House Democrats Demand Zuckerberg, Musk Censor ‘Abortion Pill Reversal’ Content

House Democrats Demand Zuckerberg, Musk Censor ‘Abortion Pill Reversal’ Content
Ranking member of the House Oversight Committee Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) speaks during a hearing in Washington on Nov. 14, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Caden Pearson

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee on Thursday called on social media platforms to censor content about “abortion pill reversal.”

In a letter, ranking member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and the panel’s Democrats called on Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk to “combat the spread of misinformation” on their platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and X—formerly known as Twitter—related to the process of reversing medication abortions.

Medication, or chemical, abortions involve a two-drug regimen. The first drug is mifepristone, which blocks the body’s natural production of progesterone during pregnancy, breaks down the uterine lining, and kills the unborn child. The second drug is misoprostol, which forces the uterus to contract to expel the remains and other tissue.

Nationwide, the two-step drug regimen accounts for more than half of all abortions in the United States.

Reversing a medication abortion requires taking progesterone for “at least two weeks” after mifepristone is taken. Trials and case studies on the efficacy of this method are rare, but the method has allowed over 4,000 regretful women to carry their babies to term, according to a Heartbeat International fact sheet.

The panel’s Democrats, in their letter to the Big Tech leaders, cited the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which has deemed the abortion reversal process using progesterone “unproven and unethical.”

The lawmakers also cited a news report quoting the opinion of a doctor who called the procedure “snake oil” before adding that “the best data we have has raised enough concerns” about its effectiveness.

Of particular concern for the panel’s Democrats are posts and advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, and X about “abortion pill reversal” by pro-life advocacy groups, such as Live Action, that the lawmakers claim are “inaccurate” and “misleading.”

“Despite the science being clear about the dangers of abortion pill reversal, anti-abortion organizations continue to post inaccurate and misleading statements advocating for abortion pill reversal services and to post false and misleading medical testimonials from both providers and patients,” they wrote.

The lawmakers accused Facebook and Instagram of becoming conduits for “anti-choice” individuals and groups to promote “propaganda” about the abortion reversal pill, which they described as “dangerously inaccurate medical information.”

They decried the protocol’s promotion happening at a time when abortion access has been restricted by new state laws in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, which returned the power to make abortion laws to the states.

“This flood of abortion misinformation and disinformation seeks to discourage people from getting safe and effective abortion care and services, such as medication abortion, by offering them bad medical advice,” they wrote. “As abortion misinformation and disinformation surge online, patients can come to doubt their health care institutions, their doctors, and themselves—putting their own health and safety at risk.”

“To ensure that misinformation and disinformation does not further undermine the ability of people to obtain abortion care, we urge you to take immediate action to combat the spread of abortion misinformation on [your platforms] in all languages,” they added.

Demanding Censorship

The congressmembers demanded the Big Tech platforms censor this content and brief oversight staff about “the steps your company plans to take to address abortion misinformation.”

The Epoch Times contacted Live Action, X, and Meta for comment.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says the abortion pill reversal protocol is not backed by science.

It criticizes a 2012 case series that reported how the protocol successfully reversed four chemical abortions, saying that it was not proof of progesterone’s efficacy, and noting that the study was “not supervised by an institutional review board (IRB) or an ethical review committee.”

The researchers of the 2012 study concluded that health care professionals “should be aware of the possible use of progesterone to reverse mifepristone in women who have begun the medical abortion process by taking mifepristone and then change their minds.”

The college also pointed out that a 2020 study that took place in an IRB-approved setting ended early owing to safety concerns. The study said that it stopped enrolling participants after 12 (out of a planned 40) joined because three patients experienced severe hemorrhaging requiring ambulance transport to the hospital.

After taking mifepristone, one of the three had “received progesterone” but needed a surgical abortion, and the other two had received a placebo and also needed a surgical abortion, with one of them needing a blood transfusion.

The study states that these participants took 400 mg of progesterone two times per day for three days, starting 24 hours after taking mifepristone. They then reduced the dose to “once daily until their planned surgical abortion 14 to 16 days after enrollment.”

Ultimately, the study did not continue, with the researchers reporting that they “could not estimate the efficacy of progesterone for mifepristone antagonization.”

Pro-life groups, however, say they have helped thousands of women, like Iowa mom Sarah Hurm, to carry their babies to term.