A new report reveals that Google — the most widely-used search engine in the country — is directing people searching for abortion services to so-called “crisis pregnancy centers,” which seek to dissuade people from getting abortions.
According to Bloomberg News, Google Maps is misleading people looking for abortion services by including CPCs (crisis pregnancy centers) in their results. These dubious quasi-health centersMany times, these organizations are run by religious groups with far-right views and use fearmongering and misinformation to persuade people to not have abortions. CPCs make false claims wrongly telling patients that abortions are linked to breast cancer or mental health issues, or telling patients that they have missed a state deadline to get an abortion, even when they haven’t.
On average across the United States, about a quarter of the top 10 search results for a person typing in “abortion clinics” are for a CPC instead, Bloomberg notes. In many states, the rate is much higher — in 13 states, Google Maps provides five or more CPCs in their top 10 search results for “abortion clinics.” In South Carolina and Arkansas, seven of the 10 results are for CPCs, and in Mississippi, CPCs make up nine out of 10 results.
Google responded to Bloomberg report by claiming that it tries to address listings that violate its policies by posing as organizations that provide services that they don’t actually provide. But the issue has persisted — and these search results have the potential to place people seeking abortions in dangerous situations.
The publication was able to speak to patients who used Google Maps to search for abortion clinics. Instead, they were given results for CPCs. Chey, a patient who chose not to reveal her full name, stated that staff at a CPC had given her false information about abortion and encouraged her to stay with an abusive partner. They claimed that having a child would fix the abusive partner.
“When my partner left the room, I mentioned that I was in an abusive relationship,” Chey said. “They told me that carrying a pregnancy could help repair my relationship, that it would cause my partner to step up as a man, and that I would find purpose in life again.”
Since the recent renverse of Roe v. WadeMany CPCs have been certified. Relocated to states where abortion remains legalIn order to continue to sell misinformation to unsuspecting patients seeking medical treatment,
Since then, many states have tightened restrictions or outright banned abortion. Roe’s overturn, polling shows that Americans widely support the abortion protections that were recently rescinded by the Supreme Court.
A Navigator Research pollThe poll, which was conducted from late July through early August, found that 58 per cent of voters want abortion legalized. Only 38 percent believe it should be illegal. Fifty-four percent of respondents said that they disapproved of the Supreme Court’s ruling, with 58 percent adding that Roe’s overturn has made them more motivated to vote in the midterm elections this fall.