RICHMOND, Va. ( Associated Press) — A month after some members of Congress urged to limit the presence of anti-abortion pregnancy centers in some search results related to abortion, 17 Republican attorneys general are warning the company that doing so could invite investigation. and possible legal action.
In a letter to Google and its parent company CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday, the attorney general wrote, “Suppressing pro-life and pro-mom voices at the insistence of government officials would violate the most fundamental of American market views.” “
The effort was led by Republican Virginia Attorney General Jason Miares and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and the letter was shared with the Associated Press ahead of its public release.
Republicans sold the company to the U.S. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and Representative Alyssa Slotkin, D-Michigan, took issue with the June 17 letter, which was co-signed by 19 other members of Congress.
That letter cites research from the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate, which found that Google searches for “abortion clinic near me” and “abortion pill” yielded results for centers that offer customers Advise against abortion.
Some of these locations, known as crisis pregnancy centers, have also been accused of providing misleading information about abortion and contraception. Many are religiously connected.
The June letter, written after the leak, said, “Directing women to fake clinics, which traffic in misinformation and do not provide comprehensive health services, is dangerous to women’s health and Google searches.” undermine the integrity of the results.” A draft opinion indicated that the US Supreme Court would reverse the landmark 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide. Court took this step June 24.
The Democrat-led group asked Google to find out what steps it would take to limit the presence of “crisis pregnancy centers” in its search results, “abortion clinics,” “abortion pill” or other similar searches. Advertisement and Maps Results Terms for users who do.
The group also asked the company whether it would add a disclaimer to find out whether a clinic offers abortions. New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office raised similar concerns in a June letter. To Google.
Republican AG’s letter defends the work of crisis pregnancy centers. It notes that such centers often offer services such as free ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, sexually transmitted diseases tests, and parenting and antenatal education classes. It also argues that “at least some” Google users who search for information about abortion expect to find information about alternatives.
They wrote that if the company complies with “this unreasonable demand” to “bias” its search results, their offices will respond by investigating whether there have been any violations of antitrust or religious discrimination laws. He also pledged to consider whether the new law would help “protect consumers and markets.”
“We trust that you will treat these issues with the seriousness of this letter, and hope that you will decide that Google’s search results should not be subject to left-wing political pressure, which encourages women to get the help they need.” If you do not do so, we will need to protect the rights of our constituents, approach diversity for all Americans, uphold the freedom of expression and religion, and ensure that our markets are free, All lawful and reasonable means must be availed of in fact, not mere theory,” the letter said.
It asked the California-based company to respond within 14 days and explain whether the crisis would take any different steps than before the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision to treat pregnancy centers.
The Associated Press sent a request for comment to Google on Thursday.
Miares, who defeated incumbent Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring in November, recently traveled to the Lynchburg Crisis Pregnancy Center, which was ruined after a Supreme Court ruling she called an act of “political violence.”
Google and other big tech companies have also faced recent calls for more stringent privacy controls to address concerns. Information about location, texts, searches and emails can be used against people seeking to terminate unwanted pregnancies.
Google announced This month it will automatically purge information about users who visit abortion clinics or other places that could cause legal problems in light of the high court ruling.