YouTube Censors Pro-Life Video

By now, most Americans are familiar with YouTube.  The on-line video provider, which is now owned by Google, has enabled millions of Americans to post their own videos on the Internet for all to see.  It is an equal opportunity outlet for would-be film producers, operating without censorship–or is it?

Yesterday we at PRI learned that YouTube has taken down the video of PRI’s Carlos Polo interviewing “The Decency Gap” producer Eve Reinhardt.  In its place is a blank screen and the words, “This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.” 

We were stunned.  What could have been so offensive about this video, produced by the Catholic News Service, that YouTube yanked it off the air?  We visited the “terms of use” page, and learned that YouTube doesn’t permit such things as pornography, animal abuse, and graphic violence from being posted, but CNA’s video (of course) contained none of this.

“We encourage free speech and defend everyone’s right to express unpopular points of view,” their site further insists. 

Well, not in this case.  The interview, which unmasked a devious effort by the abortion movement to conduct ambush interviews with Latin American bishops and pro-lifers, was apparently too pro-life for them.

Here’s what happened.  With financial backing from worldwide abortion supporters, Eve Reinhardt traveled to Peru in late June seeking interviews with Catholic Bishops and pro-life leaders.  As the Director of the Latin American office of the Population Research Institute, Carlos Polo was one of the first pro-lifers she contacted.  Reinhardt presented herself as an “independent” film maker who wanted to interview people on both sides of the abortion debate and produce an unbiased documentary.  She also said that, while her project did not yet have a name, she had already interviewed Catholic Bishops and pro-life leaders in Cuzco.

It did not take Carlos long to discover this was mostly a fabrication.  The Internet revealed that Reinhardt’s project did have a name, “The Decency Gap,” and that its real aim was to overturn the Mexico City policy, restore U.S. population control funding to groups like the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and build support for legalizing abortion in poor countries.

An interview with PRI would have been of special interest to Reinhardt because of our leading role in defending and enforcing the Mexico City policy, denying hundreds of millions of U.S. tax dollars to some of the most rapid supporters of abortion and population control in the world.

Carlos Polo decided to give Reinhardt some of her own medicine.  He agreed to meet with her, and brought along a video cameraman to record the encounter.  He charged her with misleading him about her aims while she, on camera, backpedals furiously.  After the interview, Reinhardt actually sent Carlos an e-mail apologizing for misleading him.  “This is just one more illustration of the way that pro-abortion groups routinely lie to us,” he says now.  “They invite pro-lifers to pseudo-debates that are supposedly unbiased, only to later call us “fundamentalists” and “backwards.” This time, however, the deception didn’t work.” 

When Carlos’ expose hit the news in Latin America and the United States, “The Decency Gap” collaborators quickly edited their website.  They no longer, echoing the most radical pro-abortion groups, refer to the Mexico City policy as the Global Gag Rule.  They are trying to project an image of neutrality on the issue, clearly hoping to entice pro-lifers who are still ignorant of their intent into more ambush interviews.  Despite the cosmetic changes, it is clear that their ultimate goals have not changed.  They want the U.S. taxpayer to fund abortion around the globe.  Not only that, they want to use U.S. funds to overturn laws protecting the unborn in developing countries.  In the end, it’s all about money.

In the meantime, the Catholic News Agency had written a major story about our expose and, among other things, posted the video on YouTube. 

Then it was taken down.  We have confirmed that the Catholic News Agency did not authorize its removal.  In other words, YouTube censored our message.

Our friends at the Catholic News Agency have taken immediate action to ensure that their right to free speech is respected, and they have already released an article denouncing this arbitrary decision.  In conversation with David Uebbing, the senior editor, he stated that “as the editor of a news agency that strives to provide people around the world the truth about the Catholic Church and issues of concern to Catholics, I find it frustrating that The Decency Gap project is able to convince YouTube to remove a factual video without any explanation.” 

They have also posted their video again under a slightly different title.  It should be available here (if it isn’t, that means YouTube has taken this one down, as well!).

This is apparently not the first time YouTube, and its parent company, have engaged in censorship.  Bowing to pressure from Beijing, Google blocks certain content from its Chinese website.  YouTube’s owners have characterized their collaboration with the China’s Ministry of Public Security as the cost of doing business in that country.

Now, apparently, YouTube is importing this kind of censorship to America. 

Recently, the American Life League posted a video criticizing Planned Parenthood’s indecent TV advertisements.  YouTube, responding to pressure from pro-choicers, removed the video, calling it “inappropriate.”  At the same time, however, they allowed Planned Parenthood’s original ads to remain on YouTube.   Fortunately, American Life League was able to put enough pressure on YouTube that the site finally caved and replaced their video, citing a “technical malfunction.”

Right now, we at PRI is trying to get the word out about this censorship.  That means we need everyone to tell their friends, especially those who have blogs, and to contact YouTube.  Tell them to repost the CNA video that they have “inappropriately” taken down.  Tell them that this is America, not the People’s Republic of China.

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Steven W. Mosher is the President of Population Research Institute and an internationally recognized authority on China and population issues, as well as an acclaimed author, speaker. He has worked tirelessly since 1979 to fight coercive population control programs and has helped hundreds of thousands of women and families worldwide over the years.

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