Who runs Pro Life Whistleblower? Texas site blocked after flood of fake tips, porn
A website meant to take advantage of new anti-abortion law in Texas has quickly been blocked after TikTok and Reddit users' guerrilla campaign
TikTokers and Redditors were quick to band together to thwart Texas' new abortion law from being used by pro-lifers. On September 2, www.prolifewhistleblower.com was blocked from being accessed after a flood of fake reports, memes, and porn. The website was created to help Texans report potential violations of the new law, which would then be passed on to the government. However, it didn't go to plan as many users were happy to note.
The war against the website is part of pro-choice users' campaign against Texas' draconian new law, which has we reported basically kills Roe v Wade. After inaction from the Supreme Court, the law went into effect on September 1, much to the delight of pro-lifers. President Joe Biden weighed in and condemned the law. On September 2, Jen Psaki also weighed in, telling EWTN reporter Owen Jensen, "I know you've never been pregnant."
The law is one of the several being passed across GOP-controlled states. In July, Mississippi's Attorney General Lynn Fitch called on the SCOTUS to overturn Roe v Wade, but that seems unlikely to happen. That's where Texas' law comes in. It's proven to be successful, and unchallenged means it could become the template for other states. While the judiciary may have not weighed in, social media definitely did, taking on the pro-life whistleblower website, much to many people's amusement.
Who owns Pro-Life Whistleblower?
The website was reportedly launched by Texas Right to Life, a conservative group of doctors, lawyers, ministers, and social workers. The group was created in the 1960s before Roe v Wade became the standard across the US. The group describes itself as the "oldest, largest, and only statewide Pro-Life organization in Texas." Over the years, it has waded into numerous other debates as well, including euthanasia, and cloning.
Apart from providing education on such topics, the group also lobbies Texas' politicians on such matters. It is currently backing a full ban on abortions in the state, through bills sponsored by Senator Charles Perry and Representative Tom Oliverson. The group has also been vocally behind SB8, the new Texas law that bans abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected. That support did, however, lead to some trouble for the group earlier. On August 31, an Austin judge blocked Texas Right to Life from filing a lawsuit against several parties that were involved in an abortion, before SB8 went into effect.
"This ruling by a Travis County judge does not change Texas Right to Life’s plans," the group said in response. Under SB8, anyone can report an individual for seeking an abortion or even those who help an individual seeking an abortion. To encourage reports, Texas Right to Life opened prolifewhistleblower.com in July. It would allow anyone to anonymously submit tips, but predictably, it didn't end well.
Site blocked after trolls attack
As soon as news of the site's presence was made, TikTokers and Redditors jumped into action. Pro-choice supporters began flooding the website with anonymous fake tips, memes, and even porn. That was made possible because the website has an option to upload images. One TikToker claimed they submitted 742 reports of Governor Greg Abbott getting abortions. The efforts were made public through Twitter as well, after a tweet by Nancy Cárdenas Peña, a Texas director for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice.
"Found this copypasta on reddit and it's PERFECT," one user replied to Pena's tweet. Another user shared a submission, calling it, "a very serious matter." One more person shared a video saying, "Hope the pro-life losers running the abortion whistleblower form like Shrek p*rn."
Found this copypasta on reddit and it's PERFECT pic.twitter.com/JvgDEL1DpP— rachael brooks (@Rachael_Brooks) August 22, 2021
"Here's my tip. I got blocked so I used my VPN set to Houston and got thru," one user tweeted. Another person said "Fun stuff!" as they shared an image of their submission, which included a reference to Fred Flinstone.
Here's my tip. I got blocked so I used my VPN set to Houston and got thru. pic.twitter.com/Wm7TXtqsbB— Lah lah lah lah! I can't hear you MAGAts (@bully4me16) August 25, 2021
Initially, the site was hit with a DDOS attack, but that didn't seem to deter Texas Right to Life. As the spammy submissions started coming in, they first began blocking all non-Texas IPs, but now appear to have taken the site. When MEAWW attempted to visit the site, we were greeted with the message "access denied". Some people are still able to get through, using VPNs.
Despite the massive online campaign, the group is clearly not deterred from going ahead. "We’d like to thank all the folks on social media who posted about the site and brought attention to the site, including those who were encouraging the fake reports," the group's director of media and communication Kimberlyn Schwartz told Spectrum News. She said the group would keep the site up, and use any relevant tips to sue those violating SB8. Meanwhile, the trolls continue to attack.