Twitter still blocks Live Action ads while letting the abortion industry smear pro-lifers
Investigative

Twitter still blocks Live Action ads while letting the abortion industry smear pro-lifers

Twitter

While Twitter continues its censorship of ads from Live Action and founder Lila Rose, the tech giant is running ads from a group which finances abortion facilities while smearing pro-life organizations. Live Action News has previously documented Twitter’s double standard, banning Live Action from advertising while permitting pro-abortion groups like EMILY’s List, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood to purchase ads that push a pro-abortion message. Adding to that, a relatively new group called Equity Forward has recently been allowed to unleash a litany of promoted Twitter ads attacking pro-life groups such as the Susan B. Anthony List, Students for Life of America, and Americans United for Life.

Image: Pro-abortion Equity Forward attacks pro-life groups in Twitter ads (Image: Twitter)

Pro-abortion Equity Forward attacks pro-life groups in Twitter ads (Image: Twitter)

On its website, Equity Forward claims to consist of a “staff of researchers, lawyers and communications professionals…” to ensure “transparency and accountability among anti-reproductive health groups and individuals who are actively working to deny people access to services such as birth control and abortion.” However, they currently list only one staffer — Senior Adviser Mary Alice Carter — who is linked to Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and other pro-abortion groups.

  • Former interim vice president for communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
  • Worked for Physicians for Reproductive Health, the National Institute for Reproductive Health and NARAL Pro-Choice New York.
Image: Equity Forward Senior Staffer linked to Planned Parenthood and NARAL

Equity Forward Senior Staffer linked to Planned Parenthood and NARAL

Additional staffers were later identified by their LinkedIn pages as follows:

  • Kayla Hancock – previously worked for the Democratic National Committee and Hillary for America.
  • Molly Bangs – states on her blog that she has “held internships at the Rockefeller Foundation and the Aspen Institute.”
  • Alexa Barrett – former “program coordinator” for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

Board Chair Kyle Herrig “co-founded and currently advises several accountability organizations, including Allied Progress, Equity Forward and Fix the Court,” according to an online bio.

The group’s first campaign roll-out was called “HHS Watch” because, as it wrote online, “the Trump administration has quietly filled key posts overseeing Title X who appear to have been chosen based on ideology rather than applicable government experience. These individuals have deep ties to far-right organizations who are opposed to well-established and evidence-based family planning methods, including contraception and abortion…”

Now, a new campaign has been launched to go after pro-life groups, called “Pro-Lies.org.

Image: Equity Forward website attacks pro-life groups

Equity Forward website attacks pro-life groups

Equity Forward’s tweets promoting the campaign have called pro-life groups “extreme,” “dangerous” and “toxic.” They refer to pro-life legislative efforts as a “coordinated attack on women’s health care,” smearing pro-life groups by referring to them as “Pro-Lies.” Equity Forward also claims in their promoted tweets that these pro-life groups consist of a “network of organizations and individuals that stokes fear with inflammatory lies” to “push an anti-abortion agenda full of hate and lies.”

 

Image: Equity Forward buys Twitter ads to attack pro-life groups (Images: Twitter Ad Transparency)

Equity Forward buys Twitter ads to attack pro-life groups (Images: Twitter Ad Transparency)

The group is targeting the following pro-life groups, noting that there are “more to come…”

  • Americans United for Life
  • Heritage Foundation
  • Charlotte Lozier Institute
  • Susan B, Anthony List
  • Obria
  • Students for Life

… and others.

Live Action and Lila Rose have been banned from running ads unless the the Live Action website is purged of certain content with even innocuous tweets deleted — some that show images of babies in the womb. A Twitter spokesperson previously told the Washington Post that Twitter’s “extensive advertising policy states that ads must be honest and accurate. The guidelines prohibit advertisers from misleading people with sensationalized language and deceptive claims,” yet Twitter has permitted Equity Forward to repeatedly promote tweets which attack multiple pro-life groups with inaccurate claims.

Image: Lila Rose of pro-life group Live Action on Twitter's censorship June 2019

 

Lila Rose of pro-life group Live Action on Twitter’s censorship June 2019

Equity Forward was launched in 2018 with little fanfare yet managed to warrant a mention by The Hill. In January of that same year, Pregnancy Help News reported that a person claiming to be a private investigator on behalf of Equity Forward had contacted at least two former pro-life pregnancy center staffers; the reason for the contact was not divulged.

Pregnancy Help News wrote:

Monday evening, a licensed private investigator named Jane Ebert called and left a message on the personal cell phone of a former pregnancy center employee who now works full-time with a national pro-life group. In her message, obtained by Pregnancy Help News, Ebert said she was working on an investigation on behalf of Equity Forward. The message caught the former pregnancy center staffer off-guard, so she did a little digging into Equity Forward. She also reached out to her former colleagues at the pregnancy center and confirmed that Ebert hadn’t contacted any of them. Ebert also contacted a former pregnancy center employee in another state the same day, Pregnancy Help News learned Friday afternoon. As of Friday, Ebert had not returned a call or email from Pregnancy Help News.

Equity Forward may have a reason to target pro-life centers which may be causing abortion facilities to lose money by offering free services that help pregnant women. After all, Equity Forward is a project of Hopewell Fund, which has taken an interest in a non-profit media start-up and is also financially supporting abortion facilities through an “Abortion Delivery’s Business Sustainability Project,” financed in part by these abortion supporting organizations:

Image: Hewlett Foundation funds Hopewell Fund for abortion sustainability

Hewlett Foundation funds Hopewell Fund for abortion sustainability

 

Image: Packard Foundation funds Hopewell Fund for abortion sustainability

Packard Foundation funds Hopewell Fund for abortion sustainability

Hopewell Fund‘s 2016 990 shows funding to these abortion facility chains and more:

  • Hope Clinic for Women
  • Trust Women Foundation
  • Whole Women’s Surgical Center
Image: Hopewell Fund grants to abortion clinics 2016

Hopewell Fund grants to abortion clinics 2016

In 2017, the group funded:

  • Desert Star Family Planning
  • Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center
  • Campaign for Accountability
  • A Capital Women’s Health Clinic
  • Emma Goldman Clinic
  • Moms Rising Education Fund
  • Red River Women’s Clinic
  • Preterm

… among others.

In other words, a group whose parent company funds multiple abortion businesses is buying ads on Twitter that suggest legitimate pro-life organizations are “lies.”

Just who is really being deceptive here?

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