Early this morning, Facebook began notifying users who had posted certain Live Action content that an allegedly “independent fact checker” had rated one of Live Action’s claims as false — specifically, the claim that “abortion is never medically necessary.” The content affected was a video of Live Action president Lila Rose speaking on the topic at the Young America Foundation, as well as a Live Action News article premiering Live Action’s Pro-Life Replies video on the same topic — narrated by Dr. Kendra Kolb, a board-certified physician specializing in pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine.
What happened as a result of this allegedly impartial “fact check” is nothing short of jaw-dropping.
Live Action was notified by Facebook that links from the domain LiveAction.org (including Live Action News), as well as content shared on founder and president Lila Rose’s Facebook page will now have “reduced distribution and other restrictions because of repeated sharing of false news.” Live Action has the largest total online reach of any pro-life organization.
The publish date of the fact check is August 30, 2019 — today. And early this morning, Facebook also issued its directive.
So, just who were these “independent fact-checkers”? And was their “fact-checking” accurate?
The answer? Two abortionists. That’s right, two doctors –Dr. Daniel Grossman with ANSIRH and Dr. Robyn Schickler with Physicians for Reproductive Health, two highly pro-abortion organizations — who directly profit from abortion and who oppose the idea that abortion is never medically necessary were used as impartial “fact-checkers” by Facebook. The site on which the “fact check” was published, HealthFeedback.org (with sister site ClimateFeedback.org), has a grand total of just over 30 claim reviews at the current time, so the site itself is very new; its first “claim review” is from December 2018 and its first article review is from just over a week prior. See its list of reviewers here.
And… no, their fact checking was not accurate. Grossman, for example, completely misrepresents Live Action and Lila Rose’s statements in the two videos. He claims:
These comments made by Lila Rose, who is not a clinician, are not medically accurate. The piece that is missing in her comments is the gestational age of the pregnancy. If the pregnant woman develops a life-threatening condition at a gestational age when the fetus is likely to survive, it is true that in most cases, obstetricians would proceed with expedited delivery. But if the pregnant woman develops a serious condition at 20 weeks, such as ruptured membranes with signs of infection or heavy bleeding from a placenta previa, it is critical to terminate the pregnancy quickly to save her life. There is no chance that the fetus can survive, and an abortion would be the fastest and safest way to terminate the pregnancy.
But neither of the videos — none of Live Action’s videos on the subject, in fact — made the claim that the preborn child must survive, or the procedure is an abortion. Quite the opposite. These abortion providers claimed in their fact check, “While it is possible for early delivery to preserve both the life of the mother and child in the event of a life-threatening condition, as the video suggests, it does not mention that this is only applicable when a fetus’ gestational age is advanced enough that its survival outside the womb is possible (generally >24 weeks old). In situations where a fetus has not developed sufficiently, it would not be possible for expedited delivery to save its life.” (emphasis added)
This is utterly misleading. Live Action has never claimed that the child’s life can be saved every time. But physicians do say that every effort should be made, and no life needs to be intentionally killed. Live Action has stated for years that the intentional killing of a preborn child (an abortion) is never medically necessary — and has made this claim with the support and backing of over a thousand medical professionals, who signed the Dublin Declaration, which states:
“As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.
We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.
We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”