A group of US lawmakers has signed off on a letter that urges the company to reexamine its treatment of search results that direct users to anti- abortion crisis centers. Several other Democratic lawmakers have signed the letter in support of Warner and Slotkin.
According to the research published by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, there are 13 states where abortion will become illegal if the Supreme Court overturns the case. Research shows that 11 percent of searches for "abortion clinic near me" and "abortion pill" lead to fake clinics that try to discourage women from having an abortion. 37 percent of abortion-related map searches lead to fake clinics, according to a study.
NEW: @RepSlotkin and I are leading a group of lawmakers to push on the Google CEO to crack down on manipulative search results that lead to scammy “crisis pregnancy centers.”— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) June 17, 2022
It’s time for them to limit or label results and ads that lead to fake abortion clinics. pic.twitter.com/LlkTueI2QP
Lawmakers wrote a letter to the search giant asking if it would limit or label the results in the future. The letter states that directing women to fake clinics that traffic in misinformation and don't provide comprehensive health services is dangerous to women's health. The results should be labeled if they are shown in search results and maps.
Almost 28 percent of ads appearing at the top of search results for abortion-related queries pertained to anti-choice clinics, according to the CCDH. Companies that run abortion ads must certify that they don't provide abortions. Some users may not always notice that the ad for companies that don't actually perform abortions has a "does not provide abortions" caveat.
"Any organization that wants to advertise to people looking for information about abortion services must be certified and show in-ad disclosures that clearly state whether they do or do not offer abortions," Nicolas Lopez said in an email. We are always looking at ways to improve our results to help people find what they are looking for or understand if what they are looking for isn't available.
The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on the case in the next few days. In preparation for the upcoming decision, another group of Democratic lawmakers is urging Google to stop collecting location data from users of the mobile device operating system, as this information could potentially be used to prosecute someone who has received an abortion in a state that does not approve of the procedure.