YouTube has recently added a disclaimer to all pro-life videos hosted on its platform. But though the disclaimer is added under the guise of “context,” it sends viewers to links where they can find out how to access abortion, and it even contains misinformation within its statement.
The “context” disclaimer can now be found both on and underneath all of Live Action’s YouTube videos. It is displayed underneath the video on the platform itself and overlays the video when embedded, as is seen below:
URGENT: For every dollar given, 34 more people can be reached with the truth about abortion. Will you join us in this life-saving work as a monthly donor today?
The disclaimer is titled, “Abortion Health Information,” and reads: “An 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.”
It links to a MedlinePlus.gov page, which in turn offers readers information about “abortion care” and directs them where to find an abortion facility near them. This means that due to this new YouTube policy, pro-life videos are now linked tangentially to abortion-related directories.
It isn’t just the linking that’s problematic.
The disclaimer itself falsely claims that abortion is only committed “by a licensed healthcare professional.” But chemical abortions via the abortion pill now make up the majority of abortions, and a high percentage of these are self-managed, meaning some women never consult with a healthcare professional before taking the drugs. The rate of risky chemical abortion procedures is only expected to rise, as underground and black market networks are actively working to expand abortion pill reach in states with protections for the preborn. Instead of oversight by a licensed healthcare professional, these abortions are routinely putting the lives of women at risk.
Clare Morell, a policy analyst with the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Technology and Human Flourishing Project, believes that this context box is a display of clear bias on the part of the tech giant.
“Adding these disclaimers is clear political bias on the part of YouTube against pro-life groups and messaging,” she told Catholic News Agency. “Rather than allowing for free speech and debate in today’s modern public square, YouTube is preferring one side and position over the other by adding these disclaimers. And attempting to prejudice viewers against the pro-life position.” She added, “It biases viewers against their messaging, to prejudge and dismiss their arguments before they’ve even heard them.”