Two big tech companies – Google and Yelp – recently enacted policy changes that limit the searchability for pregnancy resource centers. Google enabled a feature ensuring that Pregnancy Resource Centers do not appear in search results for those seeking “abortion services” until a filter box is unchecked.
This move comes after Yelp implemented a “consumer notice” label for abortion search results. This notice states that Pregnancy Resource Centers typically provide “limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals on site.”
Previously, when women seeking abortion services typed “abortion near me” into a Google search engine, abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood appeared alongside pregnancy resource centers. These resource centers do not provide abortions but instead offer abortion information and counseling options.
Today, search results for Google instead only show abortion providers unless the searcher unchecks the “provides abortions” tab. This extra step is criticized as being easily missed by the average searcher.
Search engines such as Google and Yelp exist to provide the searcher with a wide span of information, extending – not limiting – choices. Some have attested that this new policy instead restricts women’s access to real reproductive healthcare. Critics claim it insults their ability and freedom to choose by coercively stripping options, denying them even the chance to weigh diverse search results and make up their own minds.
“Women seeking abortions or abortion information often do not know that other options exist. Our goal as a pregnancy resource center is to provide this information and empower women to make their own informed decisions. With this new search engine limitation, our centers are deliberately hidden from these women.”
-Josh Chumley, Chief Advancement Officer, Choices Pregnancy Resource Center, AZ
Google’s new policy was a direct response to a letter sent by multiple Democrat lawmakers claiming that “anti-abortion fake clinics” should not qualify for the search engine results pages of Google. Their response has been criticized by many as information suppression.
Although Yelp’s consumer notice claims that these centers may not offer real healthcare, pregnancy resource centers like Choices have nine registered nurses and two Board-Certified OBGYNs on staff, offering services such as STD/STI Testing, Lab Quality Pregnancy Testing, and Limited Obstetric Ultrasounds.
For more information on acquiring health services offered in the greater Phoenix area, visit ChoicesAZ.com/get-care