Dems seek to block pro-life groups from appearing in search results for abortion clinics

by Will Tubbs

Chris Lange, FISM News


Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are calling on Alphabet, Inc. and its subsidiary, Google, to block information on pregnancy health centers and other pro-life organizations from appearing in search results for abortion seekers.

Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) led 19 colleagues in a June 17 letter to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai urging him to take action to bury what Democrats call “fake clinics” in searches for abortion providers, particularly in states with so-called “trigger laws” that would place bans or limits on abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The lawmakers complain that 37% of Google Maps results and 28% of Google ads promoting pro-life groups and pregnancy help centers appear at the top of search results for individuals seeking abortions.

“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 lawmakers wrote, chiding Google for “displaying anti-abortion fake clinics or crisis pregnancy centers in search results for users that are searching for an ‘abortion clinic’ or ‘abortion pill.’” 

The letter goes on to say that if Google feels it “must continue showing these misleading results in search results and Google Maps, the results should, at the very least, be appropriately labeled.”

The lawmakers have requested that Pichai provide them with a “plan” to block anti-abortion groups from appearing in Google search results, maps, and ads,” and further call on Google to add disclaimers that clearly identify whether organizations that appear search result provides abortions or not, citing “disturbing new reports” that “fake clinics, also known as ‘crisis pregnancy centers'” are showing up in searches without accompanying disclaimers “indicating these businesses do not provide abortions and seek to steer women away from certain health decisions.”

Warner, a longtime abortion advocate, cosponsors the Women’s Health Protection Act which would codify Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that guarantees the federal right to abortion. The legislation was introduced just one day prior to the May 2 leak of a SCOTUS draft opinion to overturn Roe and instead leave decisions concerning abortion rights up to individual states.