U.S. lawmakers urge Google to fix abortion searches that steer women to ‘fake clinics’ -Breaking
By Diane Bartz
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers urged Alphabet Inc’s top Google search engine, Alphabet (NASDAQ) Inc, to deliver accurate results to those seeking abortions and not sometimes send them to “crisis pregnant centers,” which could lead women away from these procedures.
A letter was written by the request, whose signatories included Senator Mark Warner (the top) and Elissa Lotkin (the bottom). It was first reported by Reuters on Friday.
A study by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a non-profit organization, prompted this letter. According to the study, 11% of results when searching for “abortion clinics near me” and “abortion pills” in certain states resulted for centers opposing abortion.
Research was done in 13 states that have laws banning abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court, as is expected, overturns Roe v. Wade’s landmark 1973 ruling, which legalized it nationally as of this month.
Google did not respond to the Sundar Paichai letter addressed to Alphabet CEO, but stated that they were always seeking ways to improve their results and help users find what they are looking for.
It was signed by seven U.S. House of Representatives members and 14 senators. All of them are Democrats.
The existence of crisis pregnancy centres, in some form, for so many years, is a reflection on disagreements between the United States and Canada over the right to terminate an unborn baby. Some centers were accused of disclosing inaccurate information regarding women’s pregnancies. This could hinder their ability to access abortion.
The lawmakers stated that Google should not display anti-abortion clinics and crisis pregnancy centers. These lawmakers wrote, “If Google has to continue showing misleading results…the results need, at minimum, be appropriately labeled.”
Google handles other health problems differently. Google’s search results for sexual assault and suicide are highlighted by trusted resources and curated lists.
In the same states, 28% of Google Ads was for anti-abortion center websites. 37% of Google Maps’ results were also related to these sites. Although some centers contained disclaimers, not all of them did.