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Google Pressurized By Washington To Pull Out Abortion Ads By Anti-Abortion Clinics

Google Pressurized By Washington To Pull Out Abortion Ads By Anti-Abortion Clinics
There is pressure on tech giant Google from Washington to instantly remove online advertisements that make “fake medical clinics” which are so designed that mislead women who want to undergo an abortion.
In a letter sent to the chief executive of Google, Sundar Pichai, Carolyn Maloney, a senior Democratic congresswoman from New York, said that a report in the Guardian which claimed that $150,000 in free advertising was awarded by Google to the Obria Group has appalled her. The Obria Group is widely known to presenting false medical services to women through advertising, according to Maloney.
“Google should in no way be subsidizing any misinformation campaigns, especially campaigns designed to deceive women about their own reproductive care options,” Maloney said in her letter to Pichai.
“Your continued support of Obria Group’s intentional misinformation campaigns denies women access to truthful information about their medical choices,” she added.
Suzanne Bonamici, a Democratic congresswoman from Oregon also signed the letter.
Obria claims to offer comprehensive reproductive health and family planning services, including abortion, through a network of health clinics, in some of its advertisements. However,  abortion and all forms of contraception has been staunchly opposed by the organization.
In a report published in The Guardian, it was claimed that nearly $32,000 in free advertising in 2011, and $120,000 in 2015, was awarded by Google to Obria as a part of its grants program aimed to offering support to not-for-profit organizations throughout the world.
Allegations of running advertisements which appear to violate its own policies against misrepresentative advertising have already seen Google being criticized. But further allegations are that ads for clinics that seem to offer abortion services are still being published by it, despite such clinics are actually against terminations and attempts to convince women from wanting abortion.
Maloney asked Google to take “immediate action to review and remove any advertisements for Obria or similar [crisis pregnancy centers] intended to mislead customers”. Additionally, in order to make sure that deceptive advertisers were no longer awarded Google grants, new policies and procedures needed to be implemented by Google, she also urged.
 “The Google ad grants program is open to qualified nonprofits regardless of their position on abortion and we give grants to nearly 50,000 organizations globally that represent a wide spectrum of views and causes.” Google said in an earlier statement to The Guardian report. “All grant recipients have to abide by our ad policies, which prohibit misrepresentation in ads. If we find ads that violate our policies, we remove them.”

Christopher J. Mitchell

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