WINDSOR TERRACE — TikTok, a short-form video-sharing platform that is used by millions, is under fire for a video that went viral showing a presumably pregnant girl laughing and dancing at a Planned Parenthood in California.
The 20-second video, posted by user @cpcake21, has multiple segments. In the first cut, a girl called “Ashley” is standing in front of a mirror, when her friend, who is taking the video, asks Ashley how she feels. At the time, the friend is holding a positive pregnancy test.
The next cut shows Ashley and her friend in a car in a parking lot in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Pasadena, Calif. The shot after that shows a couple waiting in the clinic. Ashley and her friend appear to be mocking them.
Then, the video shows Ashley dancing in the waiting room at the clinic. The video doesn’t show any graphic images, but it does include a close-up shot of an ultrasound. That was the last shot in the video. The video doesn’t indicate if Ashley had an abortion.
The title of the video is “Abortion time! Take 2,” suggesting this was Ashley’s second abortion attempt.
The video, which has been deleted, has been viewed millions of times and has received hundreds of thousands of likes, according to one report.
The casual, even joyful, tone of the video drew widespread criticism from conservatives and pro-life advocates.
“Where did we go so wrong as a society for this young woman to think that what she’s doing is okay?” asked Cathy Donohoe, the president of Queens-based pregnancy resource center The Bridge to Life. “I had a hard time watching the whole thing. We need to reach these young women’s minds and hearts. If we reach them, God will enter. Young women need to know that they are being deceived by Planned Parenthood. Women deserve better than abortion.”
Michael Shoule, a parishioner at American Martyrs, Oakland Gardens, sees the harm of the video, but also the good that can come out of it.
“My sixth-grade daughter is very familiar with TikTok and my seventh-grade son to a certain extent. She has not seen this video yet. As a parent I am very conscious of what my children see on social media in general and in particular those apps that target younger audiences. In this specific case I am saddened by the possibility that this is something that is real and happening way too often,” Shoule said.
“At the same time I think it might be a blessing in disguise that a video like this gets posted because it gives me the opportunity as a parent to have another teaching moment with my children and to talk to them about the truth of when life begins and how important it is to respect life. It is also a chance to remind them that we are not here to judge the girls in the video or anyone else for that matter. Only to pray for them,” he said.
Charlie Kirk, president and founder of Turning Point USA, a conservative advocacy group, asked on Twitter, “What happened to ‘abortions should be safe, legal and rare?’ Now they’re celebrated and streamed on social media.”
TikTok’s community guidelines state the platform is “simply NOT the place to post, share, or promote” anything that includes “harmful, dangerous, graphic, shocking or violent content.”
TikTok, an app that was launched in 2017, is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese internet technology company that was founded in 2012.
Planned Parenthood and TikTok didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.