Four Republican U.S. senators have sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg condemning the social media platform’s decision to censor a pro-life organization’s videos based on the views of two abortionists as “fact-checkers.”
In the letter to Zuckerberg, Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Mike Braun (R-IN) denounced Facebook’s decision to rate as “false” videos shared by Live Action that featured Dr. Kendra Kolb, a board-certified neonatologist, and a speech by Live Action President Lila Rose. The videos focused on the well-established view that abortion is not a medically necessary procedure.
The senators wrote:
This is a widely-held view, one shared by the thousands of members of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists [AAPLOG], among others. As a result of the “false” rating, Facebook suppressed Live Action’s website and Lila Rose’s Facebook Page, prohibited the organization from advertising and promoting its content, and notified users who had shared the videos that they had shared “false news.
BREAKING: @Facebook has sent an alert to my followers claiming I share "false news" – because I state that abortion is never medically necessary, a fact backed by thousands of OBGYNS & medical experts.
Now Facebook has said they will cut my page reach.
This censorship MUST END.
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) August 30, 2019
As the senators observed to Zuckerberg, Facebook made its determination based on the views of two abortionists, Daniel Grossman, who “sits on the board of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation,” and Robyn Schickler, a “Fellow with the pro-abortion advocacy group Physicians for Reproductive Health.”
“No reasonable person would describe Grossman or Schickler as neutral or objective when it comes to the issue of abortion, yet Facebook relied on their rating to suppress and censor a pro-life organization with more than 3 million followers,” the senators wrote.
In response to the “fact-check” performed by the abortionists, Dr. Donna Harrison, executive director of AAPLOG, asserted, “These fact-checkers need to be fact-checked.”
They are in error to claim that elective abortion is medically necessary to save the life of the mother. They did not cite even one example where an abortion, the intentional killing of a living child in utero, would be superior to delivering that child. The two Live Action videos state that there will be cases when a child is delivered too early to survive outside of the womb in order to save a mother’s life. There is a very big difference between previable separations and elective abortion. In these situations where a mother and her fetus must be separated in order to save the life of the mother we would try to optimize the conditions of the separation so that the fetus has the best possibility to live. But there are cases when the baby will not survive the separation due to gestational age. We call these previable separations. These separations are done with the intent to save both if possible, but at least to save the life of one. Previable separations are not the same as elective abortions. The intent of an abortion was made very clear at the Supreme Court hearings over the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. The abortionists argued that the product the abortionist is paid to produce is a dead baby, and that is what distinguishes a delivery from an abortion. The intent of a delivery is to produce, if possible, both a live baby and live mom. The intent of an abortion is to produce a dead baby.
Rose said in a statement that Facebook’s attack on her and her organization “is an attack on the entire pro-life community.”
“The platform should be a place for the free exchange of ideas, not one where only pro-abortion arguments are allowed,” she added. “Live Action has asked Facebook to rectify this situation by rescinding their fact-check, sending a new notification to all users about the change, and apologizing, as well as reforming their ‘fact-check’ process.”
In their letter to Zuckerberg, the Republican senators denounced the actions of Facebook as consistent with those of other tech giants, such as “Twitter, Google, Pinterest and so many other social media firms” that evidence has shown have acted with “bias against those with conservative viewpoints, especially on the issue of abortion.”
“And in response, you have repeatedly insisted that these numerous incidents of discrimination, censorship, and suppression of speech are merely glitches, not evidence of systemic bias,” the senators asserted.
The GOP leaders called upon Facebook to “immediately issue a correction,” remove restrictions on Live Action’s site, and “submit to an external audit.”
“The only thing more astonishing than your claim to nonpartisanship is your complete failure to back that claim with proof,” the senators wrote.