AG Republicans to Google: Don’t Censor Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A group of Republican attorneys general vows to take action against Google if it follows through on demands by congressional Democrats to censor search results by blocking women from finding pro-life pregnancy centers when they search for a abortion.

Republican Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares and Republican Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, along with 15 other state attorneys general, wrote a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday. They warned that the company could be investigated if it gives in to requests by Democratic members of Congress to “take action” by blocking pro-life pregnancy centers from appearing in search results for queries about abortion clinics and abortion pills.

Democratic lawmakers seek to “limit the appearance of fake anti-abortion clinics” in Google Ads and on Google Maps. They claim that pro-life pregnancy centers are “fake clinics that traffic false information and do not provide comprehensive health services. These Democrats also argue that pro-life pregnancy clinics are “dangerous to women’s health” and that their appearance in search results “undermines the integrity of Google’s search results.”

“Compliance with these requests would constitute a serious infringement of the principle of freedom of expression,” the attorneys general wrote. “’Impartial access to information’, although no longer part of Google’s credo, is still what Americans expect from your company. ‘[S]Studies have shown that people are more likely to find and trust news through search than social media sites. »

The attorneys general insisted that “at least some Google users who search for information on abortion also expect to find information on alternatives to abortion, as evidenced by the fact that your search algorithm research – free from the manipulation demanded by left-wing politicians – has consistently produced such results. They further asserted that “suppressing pro-life and pro-mother voices at the behest of government officials would violate the American market of ideas”.

Noting that Google has “monopoly power in the search services and online advertising markets,” the letter characterizes the “deployment of monopoly power to suppress the expression of a particular idea” by censoring the results of research containing information about pro-life pregnancy centers as a “potential violation of antitrust laws” that is “odious to American ideals”. The attorneys general went on to explain what action they would take against Google if it complied with the “inappropriate request” from congressional Democrats.

“Our offices will (1) conduct thorough investigations to determine whether this removal violates United States and state antitrust laws; (2) investigate whether Google’s behavior amounts to an unlawful act of religious discrimination under state law; and (3) consider whether additional legislation, such as non-discrimination rules as part of public transport laws, is needed to protect consumers and markets,” they added.

“Google has two options: protect the free market of ideas or face legal consequences. American consumers expect a diversity of opinions and thoughts,” Miyares said in a statement. “The idea of ​​elected officials both advocating for the removal of private charities and encouraging Google to openly discriminate against pregnancy centers in crisis and silence voices different from their own is appalling.”

The June 17 letter from congressional Democrats to Pichai, authored by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich. Roe vs. Wade US Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide as justification for their push for censorship of Google search results to exclude ‘bogus anti-abortion clinics’. The Supreme Court ultimately overturned deer in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision a week later.

The attorneys general’s letter concluded with a request to answer questions asking whether Google had taken or intended to take “any steps to treat crisis pregnancy centers differently with respect to Google search results, Google Ads, Google Maps or any other Google service that they were processing before the US Supreme Court’s draft opinion leaked in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationand if so, what action he had taken. The letter requested a response to questions within 14 days.

The congressional Democrats’ letter to Pinchai came a month and a half after Politico published a draft notice disclosed in the Dobbs case indicating that a majority of Supreme Court justices were about to overturn Roe v. Wade. The day after the leak was published Dobbs project, several churches and pro-life pregnancy centers have become targets of vandalism by pro-abortion activists. In many cases, graffiti reading “fake clinic” has been spray-painted on the facilities.

As pro-life pregnancy centers are chastised by Democrats and pro-abortion activists for their opposition to abortion, attorneys general have pointed to a study from the Charlotte Lozier Pro-Life Institute who explained the services provided by the organizations. The study found that pro-life pregnancy centers “served more than 1.8 million clients in 2019, providing services worth $266 million at little or no cost to their patients.”

Examples of such services cited in the letter include “free ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, parenting and prenatal education classes, post-abortion care and recovery counseling, as well as diapers, baby clothes, car seats and strollers.

Stressing that “these pregnancy centers serve women no matter who they are or what they believe,” the attorneys general expressed concern that “attacks threaten not only those affiliated with the centers, but also the mothers who desperately need help from the centres”. to bring.”

House Republicans tried to pass a resolution condemning attacks on pregnancy centers and pro-life churches this week, but their efforts were blocked by congressional Democrats.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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