Olivia Rodrigo appears next to a box of Julie and a flyer that reads "Funding abortion is a good idea, right?"

Andrea Austria / Media Matters; Olivia Rodrigo via Instagram

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“Satanic" plant and facilitator of “genocide”: Right-wing media’s unhinged response to Olivia Rodrigo concert attendees receiving emergency contraceptives

Anti-abortion figures attacked Rodrigo and spread misinformation about contraceptives as she supports reproductive health access on tour

As pop star Olivia Rodrigo promotes abortion rights in collaboration with reproductive health groups on her GUTS tour, right-wing media have gone on the attack, with one figure even accusing Rodrigo of “facilitating genocide” by inviting abortion organizations that offer emergency contraceptives to concertgoers. Conservative figures also spread misinformation about the morning-after pill after nonprofit groups distributed free emergency contraception at one recent concert in Missouri, arguing that the drug terminates a pregnancy. In reality, the over-the-counter medication prevents but does not terminate pregnancies.

  • Rodrigo is working with reproductive health advocates to raise money for abortion funds and promote reproductive justice, but her team recently asked abortion orgs to stop distributing sexual health items

    • On March 13, abortion-supporting nonprofits Right by You and the Missouri Abortion Fund offered free condoms and doses of Julie, an emergency contraception pill, to attendees at an Olivia Rodrigo concert in St. Louis. As part of Rodrigo’s “Fund 4 Good” initiative which supports “reproductive health freedom,” Rodrigo has promised to donate a portion of ticket proceeds to local abortion funds and nonprofits, including in Missouri, which has a near-total ban on abortion. [Twitter/X, 3/14/24; 19th News, 3/13/24]
    • Right by You noted that Rodrigo’s team did not specifically ask the group to distribute emergency contraception at the show. The group’s project director told NPR, “It was our decision to bring the emergency contraception, which we always do when we table,” adding, ”It wasn't necessarily something [Olivia's team] asked us to do." [NPR, 3/13/24]
    • According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, emergency contraception “is a safe, effective way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex” and “does not cause an abortion.” Drugs like Julie and Plan B One-Step are available over the counter to anyone without age restrictions, but the drugs often cost more than $40, which can act as a barrier to access. [ACOG, accessed 3/14/24; The Cut, 3/16/23]
    • On March 14, reproductive health advocates confirmed to Jezebel that Rodrigo’s management would no longer permit the distribution of sexual health supplies like condoms, lube, or emergency contraception at future concerts. According to an anonymous abortion fund worker, Rodrigo’s management asked reproductive health orgs to remove such supplies from their tables, citing “concerns about the items being out on tables at shows children were attending.” Stephanie Kraft Sheley, the project director and founder of Right by You, told Jezebel, “We’re very grateful for this partnership with Olivia Rodrigo and the visibility she’s offering to abortion funds nationally, and we also want the public to understand that supplying the community with pregnancy prevention and safer sex supplies is a significant part of what abortion funds have to offer.” [Jezebel, 3/14/24]
    • Following news that reproductive health items would no longer be distributed at future concerts, health care providers criticized the apparent walkback by Rodrigo’s management. Reacting to the news, pediatrician Rebekah Fenton wrote, “The concern about giving ‘kids’ free access to reproductive healthcare only stigmatizes this work.” Fenton also noted that teens have sex and emphasized the importance of offering resources to ensure they can do so safely and minimize risk of pregnancy. [Twitter/X, 3/14/24]
  • Right-wing voices are spreading lies about emergency contraception and railing against Rodrigo

    • On X (formerly Twitter), Fox News host Rachel Campos-Duffy fearmongered about the safety of the morning-after pill, asking her followers, “Will she [Rodrigo] be collecting parental permission forms at the concert or be held liable if a child is hurt from taking these drugs?” [Twitter/X, 3/14/24]
    • A video posted by the anti-abortion group Students for Life of America falsely claimed that “Plan B itself can be an abortifacient.” Emergency contraceptive drugs are not “abortifacient,” or abortion-inducing medications. The video also criticized Rodrigo for allegedly “encouraging young women and even kids to have sex.” [Twitter/X, 3/14/24]
    • Mary Morgan, co-host of Pop Culture Crisis on Tim Pool’s media network, called Rodrigo “a satanic industry plant.” On X, Morgan falsely claimed that Rodrigo was “distributing free abortion pills at her concerts,” before adding, “I knew this former disney kid was a satanic industry plant from the time she was invited to the white house to promote vaccines.” [Twitter/X, 3/14/24]
    • Former NHL commentator turned Turning Point USA host Jon Root wrote that Rodrigo “proudly and unapologetically supports baby murder, casual sex.” He then called on conservatives “to denounce this evil exponentially more than any issue they had with Taylor Swift.” [Twitter/X, 3/13/24]
    • Anti-abortion group 40 Days for Life said Rodrigo’s concerts “now double as abortion dispensaries for young girls.” The group previously attacked Rodrigo for “glorifying and financially fueling the abortion industry,” asking: “If this doesn't prove abortion is their sacrament, what does?” [Twitter/X, 3/13/24; 3/1/24]
    • In response to a photo of a concertgoer holding a Julie package, Newsmax correspondent Addison Smith wrote: “Olivia Rodrigo is facilitating genocide.” [Twitter/X, 3/13/24]
    • Right-wing outlet Breitbart promoted an article about Rodrigo on X, writing, “Curious how the Disney Channel churns out so many high priestesses of child sacrifice.” The linked Breitbart article falsely wrote that Julie “terminates pregnancy” and criticized the pop star because she “publicly assailed the Supreme Court for overturning Roe.” [Twitter/X, 3/13/24; Breitbart, 3/13/24]
    • When Rodrigo announced her tour would donate some concert proceeds to reproductive health organizations via the Fund 4 Good initiative, anti-abortion group Live Action criticized the initiative’s “propagandistic name”, adding, “The killing of innocent preborn human beings under the guise of something ‘good’ is an impossibility.” Live Action also called on Rodrigo to “stand up in support of the preborn girls who are being killed in the womb” and claimed that Rodrigo’s support for abortion access is “sending the message that the only way to be successful in today’s society is to be childless.” [Live Action, 3/1/24]
    • A Media Research Center blog said that the reproductive health organizations Rodrigo has supported via the Fund 4 Good initiative “help women kill their babies.” The blog’s condescending opening sentence argued, “For a girl that got her period like two years ago, she sure has a lot to say about abortions,” before asserting that Rodrigo’s advocacy for abortion rights is “so detrimental.” A Live Action ambassador quoted by the MRC fearmongered that “Hollywood has a very clear agenda; to promote, pressure, and coerce women into thinking abortion is their only option.” [Media Research Center, 2/29/24]