Democrats Urge Google CEO to Limit or Label Search Results Displaying Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

Democrats Urge Google CEO to Limit or Label Search Results Displaying Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

Several senators are calling on Google's CEO Sundar Pichai to limit the search results of pro-life pregnancy centers for users seeking abortion services.

The letter, authored by U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), cites research from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).

According to the report, 37 percent of Google Map results and 11 percent of Google search results for "abortion pill" and "abortion clinic near me" were for pro-life clinics in states with "trigger laws," or laws banning or restricting abortion that will go into effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

The pro-life clinics have been labeled as "fake" by some of their opponents.

"Directing women toward 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 states.

Senators further urged Pichai to ensure that the search platform does not display "anti-abortion" clinics and pregnancy centers when users search for "abortion clinic" or "abortion pill."

"If Google must continue showing these misleading results in search results and Google Maps, the results should, at the very least, be appropriately labeled," they added.

The research also found that 28 percent of Google Ads displayed at the top of search results were for pro-life clinics. Google previously faced criticism for the "misleading ads" in 2019. The group, however, acknowledged that the company has since put a disclaimer for ads on pro-life clinics.

The lawmakers warned the "prevalence of these misleading ads marks what appears to be a concerning reversal from Google's pledge in 2014 to take down ads from crisis pregnancy centers that engage in overt deception of women seeking out abortion information online."

According to The Christian Post, the pledge was issued in response to a report from the organization NARAL Pro-Choice America (NARAL), formerly the National Abortion Rights Action League, which found that 79 percent of paid ads for crisis pregnancy centers on Google falsely promote "medical services such as abortions."

The letter by the senators asked Pichai to take action when it comes to limiting pro-life clinics "in Google search results, ads, and Maps" and to place disclaimers to show if a search result offers abortion services.

"We urge you to take action to rectify these issues and help ensure women seeking health care services are directed to the basic information they request. Many thanks for your consideration, and we look forward to your timely response," the group concluded.

The letter, which was sent to Pichai on June 17, was also signed by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and others.

Photo courtesy: ©Duncan Meyer/Unsplash 

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.