FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—A coalition of 16 state attorneys general is calling out YouTube for “misleading” informational posts on abortion videos, warning that the platform is putting women in danger by minimizing the risks of chemical abortions.

“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,” the attorneys general said in the letter, first obtained by The Daily Signal. “It must stop.”

With the effort led by Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird, the letter is addressed to YouTube Chief Executive Officer Neal Mohan and also signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

“Women deserve to know the truth about the dangers of chemical abortion pills,” Bird told The Daily Signal. “For YouTube to attach deceptive labels to videos of women sharing their testimonies after suffering from at-home abortion drugs is a disservice to women everywhere. YouTube must end its blatant misinformation campaign that puts women at risk and quit targeting pro-life messages.”

The letter specifically singles out a video published by the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, in which a woman describes her “excruciating experience of inducing a chemical abortion at home alone, without a doctor or nurse present.”

YouTube added a notice to that video that states: “An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus. The procedure is done by a licensed health care professional.”

That notice “minimizes and downplays some of the serious risks of abortion drugs,” the letter says, calling the notice both “false and misleading” and pointing out that the notice is not backed up by reliable sources.

“It suggests that chemical abortions are performed by trained professionals,” the attorneys general said. “They are not. Although surgical abortions are still typically ‘done by a licensed health care professional,’ under current FDA protocols, chemical abortions are ‘done by’ pregnant women themselves.”

The lack of physician involvement in chemical abortions is also central to the case of Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, a case in which the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments later this month. It deals with the FDA eliminating requirements that doctors care for a pregnant woman in person before, during, and after that woman uses abortion drugs to abort her baby.

The FDA formerly required abortion drugs to be prescribed and administered only by doctors and only in a “health care setting,” the letter notes, since these requirements were intended to mitigate the “serious risks” the chemical abortions pose to women.


“The FDA now allows women to receive these drugs from non-physicians through the mail and to self-administer them, all without ever seeing a physician or other health care professional in person,” the letter says. “The doctors in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine are challenging that unsafe process.”

The attorneys general warn YouTube that “chemical abortion is the most common abortion method in the country, and women deserve to know the truth about these high-risk drugs that send, according to the FDA’s own label, roughly one in 25 women who take them to the emergency room.”

“By asserting that chemical abortions are performed by licensed health care professionals, YouTube lies to our constituents and the rest of the American public,” they add. “That lie is especially concerning because it inaccurately portrays a fact central to a current Supreme Court case.”

If YouTube does not promptly remove or correct the notice, the attorneys general warned that they will need to exercise their “consumer-protection authority to protect pregnant women and other consumers from your falsehoods.” And since YouTube edited and posted the false warning label itself, the letter adds, the company does not have immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

YouTube did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Signal.

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