A dozen House and Senate Democrats have demanded the top executive at Google restrict search engine results showing pro-life pregnancy centers.
The lawmakers called pregnancy centers that do not offer abortions “fake clinics.”
In a letter to Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai, the lawmakers wrote, “Directing women towards fake clinics that traffic in misinformation and don’t provide comprehensive health services is dangerous to women’s health and undermines the integrity of Google’s search results.”
The letter, which was spearheaded by Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, was signed by twelve Democrats.
In recent weeks, pro-life organizations and crisis pregnancy centers around the country have been targets of vandalism and violence. A pro-abortion group calling itself Jane’s Revenge has reportedly claimed responsibility for some of the violent attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers and Catholic Churches.
The FBI has opened an investigation into these attacks.
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In a Twitter post, Mr. Warner described the letter as a push to get Google to “crack down on manipulative search results that lead to scammy ‘crisis pregnancy centers.’”
“It’s time for them to limit or label results and ads that lead to fake abortion clinics,” Mr. Warner said.
In making their case in the letter to Mr. Pichai, the lawmakers cited research by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, an organization “that targets accused ‘hate groups’ and individuals for de-platforming campaigns to remove them from major social media outlets,” according to Influence Watch.
The lawmakers said CCDH found that “11% of results for searches for ‘abortion clinic near me’ and ‘abortion pill’ in states with so-called ‘Trigger Laws’ – laws that would effectively ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned – were for anti-abortion fake clinics.”
“Directing women towards fake clinics that traffic in misinformation and don’t provide comprehensive health services is dangerous to women’s health and undermines the integrity of Google’s search results,” they wrote.
The Democrats also warned that CCDH research found that 37% of search results “were for anti-abortion fake clinics” and that Google should not be displaying “anti-abortion fake clinics or crisis pregnancy centers in their search results for users that are searching for an ‘abortion clinic’ or ‘abortion pill.’”
“If Google must continue showing these misleading results in search results and Google Maps, the results should, at the very least, be appropriately labeled,” the lawmakers wrote.
They ask that Google provide a proposal to limit anti-abortion clinics in Google search results, ads, and Maps.
They also call for a plan to “add disclaimers that clearly indicate whether a search result does or does not provide abortions” and “information on Google’s attempts to provide accurate search results pertaining to health care.”
The Washington Times reached out to Google for comment but did not hear back.
Other Democrats signing the letter included Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Dianne Feinstein of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Alex Padilla of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Tina Smith of Minnesota and Bernard Sanders, Vermont Independent.
Reps. Don Beyer of Virginia, Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon, Jason Crow of Colorado, Carolyn Maloney of New York, Katie Porter of California, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois and Jackie Speier of California also signed the letter.