Google Caves to NARAL, Removes 'Crisis Pregnancy Centers' Ads

Caving to pressure from abortion political action group NARAL Pro-Choice America, Google is removing ads from its site for “crisis pregnancy centers” that urge women to consider options other than abortion for unplanned pregnancies.

As The Hill reports, NARAL has pressured Google to remove the ads, claiming they violated the latter’s stated advertising policy.

Referring to the pro-life ads as “deceptive anti-choice ads,” and to “crisis pregnancy centers” as “predatory,” NARAL states in its own “investigation” they violate Google’s advertising practices by “misrepresenting the services the centers provide and put women’s health at risk.”

NARAL complained that Google searches for “abortion clinics” have resulted in ads for crisis pregnancy centers about 79 percent of the time.

According to its website, the abortion giant said it found that two-thirds of the ads identified have now been removed.

“Google’s leadership in removing the majority of these ads is a victory for truth in advertising and for the women who have been targeted by a deliberate misinformation campaign by crisis pregnancy centers,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL. “The action taken by Google to address this pressing problem raises the bar for other search engines to monitor and enforce their own advertising policies.”

“We will continue to work with Google to ensure that their commitment results in women being directed to the resources and services they are seeking when they search online, ending this manipulation of women making vital health decisions,” Hogue said.

NARAL asserts that both its own investigations and a congressional committee report from July 2006 have determined that crisis pregnancy centers:

…lie to women about abortion causing an increased risk of breast cancer, future fertility problems, and psychological trauma – all of which are disproven by medical experts including the American Medical Association – in order to convince them to carry their pregnancies to term. They frequently misrepresent the services that they offer in order to trick women into coming in to the center.

“Google’s advertising policy states that, ‘Misleading, inaccurate, and deceitful ads hurt everyone,’” NARAL states. “Within two weeks, NARAL Pro-Choice America logged enough examples and documentation of the deceptive advertisements.”

While NARAL appears to be using at least one report from 2006, a very recent study, published in the Indian Journal of Cancer in December of 2013, revealed that having used birth control pills increases the risk of developing breast cancer nearly tenfold, and having had an abortion elevates the risk of breast cancer more than sixfold. 

In the correlational study, 320 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer were matched with 320 healthy women of similar age, economic and social status, and medical background.

“We found long-term use of oral contraceptive pills (OCP) higher among those suffering from breast cancer, 11.9%, compared to healthy individuals, 1.2%,” Dr. Umesh Kapil, a lead author of the study told the Times of India.

He explained that breast cancer is caused by repeated exposure of cells to circulating ovarian hormones, and long-term use of birth-control pills, which contain estrogen and progesterone, may contribute to the elevated risk.

While Western cancer advocacy groups have denied an abortion-breast cancer connection, the Indian study found that history of abortion was also found to be “significantly higher in breast cancer cases as compared to controls, with the Relative Risk (RR) = 6.26 in women having a history of abortion,” the researchers reported, though they did not distinguish between spontaneous miscarriage and induced abortions.

Another recent major study from China, published in November in the academic journal Cancer Causes Control, found that a single induced abortion is linked to a 44 percent rise in breast-cancer risk, and a second abortion was linked to a 76 percent increase. Three or more abortions was linked to a rise of 89 percent in breast-cancer risk.

“The most important implication of this study is that IA [Induced Abortion] was significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese females,” lead researcher Dr. Yubei Huang concluded, “and the risk of breast cancer increased as the number of IA increases.”

Regarding the Google ads, NARAL expressed offense that groups paying for the ads, such as Online for Life, “openly admit to seeking to reach “abortion-determined women.” NARAL complained, “Online for Life has partnered with 47 CPCs [Crisis Pregnancy Centers] in 21 states.”

“Anyone looking for abortion services should be able to depend on their search engine to provide them with accurate resources,” said Hogue. “Anything less is aiding and abetting ideologically-driven groups with a calculated campaign to lie to and shame women making one of the most important decisions of our lives.”

NARAL said it plans to begin appealing to other search engines to examine ads for crisis pregnancy centers.

“It won’t be long before CPCs and their supporters go after Google for making this change because deceptive ads are one of the primary ways they lure women into their doors,” NARAL said. “That’s why we’re organizing a thank-you letter to show Google executives they did the right thing and encourage them to stand strong against pressure from our opponents.”

National Right to Life Committee president Carol Tobias said crisis pregnancy centers are used by many pregnant women who would be harmed by Google’s removal of the ads.

"Google is waging a war on women by limiting knowledge of the options and services available to women," Tobias said in an email to The Hill. "Google's decision to refuse ads by the centers is unconscionable." 


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