YouTube announces abortion policy, pro-life organisation worried


European Union


Photo AFP, Kirill Kudryavtsev

By deleting videos on abortion, YouTube is cracking down on abortion misinformation. Pro-life groups fear this might also affect their work.

On July 21st, YouTube announced that it would remove content that provides instructions for unsafe abortion methods or promotes false claims about abortion safety "under our medical misinformation policies". The video platform claims to rely on published guidance from health authorities. "We prioritise connecting people to content from authoritative sources on health topics, and we continuously review our policies & products as real-world events unfold." YouTube further announced the launch of an information panel "that provides viewers with context and information from local and global health authorities under abortion-related videos and above relevant search results".

In an interview with The Christian Post, the American National Right to Life Director of Communications Laura Echevarria warned that YouTube could use US-based sexual health care organisation Planned Parenthood as one of its "global health authorities" to provide context about abortion. She cited the largest abortion provider in the United States as one of several pro-abortion groups engaged in misinformation following the U.S. Supreme Court's June 24th decision reversing the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalised abortion nationwide.

YouTube was criticised for handling abortion-related content as recently as April 2022, when a nearly 40-minute video compared abortion to the horrors of the Holocaust. The video, which was made in collaboration with anti-abortion group Live Action and included interviews with pro-life doctors and women, was criticised for its one-sided portrayal of the issue. This reports the news website Mashable.

Although YouTube demonetised the video, it is still available to watch. With 4.3 million views, it is the platform's 15th most-watched video about abortion, according to a YouTube search.



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