New York AG Blasts Google Over Anti-Abortion Centers In Maps

The New York attorney general is urging Google to stop showing anti-abortion centers to Maps users who search for local abortion clinics.

“With the expectation that New York will be seeing an increasing number of pregnant people from out of state seeking abortion services in our state -- often traveling here at great financial cost and inconvenience -- it is imperative that pregnant people are receiving accurate information and are able to obtain the medical services they need efficiently and with minimal confusion,” Darsana Srinivasan, chief of the New York Attorney General Health Care Bureau, says in a letter sent Wednesday to Google general counsel Halimah DeLaine Prado. 

The letter comes days after the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade -- a move that paved the way for states to immediately enforce anti-abortion laws or enact new ones. Abortion remains legal in New York.

Prado writes that Google Maps does not appear to distinguish between places that offer abortion services and organizations such as crisis pregnancy centers, which, she writes, “exist solely to intercept and dissuade pregnant people from making fully informed decisions about their healthcare such as the choice to obtain an abortion.”

“Including these organizations in a list for an individual seeking abortion services is dangerous and misleading,” the letter states.

Earlier this month Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-Maryland) separately urged Google to prevent its search engine from returning links to anti-abortion centers in response to searches for phrases “abortion clinic near me” and “abortion pill.”

“We urge you to take action to rectify these issues and help ensure women seeking health care services are directed to the basic information they request,” the lawmakers said in a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

They specifically asked Pichai how Google plans to limit results for anti-abortion fake clinics in response to searches for abortion clinics or pills or, alternatively, whether it will “add user-friendly disclaimers that clearly indicate whether or not a search result does or does not provide abortions.”

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