or other healthcare professional in person.

“Chemical abortion is the most common abortion method in the country, and women deserve to know the truth about these high-risk drugs that send, according to the FDA’s own label, roughly one in 25 women who take them to the emergency room,” the AGs write. 

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Mifepristone pill

“By asserting that chemical abortions are performed by licensed healthcare professionals, YouTube lies to our constituents and the rest of the American public. That lie is especially concerning because it inaccurately portrays a fact central to a current Supreme Court case,” the letter says. 

The letter also notes that “by editing and posting the false warning label itself, YouTube has no immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.” Section 230 is the federal statute that protects social media platforms from lawsuits over content created by third-party users.

“One of our country’s most cherished traditions is the freedom to speak and express ourselves in the marketplace of ideas. As Americans increasingly rely on the internet and social media, we have repeatedly urged technology companies, including Alphabet, to operate in the spirit of honesty and transparency,” the AGs state.

“We expect YouTube will recognize the serious harm its notice poses and promptly remove or correct it. If it does not, we will need to exercise our consumer-protection authority to protect pregnant women and other consumers from your falsehoods,” the letter warns. 

Ivy Choi, a spokesperson for YouTube, told Fox News Digital in a statement, “As part of our work to connect people to high-quality health content, we surface an information panel on abortion containing resources from the National Library of Medicine (NLM).” 

“These information panels appear under videos and above search results related to the topic of abortion, regardless of viewpoint. We work to keep our information panels up to date, and the information panel on abortion now better reflects the latest from the NLM,” Choi said. 

 

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