Casey Thomas has used local Facebook moms groups as a parenting resource for the last seven years and had never been bullied – until recently.
“From time to time there had been liberal posts I disagreed with, but I let it go,” the Kansas City mom wrote in a recent Facebook post. “After all, I was there for advice on the best parks in town and how to get my toddler to eat more veggies.”
Things changed, however, after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24.
“When Roe v. Wade was overturned, it was like a switch flipped,” she said. “It got offensive, one-sided, and it was just everywhere. I mean, it was in every single moms group.
The tension is particularly high in the Kansas City area as a significant Kansas constitutional amendment to reauthorize the regulation of abortion is on Tuesday’s ballot.
“What I was seeing was oftentimes the original posts were pro-abortion, and then if a mom that was pro-life were to comment, she would be bullied. There’s no other word for it. It’s bullying.”
At first, Thomas said, she wondered whether pro-life moms were simply afraid to post their opinions. Then she learned that group administrators were blocking pro-life posts from appearing at all.
“They weren’t being accepted – they were flat out being denied,” she said of the pro-life posts.
Thomas discovered she wasn’t alone and took action by starting her own Facebook group called “Conservative KC Moms.” A month later, nearly 700 members have joined.
“When this group was created, so much of the feedback – and I fell in this myself – was that moms were feeling isolated, alone, and beginning to think they were crazy because their values system wasn’t represented,” she said.
“We’re able to help just as moms, kind of come together and support one another.”
Thomas said many of her group’s members have commented on the “Value Them Both” amendment, asking for more resources to combat disinformation.
In one example, Thomas shared the Kansas attorney general’s statement with her group, clarifying that the amendment in itself would not ban or restrict abortion. The statement also explained that if passed, physicians would still be able to provide medical care in cases of miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies.
“They tried sharing [that statement] in another moms group, and it was immediately deleted,” she said.
Thomas also said that a mom in her group reported an electioneering incident where a stranger illegally tried to persuade her to vote no on the amendment while she was in the polling location, about to cast her vote.
“It’s not like this solely pro-choice discussion around ‘Value Them Both’ in our metro community is happening in a liberal moms Facebook group, or an abortion rights Facebook group,” she said, saying that they used neutral words such as “KC Moms” to describe themselves.
“It would be one thing if this was happening in specific groups [where] it’s very clear that that’s how they feel. But it’s very dangerous to do that in these moms groups with thousands of members. It’s just not OK.”