Facebook censored two advertisements from the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List’s, claiming the videos contained “partly false information” about Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden and VP Nominee Kamala Harris’s views on late-term abortions.
The ads, which focus on the Democratic Party’s position in support of abortion on demand and up until the moment of birth, were labeled by “independent fact-checkers” who claim to “look carefully into claims from elected officials, reports from the media, and disinformation on social media to help you understand what’s true and what’s not.”
The “independent fact-checker,” was NeverTrump website, The Dispatch, which labeled the ads as “partly false” because Biden has not explicitly stated that he supports late-term abortions, even though he has repeatedly said he wants no restrictions on “a woman’s right” to choose.
“Biden has not expressed support for late-term abortions—which, while not being a medical term, generally refers to abortions performed at 21 weeks or later. And neither candidate has voiced support for abortion ‘up to the moment of birth,’” the fact-check reads.
Both Biden and Harris, however, have been very clear that they do not want restrictions on abortions, implying that late-term abortions would be approved.
Despite his flip-flopping on the issue, Biden now supports the revoking Hyde Amendment which would allow taxpayer-funding of abortion and advocates for federal funding of Planned Parenthood. He even claimed that he would make Roe v. Wade the “law of the land” if he is elected in November.
“The only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation making Roe the law of the land,” said Biden. “That’s what I would do.”
The Dispatch’s explanation of SBA List’s claims even quotes Biden saying that he votes for “no restrictions on a woman’s right to be able to have an abortion under Roe v. Wade.”
As National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru notes, both Biden and Harris have “sponsored bills that appear to keep abortion late in pregnancy legal even if the Supreme Court were to change its mind.”
Harris supported the Women’s Health Protection Act, “which would codify Roe v. Wade and remove state restrictions on abortions” and remove “a prohibition on abortion after fetal viability.” As a senator, Biden sponsored legislation to make abortion legal after viability in cases needed to protect “health,” but without ever defining what “health” protections that entailed.
The censorship comes just two days after Facebook announced it would be “limiting distribution” of the New York Post’s bombshell story detailing former vice president Joe Biden’s knowledge of his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.
“Big Tech and the media are teaming up to run interference for the Biden-Harris campaign on what is a losing issue for Democrats – their shameful support for abortion on demand through birth,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “This is the latest example of Facebook censoring political speech and is perfectly timed to shut down SBA List’s vital digital communications as we work to reach eight million voters in key battlegrounds in the final days before Election Day.”
This is not the first time the pro-life advocates were censored by Facebook. In 2018, SBA List ran an ad criticizing Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen for his abortion position, urging voters to consider the Republican candidate and now-Senator Marsha Blackburn. The ad was originally “shut down” by Facebook, but eventually reinstated.
“When Facebook shut down similar ads of ours in 2018, they were forced to admit we were wrongly censored and apologized,” Dannenfelser said. “Now they have outsourced their censorship to the anti-Trump press, continually waging a suppression campaign specifically targeting pro-life conservative voices. We refuse to be silenced.”
The group also keeps a running list on their website which shows almost 20 times pro-life information was censored by big tech.
Update: Shortly after this article was published, the Dispatch issued a statement claiming that the fact check was still in “draft form” and was accidentally published by the editorial staff.
“The fact-check was published in error and in draft form, before it had been through final edits and our own internal fact-checking process,” Editor and CEO of the Dispatch Stephen Hayes wrote. “As a result, the viral post was assigned a ‘partly false’ rating that we have determined is not justified after completing The Dispatch fact-checking process.”
Update on Our Women Speak Out PAC fact-check.
The fact-check was published in error and in draft form, before it had been through final edits and our own internal fact-checking process.
We regret the error and apologize to the Women Speak Out PAC.https://t.co/AdP3VjOQGr
— The Dispatch Fact Check (@TheDispatchFC) October 16, 2020
The Dispatch says that they have “lifted the rating” from the ads and apologized to the Women Speak Out PAC.
Despite their claims that the publication of the fact check was an accident, the Dispatch received backlash for retweeting the fact check article, which was posted to social media by the reporter three days before it was taken down.
Internal Facebook fact-checking procedure also requires fact-checking tags to be directly assigned by a person, which means that this “partly false rating” along with the link back to the Dispatch’s article was personally approved by someone at the Dispatch or Facebook.
Anti-Trumper Jonah Goldberg, the Dispatch’s editor-in-chief, however, failed to claim personal responsibility for the previously stated editorial error.
Funny how among four different types of editors, none of them bear any responsibility when their website publishes fake news. pic.twitter.com/kr8PgGYAcr
— Calvin Freiburger (@CalFreiburger) October 16, 2020