Google to start labeling facilities that provide abortions in Maps and Search
Google has updated its search options so that the results will clearly present whether a medical facility provides abortions.
The search engine announced Thursday that any searches for abortion-related information in either Google Search or Maps will now have a label attached to medical facilities that Google has confirmed provide abortions. The announcement is the latest adaptation from technology companies to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court decision determining that there is no constitutional right to abortion.
If Google can confirm that a medical facility provides abortions, the listing in relevant searches will include a tag stating that it “provides abortions,” according to Techcrunch. If the company cannot confirm details, it will state, “Might not provide abortions.”
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The additional tags are part of an endeavor by Google to provide relevant contextual information for specific searches. For example, Google notes that it already adds similar tags to searches for electric vehicle charging stations or for specific COVID-19 vaccine brands and that it was expanding these features to searches for veterans’ hospitals as well.
Google was one of the first businesses in the technology sector that tried to take control of what abortion-related data might be available in the weeks after the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The Big Tech firm announced in early July that it was deleting all location history data for users who may be searching for abortion clinics. The company said it would do so to ensure that law enforcement could not access the data via warrant in attempting to prosecute someone for an illegal abortion.
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The labels are part of broader efforts by the technology industry to inform users about who provides abortions. Many abortion rights advocates have expressed concerns about crisis pregnancy centers, alleging that they attempt to present themselves as abortion centers when they are not. That led the review website Yelp to add notices to all crisis pregnancy centers to ensure that users know what they are.