FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2014
Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America announced that they have worked with Google to remove advertisements for predatory “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) that were deemed deceptive from the search engine. Since the launch of NARAL Pro-Choice America’s investigation, more than two-thirds of the ads we identified have been removed or taken down. The ads in question violate several of the company’s advertising practices by misrepresenting the services the centers provide and put women’s health at risk.
“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,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “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. We will continue to work with Google to ensure that their commitment results in women being directed to the resources and services they are seeking when they search online, ending this manipulation of women making vital health decisions.”
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 in to the center.
Google’s advertising policy states that, “Misleading, inaccurate, and deceitful ads hurt everyone.” Within two weeks, NARAL Pro-Choice America logged enough examples and documentation of the deceptive advertisements. Staff then opened communication with Google last month by presenting them with the information.
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.
“Anyone looking for abortion services should be able to depend on their search engine to provide them with accurate resources. Anything less is aiding and abetting ideologically driven groups with a calculated campaign to lie to and shame women making one of the most important decisions of our lives,” continued Hogue.
Google has committed to continue to monitor these ads and NARAL Pro-Choice America will remain vigilant and alert Google and any other search engine about CPC advertising that violate their policies and the dangers it poses for women across the country.
Visit our website for more information about crisis pregnancy centers and their ads.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”