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Lawmakers to Google Maps: Leave Crisis Pregnancy Centers Alone!

Seventeen state attorneys’ general have warned Google not to alter map search results in response to abortion activists’ demands
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Recently, abortion activists were demanding that Google Maps crack down on crisis pregnancy centers that offer help other than abortion. In response, a group of 17 state attorneys general led by Texas Attorney-General Ken Paxton sent a letter dated July 21, asking Google to “advise the co-signing Attorneys General whether it has adjusted its search results and advertisements to discriminate against crisis pregnancy centers, and if so, how.” It reads in part,

Unfortunately, several national politicians now seek to wield Google’s immense market power by pressuring the company to discriminate against pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in Google search results, in online advertising, and in its other products, such as Google Maps. As the chief legal officers of our respective States, we the undersigned Attorneys General are extremely troubled by this gallingly un-American political pressure. We wish to make this very clear to Google and the other market participants that it dwarfs: If you fail to resist this political pressure, we will act swiftly to protect American consumers from this dangerous axis of corporate and government power.

Some are not happy with the attorneys general. Reproaction Co-Founder and Executive Director Erin Matson charges, “Anti-abortion fake clinics are the conversion therapy wing of an anti-abortion movement that is hell-bent on sending people to jail for abortion, miscarriage, and pregnancy”:

Violent assaults, political attacks target crisis pregnancy centers

Pregnancy care centers that do not enable abortion already struggle with violent assaults in the wake of Dobbs (June 24, 2022). Heartbeat International, possibly the world’s largest network, has noted that since the May 2 draft Dobbs opinion leak, centers in most states had reported “harassment, threats or attacks” (July 27, 2022). Catholic News Agency, which has been documenting the situation on an update map, reports 82 attacks on “Catholic churches, pro-life pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and other pro-life organizations” as of July 27 (interactive map).

Although the FACE (1994) Act specially protects clinics, law enforcement has been slow. Many lawmakers don’t especially condemn the violence and one even praised it.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) wants to shut down all crisis pregnancy centers in her state of Massachusetts where — by her estimate — they outnumber abortion clinics by three to one:

In a similar vein, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer “recently vetoed $20 million in anti-abortion line items in the state’s budget meant to support expecting mothers and adoption campaigns, ripping pro-life pregnancy centers often targeted since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month as ‘fake health clinics.’” (Yahoo News, July 25, 2022)

It may be relevant to Warren’s and Whitmer’s concern that the number of abortions in the United States has dropped in recent years and younger women appear to be less likely to abort than older ones.

Twitter has taken at least one action that may help reduce the violence. Jane’s Revenge, which takes responsibility for many of the attacks and advocates violence, was kicked off Twitter for violating its standards.

YouTube now wants to combat “misinformation” on abortion

Meanwhile, YouTube says it will start removing “misinformation” about abortion (The Hill, July 21, 2022) soon. YouTube may want to talk to Facebook about that first. Facebook is now trying to back off censorship of “misinformation” about COVID-19, as encouraged by government — probably because so much of the claimed “misinformation” was different research results or difference of opinion or interpretation. Given how ideologically polarized the abortion issue is, the same thing will likely happen.

You may also wish to read: Activists to Google Maps: Crack down on crisis pregnancy centers. Overall, the U.S. abortion rate has been in decline for about thirty years, for a variety of reasons, including available alternatives. Abortion rights activists complain that there are more CPCs than abortion clinics in some places and mobile CPCs are “unmappable and ungovernable.”

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Lawmakers to Google Maps: Leave Crisis Pregnancy Centers Alone!