Even The Internet Is Anti-Choice: The Importance Of Being Pro-Choice Online

10 Aug
How do you start your search for information?  By opening up an encyclopedia, or by typing ‘Google’ into your internet browser?  Like most people I usually start with Google.  Is the internet perfect? No, but the first search result that comes up is often the one that I’m looking for.  Typing in ‘Wal-Mart’ gets me Wal-Mart’s web site, ‘shelf life of eggs’ gets me a variety of frugal living websites providing info on whether that date on the carton is a sell-by or scramble-by deadline, and ‘peanut comic strips’ takes me to a complete archive of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strips.  But typing in ‘abortion’ does not get me accurate information.  Instead the top result is “AbortionFacts.com,” though its content is anything but factual.

It claims that there is no mental health reason to have an abortion, that ‘post abortion syndrome’ is a real phenomenon.  Their source?

” For Your Reference Page: All content on this site is individually authored. The site is was made by Heritage House ’76 by using many different reputable sources. Most brochures that are © Heritage House ‘76 can be referenced with the author of Michael Monahan.”  Reputable?  Hardly — the references made available on this site pale in comparison to the most lazy elementary school plagiarized report on the anteater, copied out of the encyclopedia.  Unsurprisingly Heritage House 76’s web site (a link to which is hidden at the bottom of the page) specializes in such anti-choice paraphernalia as checks with photos of fetuses, and even anti-choice bubble gum stamped with little feet.

AbortionFacts.com claims that having an abortion is not safe, and shows photos of a woman crying to drive home the point.  In an odd attempt to reduce the number of abortions had by teenage girls, they claim that for, “15 to 17 year old women, pregnancy may even be physically healthier than in women of older ages,” a bit of theoretical trivia that is wholly irrelevant to the decision of whether to have an abortion as a teenage girl.  They also claim that incestuous pregnancies are “a way to unite mother and daughter” and “a way to stop the incest.”  Yes, in their twisted view, pregnancy as a result of incestuous rape is a good thing.

This anti-choice propaganda also attempts to connect up Planned Parenthood’s founder with ethnic cleansing, while simultaneously chastising Planned Parenthood for deviating from what they describe as anti-abortion origins.  Unsurprisingly, this site also is against abortion in cases of rape or incest, and goes to great theatrical lengths to describe the “trauma” of abortion in any case.  To call this anti-choice fiction would be a gross understatement, but sadly there are no more accurate words currently available in the English language.

And this is what women find when they Google ‘abortion.’  They find lies, scare tactics, recriminations and judgment, nonsense stated as if it were facts, and absolutely nothing of use.  They click on a site labeled “Abortion Facts” and find the opposite.  This is where the anti-choicers are winning, and this is why internet activism is important.  It’s not about typing on my computer being easier than being in a clinic.  It’s about the dissemination of accurate information.  It’s about not resting until every woman knows what her options are, and what the real facts are surrounding those options.  To do that we have to keep writing, keep putting out content, keep reminding women what their choices are.


13 Responses to “Even The Internet Is Anti-Choice: The Importance Of Being Pro-Choice Online”

  1. Dee August 10, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    I recently found an article on Media Matters stating that conservatives were purposefully redirecting traffic to their websites on Digg by clicking UP on conservative links multiple times and clicking to bury liberal links several times. Could something similar be done on Google, not the UP and DOWN, but the artificial bumping of a site? I believe that BP did it as well, during the recent spill.

  2. Cynthia August 11, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Ugh, it’s horrid trying to talk to anti-choicers online about their silly reasons. (Twitter, I’m looking at you!)

    I believe there is a way to bump up traffic to actual pr-choice sites.

    Unfortunately, if people keep clicking on these anti-choice sites and give them traffic, they’ll remain in that position on the first page.

  3. Ceecee August 11, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    NEWS FLASH: Pro-life information is protected by the first amendment. The internet is the people’s news source. We have a right to put up pro-life info if we want to.

  4. Eric August 11, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    Perhaps we can talk to Google? We need an organization to speak with them. I mean, I’m not saying that the top result needs to be NARAL, but maybe a ProCon kind of site. After all, having this website as the first result detracts from the quality of their search engine.

  5. Billy August 12, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    The anti choice rhetoric of “post-abortion syndom” is really post partum depression. That happens in cases of miscarraige, after going through pregnancy and even with abortion. If someone has post partum depression from an abortion they are obviously going to have the problem even after they would go though delivery. A smart person would put that together. The problme is: someone who does not know how to put 1 and 2 together is ussually the type of person seeking the services so they are likely to succumb to the bad advice from deceitful people so they are likely to believe such b.s. How do I knwo this? I had an abortion and had post partum depression for up to 2 years. I wouldve had the same problem (maybe even worse)if I had gone through my pregnancy. I know this not from pro choice rhetoric but from completely objectified unbias medical advice (in case anyone wants to counter the statement) but mostly from developing common sense.

  6. Emily August 13, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    Anyone can make their website one of the first results on a page if they pay for it. The only thing that regular people like us can do to make sure that truthful pro-choice content shows up on the first page of a search is to watch pro-choice videos on YouTube and other video websites. The most viewed videos on any given topic land on the first page of results.

  7. WeCanChangeIt August 14, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    I once had a fellow student cite abortionfacts.com as a source. It hurt my brain. Anti-choice rhetoric, as a commenter writes, is protected by the first amendment. For example, saying your opinion that you believe that abortion is immoral is fine. That’s your opinion. However, the beauty of the internet and the first amendment is that you have many, many people out there who can fact-check you when you write something without evidence. I do not need evidence for your opinion for you to have the write to say it. I do, however, have the responsibility to advocate for accurate, medically sound information and to say that, based on the evidence you provided, I believe your conclusion is invalid.

  8. Emily August 15, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    The problem is, both sides of the issue believe what they read as long as it aligns with their beliefs and call everything else biased. So how can you cite a source that someone isn’t going to be considered biased? If a professor is really anti-choice, they’re not going to accept anything from the Guttmacher Institute, even though they do actual research. Any pro-choice professor is going to see the agenda in anti-choice sites and studies. After all, there are peer-reviewed articles with anti-choice bias, even if the methodology is flawed.

  9. Alicia September 7, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    You’ll be happy to know that, after reading this, I triple checked (I type ‘abortion into Google news often, rarely the web engine though) and abortionfacts.com was third down on the page. Granted, I’m studying abroad in Ireland for the semester, so the first few options are Irish or UK sites. Sadly the way I found out that abortion is illegal in Ireland and now I feel a little ill, even being here.


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