The pro-life movement should brace against big technology

Although the US Supreme Court is preparing for a coup Raw vs. WadeThe fight to defend human life is just the beginning. If the leaked majority opinion holds, and the abortion issue is brought back to the United States, abortion activists and their corporate allies will use whatever means necessary to stop the pro-life movement — including censorship of the big tech companies.

Big tech companies have already used censorship to suppress pro-life advocacy, while also raising aggressive pro-abortion agendas. In a recent election cycle, after a third-party Facebook fact-checker targeted Susan B. Anthony Not Because of “misleading claims” about Joe Biden’s policy on abortions of late, the pro-life group launched a media campaign to secure both a retraction of an apology.

Last September, Google removed pro-life ads through Live Action while allowing ads promoting dangerous abortion pills. Google’s actions prompted a letter from 11 US senators, who stated that “Google’s double standards on abortion are disingenuous and a flagrant abuse of its massive market power to protect the billion-dollar abortion industry.”

This pattern of censorship and abolition of the statute will only intensify if Ro He was finally turned over. To win the battle ahead, pro-life groups will need to use social media, marketing platforms, donation processing software, customer relationship management software, and other hands-on services that big tech companies provide to profit and nonprofit organizations. So it’s important that pro-life leaders know which big tech platforms are likely to target them and which don’t.

Pro-life leaders now have this information at their fingertips, compiled into the Big Tech Scorecard. Published by Napa Legal, the scorecard reviews and evaluates user agreements for more than 50 major online platforms, finding that 65 percent of them pose risks to freedom of expression and religious freedom. These agreements allow for termination of services, removal of content, and even fines as penalties for violations of the companies’ vague, arbitrary, or highly partisan Content Policies. If pro-life groups fail to understand these agreements and the risks that many of them pose to their operations, their nation-wide efforts may falter from the start.

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 4: An anti-abortion protester is surrounded by police as abortion rights advocates protest near the US Supreme Court building on May 4, 2022 in Washington, DC. Demonstrations continue across the country as abortion rights and anti-abortion advocates react to the initial draft of a leaked majority opinion suggesting the US Supreme Court would strike down two abortion-related cases, ending federal protections for abortion rights.
Sarah Selbiger / Getty Images

For example, GiveLively, a free fundraising platform for nonprofits, states in its terms of use that it will terminate or suspend organizations’ accounts if their activities “defend or deny women’s rights.” If there is any confusion about what “women’s rights” means for GiveLively, the company lists “reproductive health” — a well-known euphemism for abortion — as one of its corporate values. Pro-life groups should be clear.

PayPal payment processing service is not better than anything. PayPal reserves the right to fine users upwards of $2,500 if it determines that advocacy efforts are “forms of intolerance” – which is largely an open statement. This fine can be deducted directly from the user’s account, as clearly stated in the PayPal User Agreement. While PayPal has yet to make a public statement about abortion since the Supreme Court leak, it has made direct donations to Planned Parenthood in the past.

Also consider Mailchimp, a major platform for marketing campaigns and mailing lists. In its “sole judgment,” Mailchimp reserves the right to delete your account and can “suspend service to you at any time, with or without cause.” Mailchimp adds that “we will not refund or compensate you in any situation….once you terminate your account, you acknowledge and agree that we may permanently delete your account and all data associated with it, including your campaigns.” Mailchimp’s standard terms of use do not refer to abortion, but parent company Intuit offers “termination of pregnancy” as a health benefit to its employees.

Even if pro-life groups choose their vendors wisely, targeting and censorship will likely continue due to pressure campaigns from abortion activists and their allies in Group C. This pressure will likely include increased scrutiny of pro-life activism across state lines, which is why pro-life leaders must ensure they are up to date with their operations and compliance practices. If not, pro-life organizations may face fines, penalties, litigation, or even dissolution. Fortunately, there are practical and easy steps pro-life leaders can take now to check if their organizations are ready for these attacks.

The stakes are too high for complacency. Life hangs completely in the balance, which is why pro-life groups must act now rather than later to make sure they are ready for the corporate headwinds they will face if the battle for life returns to the states.

Josh Holdenried is Vice President and CEO of Napa Law Institute, which educates faith-based nonprofits.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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