Speed Reads

'false narrative'

'Horrifying and utterly unsurprising': The 'shady' abortion reversal ads running on Facebook

Social media giant Facebook has been allowing ads for an "unproven and unethical" abortion reversal procedure to be seen up to 18.4 million times over the last year and a half, The Daily Beast reports.

The "shady" ads are typically a part of anti-abortion campaigns, and advertise a "potentially dangerous," non FDA-approved abortion pill reversal method. According to a 92-ad analysis from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, such bulletins were viewed on Facebook "between 16.2 and 18.4 million times — including more than 700,000 times by children between the ages of 13 and 17" — from Jan. 1, 2020 to Sept. 8, 2021, The Daily Beast writes, per the CCDH. What's more, the social network reportedly "accepted between $115,400 and $140,667 for these ads over that time period, according to its own ad library."

But Zuckerberg isn't the only offender. "More than three-quarters of Google searches for terms related to abortion displayed similar ads," notes The Daily Beast. Both Facebook and Google have said they are investigating or have removed the flagged ads, respectively.

Dina Montemarano, research director at NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the CCDH's report "both horrifying and utterly unsurprising." 

"[These companies] would rather let far-right anti-choice groups advertise an unproven, dangerous practice to literal teenagers than address even the lowest-hanging fruit of medical disinformation," she said.

Anti-abortion advocates have "for years" promoted abortion pill reversal, despite dubious studies and serious complications.

Dr. Nisha Verma, an abortion provider and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists fellow, said ads like these project "this false narrative that people aren't sure, that people aren't getting counseling, that they're getting tricked into making these decisions and then changing their minds." She added, "And that then contributes to other attempts to restrict abortion." Read more at The Daily Beast.