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YouTube Corrects Abortion Disclaimer After ADF, State AGs Set the Record Straight

YouTube corrected a false disclaimer it had placed on Alliance Defending Freedom’s videos about chemical abortion.
Grant Atkinson
Written by
YouTube is displayed on an iPhone

Today, information is more widely available across the world than it has ever been. All it takes is a simple search on Google, Bing, YouTube, or any other search engine to find facts, perspectives, and opinions on a wide range of topics.

While access to more information is positive in many ways, it also means that false and misleading information is more prevalent, too. Many search engines have taken to “fact-checking” to try to combat this problem.

Unfortunately, some of these search engines are not just determining what information is objectively factual. They are inserting their own bias and opinions and presenting them as “facts.” That’s exactly what Alliance Defending Freedom recently experienced on YouTube.

YouTube’s false disclaimer

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol for use in 2000, the agency required doctors to provide ongoing care to women using the drugs, including in-person doctor visits to check for ectopic pregnancies, severe bleeding, and life-threatening infections.

But based on studies it conceded were “not adequate,” the FDA has since removed the requirement for doctors to meet in person with women who undergo chemical abortion. Now, women are often left to take these high-risk abortion drugs alone without ever having seen a doctor.

In November 2022, ADF attorneys filed a lawsuit challenging the FDA’s removal of important safeguards around abortion drugs. And this month, our attorneys will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to restore these safeguards to protect women and girls.

The doctors ADF represents have witnessed firsthand the harm that the FDA’s reckless actions have caused women and girls. Some women who were harmed by chemical abortion shared their stories with ADF, and we posted a video of one woman’s account on our YouTube channel.

Women who have experienced the harms of abortion drugs are intimately aware of their risks. Unfortunately, YouTube minimized these women’s stories by slapping an inaccurate disclaimer on this video and others that ADF posted.

The disclaimer read: “An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the fetus or embryo and placenta from the uterus. The procedure is done by a licensed healthcare professional.”

While it is true that surgical abortions are performed by a medical professional, the same cannot be said for chemical abortions. In fact, that is the crux of ADF’s lawsuit.

Since the FDA removed abortion drug safeguards, most chemical abortions are now done at home without any medical supervision. Women should never be left to take high-risk drugs all by themselves, which is why ADF is asking the Supreme Court to reinstate the necessary in-person doctor visits.

YouTube corrects its error

When ADF noticed the inaccurate YouTube disclaimer, we asked the platform to correct it. Then, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird and 15 other state attorneys general sent a letter to YouTube in support of ADF.

“We demand that YouTube immediately remove or correct the misleading ‘information panel’ posted on Alliance Defending Freedom’s video and other videos discussing chemical abortion,” the letter said. “Your bias against pro-life and pro-woman messages is un-American; inconsistent with the liberties protected by the First Amendment; and, in this case, illegal. It must stop.”

Thankfully, YouTube corrected its inaccurate disclaimer, allowing all viewers to learn about the dangers of chemical abortion without being presented with false information from the platform.

The disclaimer on ADF’s videos now reads: “An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy. It can be done two different ways: Medication abortion, which uses medicines to end the pregnancy. It is sometimes called a ‘medical abortion’ or ‘abortion with pills.’ Procedural abortion, a procedure to remove the pregnancy from the uterus. It is sometimes called a ‘surgical abortion.’”

Even though ADF is a legal ministry, our victories are not limited to the courtroom. We contend for truth in law, policy, and the public square, and YouTube’s correction is a win for everyone who has questions about chemical abortion.

Women deserve to know the truth about abortion drugs and the risks they present. Thanks to the efforts of ADF attorneys and 16 state attorneys general, more people can learn about the FDA’s reckless actions and the importance of restoring safeguards around abortion drugs—without being force-fed inaccurate YouTube commentary.

Grant Atkinson serves as Jr. Digital Writer at Alliance Defending Freedom
Grant Atkinson
Digital Writer
Grant serves as a Digital Writer at Alliance Defending Freedom.