Google Questions its Integrity by Redirecting Users to “Fake Clinics” Instead of Abortion Centers
By: Jessica Wang
Instead of abortion services, Google has been inaccurately redirecting users in certain states to “crisis pregnancy centers” that dissuade families from terminating their pregnancy. According to The Washington Post, Google’s inaccurate search results are incredibly dangerous as these fake clinics offer “‘misinformation and don’t provide comprehensive health services [which] is dangerous to women’s health.’”
In May, leaked drafts showed that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the Roe v. Wade case which will abolish abortion rights in the U.S. Since this news came to light, abortion has become a hot topic and abortion searches on Google have skyrocketed.
In times of urgency, Google’s accuracy is needed for those who want an abortion. Yet, the world’s biggest search engine with approximately 90 percent of all searches, would be expected to at least provide accurate information. Unfortunately, Kim Bellware of the Washington Post writes that 11 percent of search results on Google and 37 percent of results on Google maps were “fake clinics” instead of abortion centers.
Fake abortion clinics often take the names of what seem like abortion clinics, like “‘crisis pregnancy centers’ or “pregnancy resource centers’ [and] do not provide abortions,” Bellware writes. Instead, the centers try to steer families away from abortions or delay abortions in total by not offering those services.
According to Techjury’s Christo Pratov, in 2020, Google had more than 6.9 billion searches per day. With so many queries per day, the search engine has immense power over its users through the information it provides.
This issue isn’t the first time Google has spewed out misinformation to its users. Bellware writes, “Google pledged in 2014 to remove ads for some ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ that violated the company’s policy against deceptive advertising.”
With a direct impact on its user’s health, it is vital for Google to fix its disinformation as soon as possible, especially for abortion services.