Google is taking down advertising for right-wing anti-abortion groups after their ads were shown to be deceptive. These “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” often present themselves as providing abortion services but are really just fronts for anti-abortion propaganda.
CPCs are notorious in their misinformation, telling women that having an abortion will make them infertile, or that having a child will get them into college for free, or even that their boyfriend would leave them if they terminated their pregnancy. NARAL Pro-Choice America has been working for years to shine a spotlight on these shadowy tactics, including undercover investigations. Their analysis of advertisements on Google found “that if you Googled ‘abortion clinic,’ ads funded by anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) appeared 79 percent of the time.” Which is a bit odd considering none of these centers actually provide abortions.
Google agreed to remove the ads as they are against its policy which states: “any factual claims and offers should always be credible and accurate. Misleading, inaccurate, and deceitful ads hurt everyone.” President of NARAL Ilyse Hogue commented about their success:
[box type=”shadow”]”Google’s leadership in removing the majority of these ads is a victory for truth in advertising and for the women who have been targeted by a deliberate misinformation campaign by crisis pregnancy centers. The action taken by Google to address this pressing problem raises the bar for other search engines to monitor and enforce their own advertising policies.”[/box]
While NARAL and other Women’s Rights groups continue to try and stem the tide of misinformation, it’s still an uphill battle. A 2006 study showed that “87% of federally funded ‘pregnancy resource centers,’ more commonly knows as crisis pregnancy centers, provided false and misleading information” and “grossly exaggerated the medical risks of abortion.” Not surprisingly the report also reveals a close connection between anti-choice and abstinence-only groups, showing once again the religious-right’s willingness to lie to get its way.