In the midst of “Shout Your Abortion” culture, an effort to suppress pro-life speech on multiple platforms is thriving. In just the latest example, a Slate tech writer dabbled in pro-abortion activism this month when she contacted YouTube to complain about seeing too many pro-life videos when searching for abortion on the video publishing site. After this, YouTube apparently changed its algorithms, severely downgrading the most popular pro-life videos from Live Action, Ben Shapiro, and others — in essence, deliberately burying information on abortion procedures, fetal development, and abortion risks so that women searching for information on abortion are less likely to see them.
Slate’s tech writer, April Glaser, disliked that among the top searches on YouTube was a video of former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino, testifying before Congress on how a D&E late-term abortion procedure, which dismembers a living child in utero, is done. She also complained of medically animated videos of abortion featuring Dr. Levatino, who is still a practicing OB/GYN. By his own admission, he actually committed more than 1,200 abortion procedures before he became pro-life. Therefore, Levatino is a medical expert fully qualified to describe what abortion is and does. Therefore, it is more than a little puzzling that YouTube would alter its search results to suppress accurate, pro-life medical information based on the complaint of a tech writer who is not and (I assume) has never been an abortion practitioner. Glaser wrote:
I emailed YouTube Friday afternoon asking why anti-abortion videos saturated the search results for “abortion,” and if the platform thought accurate, health-focused information had a place there. By Monday morning, before the company got back to me, the search results had changed to include a number of news outlets among the top results, including a video from Vice about how women trying to get abortions are being stymied by anti-abortion centers that masquerade as clinics.
Hmm… that doesn’t strike me as accurate or health-focused, but highly political. See more on the truth about pregnancy resource centers (many of which actually do offer medical services, by the way) here.
She went on to say:
The second video was a clip of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee describing his anti-abortion philosophy, and the third was a video titled “Speak Out: Abortion Is Not a Human Right.” By the end of this week, the top results (which are dynamic) included a news segment in Tamil, a video in which the director Penny Marshall (who died this week) “Opens Up on Drugs and Her Abortion,” and a clip of an anti-abortion advocate responding to the abortion-legalization law passed in Ireland. Anti-abortion content meant to enrage or provoke viewers was no longer purely dominating the results, though they still looked very different from the generally more sober Google results.
Interestingly, Live Action’s medically animated videos have rarely “enrage[d] or provoked viewers.” In fact, they have been viewed more than 100 million times, and have even caused pro-choice individuals to become pro-life.
People who see these videos frequently change their minds. It’s common sense that seeing an act of violence is very different than just reading about it or hearing terms relating to it. “Sex trafficking” as a term may tell us what it is, but it does not show us the violence involved in such a heinous act. Neither does the word “abortion” or the term “pregnancy termination” properly portray what actually happens in the act of abortion. And seeing abortion sometimes upsets people, because they realize they’ve been numb to an actual act of violence. Sometimes it upsets people because they or a loved one has had an abortion, and it’s difficult to face the reality that abortion takes a very real human being’s life.
Regardless of whether it might make someone uncomfortable, however, women have a right to know what abortion is, what happens to the child in the womb during one, how human beings grow and develop in the womb, and what the risks of abortion are (and yes, women do still die from legal abortion today). No one should keep women from being fully informed about abortion because they believe women are just too fragile to handle the truth. Watch videos of actual abortions here (warning: disturbing), or watch Live Action’s Abortion Procedures animations for yourself below and decide what you think about abortion.
Here’s a compilation showing animations of a first trimester medical (abortion pill) abortion, a first-trimester suction D&C abortion, a second-trimester D&E abortion, and a third trimester induction abortion:
So what do you think? Should YouTube be burying these viral videos that have reached more than 100 million people, in an attempt to suppress pro-life information? Have these videos changed your mind or the minds of people you know? Tell us in the comments below, and sign this petition to YouTube to raise your voice against the suppression of Live Action’s pro-life videos.