An anti-choice group, ‘40 days for life’ is conducting a workshop on ‘pro-life training’. A description of their event claims: Abortion is the leading cause of death in the world, ending more lives than cardiovascular disease, cancer, AIDS, war, hunger … or any other cause (Based on data from the World Health Organization.) This information is completely inaccurate.
WHO’s website lists the following as the leading causes of death globally, in this exact order: Ischemic heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS (Read here: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/). The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) too lists heart disease as the leading cause of death, followed by cancer (Read here: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm). We believe that it is unethical for ‘40 days for life’ to make these false claims to promote their event.
We emailed Eventbrite and expressed our concern. As a pro-choice organisation, we understand and respect the fact that people might take a differing stance. However, to use exaggeration and lies in order to make one’s point is condemnable. The response we received from the website was unsatisfactory – ‘Eventbrite is just a tool they use for ticketing, so unfortunately we only know as much as what’s on the public event page you used for registration.’
While we completely support the right to freedom of speech and the right to protest, it unacceptable that women attempting to access legal abortion services should have to face intimidation and harassment. We strongly condemn this misinformation being circulated, especially through a website like Eventbrite. We ask that the website claims some responsibility for the content that is posted on their pages and stops permitting misrepresentation and propaganda.
Abortion Rights regularly defends attacks from anti-choice campaigners who seek to curb women’s access to safe and legal reproductive health services. But we can’t be everywhere. We ask you to call out similar unfounded claims. Write to the website, flood their inbox – get activist groups to act responsibly and in the best interests of the general public.