By Cassy Fiano-Chesser
Lawmakers and abortion advocates are working to ensure that search engine results prevent abortion-vulnerable women from finding results for pregnancy centers (PRCs) when searching for information about abortion. Despite abortion advocates’ continual attacks on pregnancy centers, PRCs give women the help abortion facilities will not. Abortion facilities do very little to give vulnerable, desperate women options beyond merely abortion. Pregnancy resource centers, meanwhile, offer women numerous services, including medical care, housing, help with education, access to material goods, and more.
Earlier this week, Ms. Magazine complained that people who search for “abortion services near me” will see ads for pregnancy resource centers in search results. In 2019, Google implemented a policy where pregnancy center advertisements included a warning stating “does not provide abortion.” Still, this is not good enough for Ms. Magazine, who interviewed Plan C, an abortion pill profiteer, on the business’s efforts to force Google to further hide pro-life results from women.
“We’ve been noticing this for some time that the warnings were not always showing up when it comes to ads,” Martha Dimitratou, the social media manager for Plan C, told Ms. Magazine. “We’ve been in communication with Google for maybe a year now.”
Google told Plan C it was nothing more than a technical glitch they were working on fixing. “A Google engineer worked on it to make sure that it now appears in a way that is more consistent,” Dimitratou said. “As of right now, we’re seeing the flags appearing correctly on all ads in different browsers, including Firefox, Chrome and Safari. … It not only has to do with the way the ads are built, but also with the destination URL, meaning the website to which you’re trying to direct traffic to. If either of these are somehow abortion related, they would get flagged.”
Even all of this, including removing ads for abortion pill reversal, isn’t good enough for Plan C. “Of course, there’s so much more to be done,” Dimitratou said. “Our goal is to try to get not only the ads, but also all the content created by CPCs to be flagged because it’s deceptive, false advertising. They use a lot of our language and our visuals. They claim to be something they’re not.”
The abortion profiteer’s next step was to enlist pro-abortion lawmakers, who are now putting pressure on Google to further hide results for pregnancy resource centers. Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Elissa Slotkin wrote a joint letter to Alphabet, Google’s parent company, demanding action be taken. It was co-signed by more pro-abortion politicians, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), and others.
The letter cited a report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), an organization which has launched an attack campaign filled with misinformation and falsehoods aimed at discrediting pregnancy resource centers. “When people search for information or services relating to their sexual and reproductive health, Google is sending them to sites that users might expect contains robust, scientific, evidence-driven healthcare information – but they actually contain ideologically-driven opinion and misinformation,” CCDH chief executive Imran Ahmed said in the report.
“Directing women towards fake clinics that traffic in misinformation and don’t provide comprehensive health services is dangerous to women’s health and undermines the integrity of Google’s search results,” the letter read, adding, “If Google must continue showing these misleading results in search results and Google Maps, the results should, at the very least, be appropriately labeled.”
It isn’t “misinformation” to offer women other options. That’s what real choice entails.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.
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