Google’s recent decision to shut down Live Action’s abortion pill reversal ad campaign isn’t the first time that the corporation has revealed itself to be against pro-life efforts to reach people with the truth about abortion and with tangible resources to help women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. In fact, it has a long track record of hostility toward the pro-life movement — and allegedly, even pregnant women on its own staff.
Here’s a look back at just some of its actions that are anti-woman and anti-life:
1. Google categorized the movie “Unplanned” as propaganda and tried to limit its distribution
“Unplanned” tells the story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood facility director who had a conversion and is now outspoken about her pro-life beliefs. It is the dramatization of Johnson’s own personal life story, yet when the movie appeared on Google’s search results, it had a “propaganda” label attached to it. When Fox News did its own search for the movie, they were unable to find the “propaganda” tag on any other film.
The label isn’t the only way that Google showed its bias against the film. Filmmaker Chuck Konzelman testified at a Senate panel that Google refused to allow banner ads for the movie and that it “came up with yet another restriction, concerning event ticket sales… one which our film’s marketers had never come across or even heard of in multiple similar campaigns.”
2. Google shut down an entire advisory council after complaints about inclusion of a Black pro-life woman
In 2019, Google dropped an artificial intelligence advisory council after outcry that one of its members was a Black, pro-life, conservative woman. When news spread that The Heritage Foundation’s president, Kay Coles James, was to be on the council, protesters rose up, writing slanderous things against her. In response to the protests, Google management caved to the pressure and shut the entire council down.
In an op-ed at the time, James said:
In 1961, at age 12, I was one of two dozen black children who integrated an all-white junior high school in Richmond, Va. White parents jeered me outside the school, and inside, their kids stuck me with pins, shoved me in the halls, and pushed me down the stairs.
So, when a group of Google employees resorted to calling names and making false accusations because they didn’t want a conservative voice advising the company, the hostility was reminiscent of what I felt back then—that same intolerance for someone who was different from them.
3. Google “blacklisted” pro-life videos ahead of Ireland’s vote to legalize abortion
Ireland underwent a contentious abortion fight in 2018, but Google’s actions made it clear which side it was rooting for. The organization Project Veritas discovered that YouTube (which is owned by Google) blacklisted a number of pro-life videos in advance of the vote.
Additionally, it manipulated search results when a user put in a pro-life query like “unborn life” and “abortion is wrong.” Sources who investigated the interference noticed that it occurred within one week of the referendum, a vote which ultimately made abortion legal in the country.
4. Google purposely alters searches to stifle the pro-life message on abortion
A 2019 report by the Wall Street Journal revealed that Google regularly alters search engine results and autocomplete suggestions to cater to the influence of big business and organizations. Much of that manipulation centers around abortion search times.
At the time of the report, 39% of first-page results for the search term “abortion” led users to a Planned Parenthood webpage. In contrast, Google competitors Bing and DuckDuckGo only sent 14-16% of their first page results to Planned Parenthood websites.
5. Google has purposely targeted pregnancy centers and their online outreach to vulnerable women
Pregnancy centers provide a world of good to parents who need help navigating pregnancy, offering supplies, baby items, and medical assistance, often operating on a shoestring budget sustained by faithful monthly community donors. However, Google wants to make sure that these centers are “precertified” before they’re cleared to run ads using keywords related to abortion.
Google has also said that any abortion-related ads must either state “provides abortion” or “does not provide abortions.” Of course, these stipulations funnel vulnerable women looking for information right into the hands of the abortion industry.
6. Google has blocked, buried, and labeled pro-life videos as “inappropriate content” on YouTube
Google doesn’t just own the search engine market; they also own YouTube, the largest video-sharing website. There have been multiple instances over the years of YouTube suddenly blocking Live Action’s pro-life videos from its platform with little warning or explanation.
In 2018, after a pro-abortion writer complained that searching for the term “abortion” led her to Live Action’s videos, YouTube/Google responded by burying some of the most widely viewed pro-life videos in the search results. The writer herself admitted the platform altered the search results, saying, “YouTube changed the results after I asked.”
7. Google has allegedly discriminated against pregnant employees
With the actions Google has taken to demonstrate itself as anti-life, it’s unfortunately not surprising that it is facing claims of discrimination from within.
In 2019, a memo in which an employee alleges pregnancy discrimination went viral within the company. The employee says she complained to human resources after hearing management make disparaging remarks against a pregnant coworker. After becoming pregnant herself, the employee said she faced clear discrimination and retaliation in the workplace, including working for a manager who discouraged her from following a doctor’s advice regarding bedrest.
After enduring months of poor treatment, the employee decided never to go back to the company after her maternity leave. Following her viral memo, many Google employees came to the woman’s defense, with one saying, “This is alarming. And sadly not surprising. It fits a long-standing pattern at the company.”
For years, Google has displayed bias and a double-standard when it comes to abortion. It’s clear that the company’s decision to block Live Action’s life-saving abortion pill reversal ads is just another link in a long chain of actions meant to hurt the pro-life movement.
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