When women Google where they can go to get an abortion, pro-life pregnancy centers intended to give them support during times of crisis are often popping up as results, according to reports.
“According to NARAL’s research, using the search engine to find ‘abortion clinics’ led users to a crisis pregnancy center about 79 percent of the time,” freelance writer Robin Marty wrote Monday in Gizmodo. Marty explained how Google Maps is pointing women more frequently to pregnancy help centers than to abortion clinics.
Marty, as explained in the Gizmodo article, contacted 20 people in cities and states across the U.S. to ask them to Google — on their desktops or phones — “Where can I get an abortion near me?” and report the results. She recounts that in all but two states, crisis pregnancy centers showed up in the results, and often higher up in the search results than abortion clinics. Locally funded pregnancy help centers usually ranked best in the search results, Marty noted.
Google uses a complex algorithm that draws from a variety of factors to yield top search results, thus pregnancy centers and abortion businesses compete via ads, build search-engine optimization (SEO) and other methods. Google Maps results, however, are algorithm-based and not impacted by ad sales or keywords in listings, according to Google Communications Manager Liz Davidoff.
“It’s definitely a problem that [Google] should be aware of and address,” Molly Duane, staff attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, told The Guardian, expressing concern that women looking to abort may be directed to centers that will encourage them to think more heavily on their decision.
Like most good companies, however, Google prioritizes actual feedback from clients via its Google My Business.
After former comedian Lizz Winstead encouraged her followers to join her “Lady Parts Justice League” and protest pregnancy help centers by writing negative Google My Business reviews, Google removed over 40 false reviews, Life News reported in October 2017. Non-profit Heartbeat International reportedly helped bring the situation to Google’s attention and notified pregnancy centers on how to flag false reviews.
Over 350,000 women in 2017 reached out to Option Line, a helpline run by Heartbeat International for pregnant women in crisis, The Christian Post reported Thursday. This was the highest single-year number in the hotline’s 15-year history.
A Google search reveals countless violations by abortion organizations, including massive Medicaid fraud allegations by a former employee against Planned Parenthood, an FBI investigation into the abortion organization’s illegal sale of body parts, and Planned Parenthood staffers who’ve coached young girls in dangerous pseudo-sexual practices like bondage, sadomasochism, breaking skin, and defecation.
A quick Google search also revealed that a slew of Whole Woman’s Health (WWH) abortion clinics miserably failed inspection reports between 2011 and 2017, The Washington Free Beacon reported in conjunction with the nonprofit And Then There Were None. More than 220 abortion clinics between 2008 and 2016 — including six WWH clinics — were cited for 1,400 health and safety violations, according to a 2016 Americans United For Life (AUL) report.
The success of pro-life pregnancy health centers coincides with Planned Parenthood’s launch of an aggressive initiative intended to expand abortion access across every state in the U.S. “Today, we’re going on the offense. We’ve been marching, mobilizing, and organizing — and now we’re channeling that into real policy change,” said Planned Parenthood’s Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens Tuesday in an official announcement of Planned Parenthood’s initiative launch. (RELATED: Planned Parenthood Goes On The ‘Offense’ For ‘Real Policy Change’ To Expand Abortion Access)
The program launch includes pushing for expanded abortion access in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The launch also pushes for birth control coverage protections and inclusive sex education.
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