Lawmakers ask Google to correct misleading results for abortion searches

A group of US lawmakers has asked Google to correct misleading search results that direct women seeking information about termination of pregnancy to anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers”.

In a letter sent Friday, 14 senators and seven representatives urged Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google parent Alphabet, to address the search giant’s treatment of “fake anti-abortion clinics or crisis pregnancy centers.”

“If Google is to continue to show these misleading results…the results should, at the very least, be properly labeled,” read the letter, led by Senator Mark Warner of Virginia and Representative Elissa Slotkin of Michigan.

All signatories of the letter, previously reported by Reuters, follow party lines, including only Democrats.

Neither Warner nor Slotkin responded to requests for comment.

Google declined to comment specifically on the letter, but addressed the search results more broadly.

“Any organization that wants to advertise to people searching for information about abortion services on Google must be certified and show disclosures in the ad that clearly indicate whether or not they offer abortions,” said Peter Schottenfels, a Google spokesman. “We’re always looking for ways to improve our results to help people find what they’re looking for or understand if what they’re looking for might not be available.”

The Congressional letter was prompted by a study by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit organization that fights online hate and disinformation. The center found that 37% of Google Maps results and 11% of Google searches for “abortion clinic near me” and “abortion pill” in states with so-called “trigger laws” directed people to “fake clinics.” “. trigger laws immediately make abortion illegal if the Supreme Court issues a decision that prohibits or severely limits abortion.

A leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion indicates that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe vs Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, two cases that guaranteed a woman’s right to abortion.

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