September 3, 2019 (Live Action News) — Early Friday 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 Young America's 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.
Facebook notified users who shared certain content than an “independent fact-checker” had reviewed it.
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. And early that same 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.
In the Pro-Life Replies video featuring neonatologist Dr. Kolb, which was labeled as “false” by Facebook, she states, “Some babies do need to be delivered before they are able to survive outside of the womb, which occurs around 22 to 24 weeks of life. Those situations are considered a preterm delivery, not an abortion.” And in a separate video interview, Dr. Kolb states, “… in that 22 to 24 week zone, you know, that's still a bit of a gray zone, as far as the outcomes, as far as the survival goes.”
In the Young America's Foundation video featuring Lila Rose (also labeled “false” by Facebook), she, too, makes clear that preterm delivery is not an abortion, even if the child is too premature to survive. She also makes clear that in cases where it is certain the preborn baby cannot survive (e.g. ectopic pregnancy), removing the child is still not an abortion, because abortion is the direct and intentional killing of the preborn child.
In a previous Live Action video featuring former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino, he states, “You never need late-term abortion to save a woman's life. If necessary, you accomplish the delivery. Now, did every one of those children make it because they were preterm? No. But at least they had a chance. And most of them did make it.”
If too premature to survive, delivering a child early to save the mother is not an abortion. Abortion isn't accidental. It's purposeful. Grossman and Schickler have completely misrepresented the facts and claims made by Live Action and Lila Rose.
Notification of “false” rating for Lila Rose.
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists also responded Grossman and Schickler's erroneous “fact check” of Live Action's content. Dr. Donna Harrison, AAPLOG's executive director, released a statement today:
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.
In addition, AAPLOG says Grossman and Schickler's claims about the possible reasons why an abortion could be “medically necessary” are inaccurate. The abortionists claimed that abortion is necessary in cases of placenta previa as well as HELLP syndrome. AAPLOG's Chairman of the Board, Dr. Christina Francis, addressed this in a statement:
… Placenta previa is a condition in which the placenta covers the cervix, making a vaginal delivery impossible due to the possibility of life-threatening hemorrhage if labor occurs. These are frequently diagnosed in pregnancy on ultrasound around 20 weeks, however approximately 90% of these will resolve on their own before delivery. If significant hemorrhage occurs due to a placenta previa (which again is so rare prior to viability that no incidence is even reported), the patient should be taken for an emergency C-section which is the most expedient way to get her bleeding under control. It would be medically dangerous and irresponsible to try to do an abortion since any instrumentation through the cervix would pierce the placenta and cause immediate massive bleeding. An abortion would take significantly longer in this case and be much riskier for the mother.
Secondly, the incidence of pre-eclampsia with severe features and/or HELLP syndrome prior to viability is exceedingly rare. Per the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine, the incidence of severe pre-eclampsia prior to 34 weeks is only 0.3% of all pregnancies (incidence of HELLP syndrome would be significantly lower). Prior to 22-24 weeks the incidence is significantly lower. It is not the common situation in the pre-viable period that Drs. Grossman and Schickler would like people to believe. When HELLP syndrome does occur, it necessitates early delivery — not an abortion. In this situation, separation of the mother and fetus can occur in a way that respects the dignity of both of their lives, and if possible, save both.
Twenty-five hundred OB/GYNS of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists affirm that direct abortion — the purposeful destruction of the preborn child — is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman. Add that to the 1,000+ medical experts who signed the Dublin Declaration, and this “fact check” seems an awful lot like cherrypicking.
Notice of “false” rating for Pro-Life Replies post from Facebook.
Regular readers of Live Action News have likely heard of Dr. Daniel Grossman before. He is an abortionist and the senior advisor of Ibis Reproductive Health, an organization which receives funding directly from abortion pill manufacturer Danco Laboratories. He is on the board of NARAL Pro-Choice America and is a liaison member of Planned Parenthood Federation of America's National Medical Committee. He is also an abortion instructor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), which trains future abortionists. Grossman is leading the push for so-called “self-managed” abortion.
Robyn Schickler is an abortionist and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, an organization also focused on abortion, as noted in the screenshot below. PRH is also funded by original investors of abortion pill manufacturer Danco (Packard Foundation and George Soros' Open Society Foundation), and also trains future abortionists. Schickler is also notably of the opinion that preborn children don't have heartbeats starting at 21 days after fertilization but mere “cardiac activity.” (Even the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists called them “heartbeats” until this year when using the term in reference to preborn children suddenly became controversial due to pro-life legislation.)
Surely Grossman and Schickler are not the most “impartial” fact checkers Facebook could come up with.
Live Action president Lila Rose responded to the news in a press release, stating:
With thousands of OB-GYNs and medical professionals on the record agreeing with us that the direct killing of a child is never medically necessary, it is telling that Facebook decided to fact-check our information, which we have posted about for over three years, using two abortionists for their sourcing.
Not only did they fail to get disinterested perspectives, they appear to have gone out of their way to find pro-abortion activists whose public opposition to our views is indisputable. This is clear evidence of bias and discrimination against our over three million strong Facebook community members and an outrageous act of censorship on the part of Facebook.
Published with permission from Live Action News.