FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 14, 2022
CONTACT: Kelsey Rhodes | email@example.com
Health Care Providers and Non-Profits Urge TikTok, Twitter, Meta and YouTube to Stop Enabling and Profiting From Dangerous Medical Disinformation About FDA-Approved Drugs Like Mifepristone and Misoprostol
In a new open letter, a coalition of medical providers, health care professions, and advocacy nonprofits are urging TikTok, Twitter, Facebook/Instagram and YouTube to “do no harm” and stop the spread of abortion-related disinformation online.
The letter, organized by Physicians for Reproductive Health, and the national gender justice organization, UltraViolet, takes specific aim at how the platforms are enabling, profiting from, and spreading dangerous medical disinformation and misinformation about the FDA-approved drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. Both drugs are used in a FDA-approved regimen for medication abortion care, and have a long track record of safety and scientific study.
However, thousands of posts across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube have false claims that these FDA-approved and provider-prescribed medications are unsafe, calling them “deadly,” “dangerous,” and “chemical,” falsely claiming they pose “serious health risks,” and describing medication abortion as “death by mail.”
The letter, calls on the platforms to:
Remove harmful medical disinformation about abortion care, including disinformation on mifepristone and misoprostol, and deplatform accounts that continue to post this harmful content.
Link to medically accurate information to provide correct, scientifically sound medical information about these prescriptions, similar to what your companies have done in response to / to address COVID disinformation.
Expand disinformation policies to include bans on medical disinformation, including abortion disinformation.
Implement these policies across all languages used on your platforms.
Additionally, the letter cites how platforms have allowed both organic and paid promotion of potentially life-threatening claims about a dangerous and medically unproven procedure known as “abortion reversal.”
Abortion “reversal” is a non-medical term used by those who are anti-abortion to describe a medically unproven protocol in which a high dose of progesterone is given after the first of the two medications are administered.
“As an abortion provider and as the President and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health, a network of almost 500 physician advocates across the country, I know how critical it is that all people have access to medically accurate, evidence-based information about their health,” explained Dr. Jamila Perritt, and OB/GYN and President & CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health. “Disinformation and misinformation about abortion is dangerous, especially in a time where people are navigating onerous and oppressive abortion bans around the country. If tech platforms actually want to support their employees, their families, and their customers, they must be dedicated to sharing accurate information about sexual and reproductive health care. All people are deserving of the truth. No one should be fed coercive, inaccurate, shameful information, including from their social media networks.”
“Promoting untested theories across social media is not just unsafe–it’s life threatening,” added Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet. “The fact that TikTok, Twitter, Facebook/Instagram and YouTube have allowed this information to continue unchecked, even while profiting from paid advertisements spreading it – is not just irresponsible, it’s dangerous.”
The letter was signed by 72 medical providers and healthcare professionals, and supported by 192 nonprofit advocacy organizations including:
#ShePersisted, #VOTEPROCHOICE, 2+ Abortions Worldwide, A Woman’s Choice, Inc., AAUW Seattle, Abortion Access Front, Abortion Care Network, Abortion Freedom Fund, Abortion On Our Own Terms, ACCESS Reproductive Justice, Accountable Tech, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), Advocates for Youth, African American Ministers In Action , AI for the People Inc., Alianza Americas, All-Options, All* Above All Action Fund, American Federation of Teachers, American, Humanist Association, Anti Defamation League, Apiary for Practical Support, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, Athlete Ally, Autistic Self Advocacy Network,Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network, Avow — Unapologetic Abortion Advocacy, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, Battle Born Progress NV, Be A Hero, BlackPAC, Blue Future, Broward for Progress, Carolina Abortion Fund, Catalist, Catholics for Choice, Cedar River Clinics, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Countering Digital Hate, Center for Disability Rights, Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research (CLEAR), Center for Reproductive Rights, Chicago Abortion Fund, Chicago Foundation for Women, Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues, Cobalt, COLAGE, Color of Change, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), Committee to Protect Health Care, DC Section, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Delaware NOW, DemCast USA, Democratic Progressive Caucus of Tampa Bay, Doctors for America, Doctors In Politics, EMAA Project, EMILY’s List Action, Equality California, Equality Labs, Equity Forward, ERA Coalition, Faith Choice Ohio, Faith in Public Life, Faithful America, Feed Our Democracy, Feminist Campus, Feminist Majority Foundation, FL National Organization For Women, Florida Access Network, Fòs Feminista, Free Speech For People, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Fund Texas Choice, Fuse Washington. Gender Justice, Georgia Equality, GLAAD, Global Justice Center, Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR!), Greater Orlando National Organization for Women, Health Care Voices, High Heights for America, Ibis Reproductive Health, If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, Indivisible Plus Washington, Indivisible Washington’s 8th District, Institute for Research on Male Supremacism, Ipas, Jane’s Due Process, Jewish Women International (JWI), Kairos, LB/OC Women Rising, Liberate Abortion, Long Beach Resister Sisters, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Love Me Unlimited 4 Life, Lucy & Isadore B. Adelman Foundation, me too. International, Medical Students for Choice, Midwest Access Coalition, MomsRising, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Abortion Federation, National Abortion Federation, National Birth Equity Collaborative, National Council of Jewish Women, National Council of Jewish Women CA, National Council of Jewish Women Sacramento Section, National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Dallas Section,National Crittenton, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, National Health Law Program, National Institute for Reproductive Health, National LGBT Cancer Network, National LGBTQ Task Force, National Organization for Women, National Organization for Women (NOW) – Virginia, National Partnership for Women & Families, Network for Long COVID Justice / Strategies for High Impact, NOISE FOR NOW,NOW of Greater Marion County, Nurses for Sexual & Reproductive Health, Oregonizers, Out Boulder County, ParentsTogether, Park Avenue Christian Church, Plan C, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Population Connection, Prairie Action North Dakota, Presente.org, Pro Choice Missouri, Pro-Choice Connecticut, Pro-Choice Minnesota, Pro-Choice North Carolina, Pro-Choice Ohio, Pro-Choice Oregon, Pro-Choice Washington, ProgressNow New Mexico, Public Citizen, Reclaim,Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, REPRO Rising Virginia, Reproaction, Reprocare, Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire,Reproductive Health Access Project, Reproductive Justice Action Collective, Reproductive Justice Resilience Project, Reproductive Rights Coalition, Resilience, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), SHERo Mississippi, SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, South Texans for Reproductive Justice, St. Lawrence County, NY League of Women Voters, State Innovation Exchange (SiX), Stop Online Violence Against Women Inc. SumOfUs, Supermajority, Tampa Bay Access Force, The Abortion Diary, The Florida Immigrant Coalition, The Sparrow Project, The Tech Oversight Project, The Womxn Project, Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare (TEACH), Union of Concerned Scientists, Unitarian Universalist Association, United State of Women, URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, Vermont Public Interest Research Group,Western States Center, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, Win Black, Win Without War, Wisconsin Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Women Donors, Women Help Women/SASS, Women Lawyers On Guard Action Network, Inc., Women of Reform Judaism, Women’s March, Women’s March Sussex – DE, Women’s Medical Fund, Inc., Yellowhammer Fund
# # # # #