YouTube’s The LaBrant Family is facing intense backlash after releasing a “documentary” on Saturday about their pro-life views.
The video titled ‘Abortion. (documentary)‘ explores abortion from the perspective of Cole and Savannah “Sav” LaBrant— the young Christian parents at the helm of the wildly popular family vlogging channel.
The “documentary” is framed as an investigation into the “truth” about abortion in an effort to help women access better healthcare and resources.
“I have my personal convictions, and you have yours. We’re all so different, and that’s okay. But where is God’s heart at? Where is the truth and peace amidst all the chaos and lies? We want to go on a journey to find out the truth and to find out how we can actually help and make a difference instead of just adding more noise to an already-deafening discussion,” Cole says in a voice-over introducing the documentary.
Despite claiming they’re on a quest for truth, it is soon made clear that the video is anti-abortion propaganda. Throughout the 38-minute documentary, Cole and Sav interview a handful of pro-life doctors and women who chose to keep their babies. The doctors share graphic details about the abortion process and use manipulative tactics such as fear-mongering and guilt-tripping to make pregnant people feel shame for even considering their options— as if abortion isn’t already an incredibly difficult decision for most.
Cole and Sav claim to care about women’s access to healthcare while actively fighting against it.
The documentary, posted to their 13.1 million subscribers, gives no air-time to the other side, nor does it explore the complex emotional, mental, and socio-economical reasons a pregnant person may choose to have an abortion.
In addressing why someone may need to have an abortion, the LaBrants call on former abortionist-turned-pro-life OB-GYN Dr. Anthony Levatino to discredit a pregnant person’s safety and further guilt them into keeping their baby, regardless if their own life is at risk.
The video also makes shocking comparisons between abortion and horrific historical events such as the Holocaust and the Rwandan and Cambodian genocides, with the implication that access to abortion has taken more “lives” than these events.
The LaBrants linked to anti-abortion groups in the video’s description box disguised as “abortion resources” and have kept the comments turned off.
While the LaBrants have long been polarising figures in the YouTube space— often criticised for exploiting their children for views and money (the irony)— many feel this video is a new low. Cole and Sav have built their channel off creating family-friendly content, attracting an audience of predominantly children who idolise them.
Releasing anti-abortion propaganda to this young audience under the guise of wanting to help women find better access to healthcare is incredibly harmful, and framing their stance on the human rights issue as “pro-love” further villanises those who do seek abortion— putting the mother’s life even more at risk.
Though it’s still unclear whether the “documentary” will affect the LaBrants’ relationship with their brand partners, this is another example of the toxic content that comes out of family vloggers, furthering the recent argument that these channels should be banned from YouTube as a genre.