GOP AGs warn Google not to suppress pro-life results
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A month after some members of Congress urged Google to limit the appearance of anti-abortion pregnancy centers in certain abortion-related search results, 17 Republican attorneys general are warning the company that doing so could invite investigations and possible legal action.
“Suppressing pro-life and pro-mother voices at the urging of government officials would violate the most fundamental tenet of the American marketplace of ideas,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter Thursday to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent company.
The effort was led by GOP AGs Jason Miyares of Virginia and Daniel Cameron of Kentucky, and the letter to Google was shared with The Associated Press ahead of its public release.
The Republicans took issue with a June 17 letter to the company from U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Michigan, which was co-signed by 19 other members of Congress.
That letter cited research by the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate, which found that Google searches for “abortion clinic near me” and “abortion pill” turned up results for centers that counsel clients against having an abortion.
The Democrat-led group asked Google to address what steps it would take to limit the appearance of “crisis pregnancy centers” in its search results, ads and maps results for users who search for “abortion clinic,” “abortion pill” or other similar terms.
The group also asked the company if it would add disclaimers to address whether or not a clinic provides abortions. New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office also raised similar concerns in a separate June letter to Google.
The letter from the Republican AGs defends the work of crisis pregnancy centers. It notes that such centers often provide services such as free ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and parenting and prenatal education classes. It also argues that “at least some” Google users who search for information about abortion expect to find information about alternatives.
They wrote that if the company complies with “this inappropriate demand” to “bias” its search results, their offices would respond by investigating whether there had been any violation of antitrust or religious discrimination laws. They also pledged to consider whether new legislation would help “protect consumers and markets.”
GOP AGs ask Google not to limit anti-abortion center results The Associated Press
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