Recently, in a petition circulated by the Alphabet Workers Union, 650 Google employees asked the firm to suppress search results for pro-life crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) “by removing results for fake abortion providers” as well as to stop collecting users’ data on abortion-related searches.
Yelp has already doubled down against the centers:
As the linked story notes, Yelp has decided to flag them with a “consumer notice,” warning users that “Crisis Pregnancy Centers typically provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite” (translation: no abortionists on staff).
Utilizing the common leftist tactic of accusing people who express a different view of dispensing “misinformation,” Yelp said in a statement that “it’s been well-reported” (well… “reported”) “that crisis pregnancy centers often attempt to provide misleading information to people seeking abortion care to steer them to other options…With this new notification, we’re aiming to further protect consumers from the potential of being misled or confused.”Mike Huckabee, “The Left’s War Against Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers” at The Stream (August 25, 2022)
This is the high-tech front of a new ground war against the centers, waged in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision (June 24, 2022) , which returned abortion legislation to the states.
“In Massachusetts right now, those crisis pregnancy centers that are there to fool people who are looking for pregnancy termination help outnumber true abortion clinics by 3 to 1. We need to shut them down here in Massachusetts, and we need to shut them down all around the country. You should not be able to torture a pregnant person like that,” Warren said.Lindsay Kornick, “Sen. Elizabeth Warren blasted for attacking crisis pregnancy centers: ‘It’s evil’” at Fox News (July 12, 2022)
One reason CPCs outnumber abortion clinics is that supporting a mother and child through a difficult pregnancy and the years afterward takes much more time and many more resources than aborting the child would.
Some activists have taken matters into their own hands: According to a mid-July report, dozens of CPCs and Christian churches have been attacked since Dobbs was leaked. Attacks have included hostile graffiti, smashed windows, and arson. New York State governor Kathy Hochul has signed a bill to investigate the centers though there has been no similar focus on investigating their attackers.
Rather than base changes on carefully thought-out arguments, the arguments will be crazy all-or-nothing screeds, science fiction fears, and exploitative cases dressed up as the new norm for others to grimace sadly at and dismiss. Fears about period trackers and state lines have no more credibility than demonstrators massing around Supreme Court justices’ homes in hopes of harassing them into compliance with the mob, or AOC on TV screaming people are going to die, or those collecting a million signatures thinking it will cause Justice Thomas to be impeached.Peter Van Buren, “How much, really, changes post-Roe?” at Spectator (August 18, 2022)
What will probably really happen? Chris Humphrey, co-founder of Pittsburgh-based CPC Vision for Life, told Mind Matters News what he expects to see:
Some DAs (in counties with large cities) will refuse to prosecute, no matter what the state law is. In states that are generally pro-life, abortions will go down (as most women won’t travel to get one). Eventually some case will go to the Supreme Court. It will be argued that it is unjust for a child to be spared in one state at twenty weeks, but could be killed in the neighboring state. This will take a long time, but in the meantime states with strict abortion laws will see all kinds of good consequences (and I think they will be measurable). I think that states with increasing abortion rates will show all kinds of bad consequences, statistically (physical, psychological, social, demographic).
In a world where even China is now thinking of actively trying to reduce the number of abortions, the activists and the Big Tech companies who heed them may be behind the curve.
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.”
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. The abortion activists demands for map censorship come at a time when the U.S. abortion rate is falling, especially among younger women.