Google has agreed to remove search ads for some “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) after admitting that the ads, which come up in searches for abortion, violate its policy against deceptive advertising.
CPCs are centers which portray themselves as women’s health clinics offering a range of treatment options for pregnant women, sometimes including abortion. But often the centers aren’t actually staffed by doctors and instead have counselors who try to dissuade women from terminating pregnancies, even telling them lies. They are frequently located near actual abortion clinics, so as to confuse women. (The HBO documentary “12th & Delaware” is a good primer on how CPCs operate.) Research by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL-Pro Choice America) found that nearly 80 percent of the CPCs that advertise on Google claim to provide abortions and thus come up in a search for “abortion clinic,” but don’t actually offer abortions or referrals to abortion clinics or doctors in reality. Keep reading »