FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2014
Yahoo Begins Removing Deceptive Anti-Choice Ads from Search Engine After Pressure from NARAL Pro-Choice America and UltraViolet
Last night, CNET reported that after NARAL Pro-Choice America successfully worked with Google to remove two-thirds of advertisements for predatory “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) deemed deceptive by their search engine, Yahoo has now begun to follow suit after a petition launched by NARAL Pro-Choice America and UltraViolet. The ads in question violate several of both Google and Yahoo’s advertising practices by misrepresenting the services the centers provide and putting women’s health at risk.
“We are pleased that Yahoo has confirmed that some of these deceptive 'crisis pregnancy center' ads violate their advertising policies and stated that they will remove them so that women can continue to trust the search engine for accurate information,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue. “Women making this personal, medical decision should have comprehensive resources and accurate information. Unfortunately, CPCs have a stated intent to get women in the door and then use deception and shame to limit their options. No company should want advertising dollars from facilities that put the well-being of women in jeopardy. We will work with Yahoo to pinpoint the ads that are masquerading as abortion clinics so they are promptly taken down when they appear.”
“We are encouraged to see reports coming from Yahoo that they will remove ads that deceive women looking for help,” said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet. “The harm done by these ads cannot be overstated— women in vulnerable positions are being lured into false clinics where they are harassed, yelled at, and given inaccurate information, all for seeking abortion care. Women deserve better than what Yahoo’s search results have been giving them, and the UltraViolet community will not stop pushing Yahoo and other search engines until all of these misleading ads are down.”
A congressional committee report and NARAL Pro-Choice America's own investigations have found that CPCs lie to women about abortion causing an increased risk of breast cancer, future fertility problems, and psychological trauma - all of which are disproven by medical experts including the American Medical Association - in order to convince them to carry their pregnancies to term. They frequently misrepresent the services that they offer in order to trick women into coming into the center.
Groups that are behind these ads, like Online for Life, openly admit to seeking to reach “abortion-determined women” and share some of their results. Online for Life states that, “Every month there are approximately more than 2 million internet searches for words such as abortion or abortion clinic.” Online for Life has partnered with 47 CPCs in 21 states.