Pregnancy Centers to Google: Don’t Censor Us
Earlier this year, my husband and I were ecstatic to find out that we are expecting a baby.
We recently moved to California, and as a result, I had no idea where to start when looking for a good doctor. More than that, this is our first child, so I had no idea where to start with anything. When can I get my first ultrasound? How big should our baby be in the early stages?
A friend referred me to a local pregnancy center, and I was able to make an appointment almost immediately. I knew that the center would be able to point me in the right direction, refer me to doctors and even give me pediatrician referrals for our baby.
But they did so much more than that.
The nurses answered all my medical questions, signed me up for a program through which I can receive free diapers and baby clothes, called me after my first appointment to ask how I was feeling, provided me with my baby’s first two ultrasounds, and asked how they could pray for me.
The clinic’s website states that it has gone through a rigorous third-party survey process to ensure top-of-the-line health care in addition to receiving accreditation by the Association for Ambulatory Health Care. The women who guided me through the process were all licensed medical professionals. On top of this, nothing came out of my pocket; the clinic, like most pregnancy centers, is funded by community donations.
Despite this, those who profit from abortions are launching a smear campaign against clinics just like this one.
Anti-pregnancy-centers letter to Google
Some U.S. lawmakers are now petitioning Google to prevent pregnancy centers from easily appearing in search engine results when women are looking for local clinics. In a letter sent to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent Alphabet, 14 senators and seven representatives implore him to blackball “anti-abortion fake clinics.”
These lawmakers say the letter was prompted by a study released by the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate. The organization found that 11 percent of the results for Google searches about local abortion clinics or the abortion pill resulted in links to pregnancy centers.
Pro-abortion critics argue that pregnancy centers shouldn’t be appearing in search results for abortion. But these centers aid in educating women about abortion procedures. And it makes sense that the sort of clinic which exists to care for women when they are in crisis and educate them about their options would appear in search results.
Google declined to comment on the letter but responded to the report: "We're always looking at ways to improve our results to help people find what they're looking for, or understand if what they're looking for may not be available."
Smearing pregnancy centers as “fake” is not new.
Planned Parenthood’s website calls pregnancy centers “fake clinics,” claiming they “look like real health centers, but … have a shady, harmful agenda: to scare, shame, or pressure you out of getting an abortion, and to tell lies about abortion, birth control, and sexual health.”
Planned Parenthood’s attempt to discredit pregnancy centers is predictable—after all, it has a vested, monetary interested in vilifying any clinic or organization that empowers women to believe they have more than one option. But in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overturning, a growing number of corporations and organizations are unveiling themselves to be biased against pregnancy centers.
In an article published last month, the National Women's Health Network outlined ways that “fake clinics prey on women.” Healthline explained to readers “how to identify and avoid crisis pregnancy centers.”
Many abortion activists are proving themselves to be pro-choice, so long as pregnant women only choose to end their baby’s life. In the last month alone, there have been over 40 attacks on pregnancy centers. CompassCare in Buffalo, New York, was firebombed by arsonists; the front doors of Community Pregnancy Center in Anchorage, Alaska, were smashed and its parking lot filled with nails; another pregnancy center in Longmont, Colorado, was vandalized and set on fire.
The pro-life response
The presidents of Care Net, Heartbeat International, and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), organizations that provide support, trainings, and best practices to pregnancy centers and clinics, wrote to Pichai to set the record straight.
“Pregnancy Centers and clinics serve more than 2 million people every year, with more than $267 million dollars of free essential support services including medical services, parenting classes, and financial and material assistance,” they write. “Long-term data collected from client exit interviews by one of our organizations, Care Net, demonstrates 97 percent positive client satisfaction on average for the past 13 years. In 2019 … an average 99 percent of clients reported having had a positive experience at their pregnancy center.”
Pregnancy centers do not profit from a pregnant woman’s decision. Abortion centers, however, have a vested interest in making money by persuading a woman to choose to end her baby’s life. Furthermore, pregnancy centers clearly communicate that they do not offer abortions; they do not coerce women through their doors with false advertising
Pregnancy centers provide a list of their services on their websites, including abortion and health education, ultrasounds, and counseling. In 2019 alone, pregnancy centers provided 732,000 pregnancy tests, 486,000 free ultrasounds, 160,200 STI/STD tests, 2 million baby outfits, prenatal educational programs to 291,000 clients, and after-abortion support to 21,000 clients.
To accuse pregnancy centers of not offering legitimate care to women is false and self-serving, and worst of all, it misinforms women. It intentionally tells women that only one choice—abortion—is viable. Women deserve more than that.
As Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, said, “If adoption is a possibility for [a woman], she needs to know that such a choice is noble and heroic … she needs the wealth of resources available both privately and publicly through pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and other sources that provide financial and emotional support, as well as the safety and education she needs to thrive.”
Women who are unexpectedly pregnant can decide for themselves which services best suit their needs—not Google.