Google capitulated to the highly profitable abortion industry this week and agreed to demands that the search engine ban “deceptive” ads posted by crisis pregnancy centers seeking to educate women about choices other than ending the lives of their unborn children. Praising Google’s decision Ilyse Hogue, president of the pro-abortion lobby NARAL, gushed “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. 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.”
Google, of course, has every right to establish and enforce rules for advertising on its search engine. It’s not unfair of the company to insist on “relevance, clarity and accuracy.”
So, just how deceptive are the offending ads? Judge for yourself. Here is a list of the most egregious violations of Google’s “strict guidelines” as identified by the aggrieved NARAL:
These ads are clearly not for abortion clinics, which is the search term Googled in the examples. The copy within each ad, however, does suggest that you will not be taken to an abortion clinic’s website if you click. And one could argue that the ads do lead to sites that discuss abortion clinics, but let’s concede for the sake of argument that the ads themselves are deceptive in that they do not advertise abortion clinics. So, then, case closed, right? Not quite.
And when you click the ad you’ll be taken to a website that offers “a family of non-surgical adult stem cell and blood platelet treatments for common injuries and degenerative joint conditions…” (emphasis mine). Clearly, not a company offering knee surgery. Well, you might say, that’s just more proof that Google needs to do a better job policing its own policy. Perhaps that might fly if there were only a few violations here and there. But what if the search engine routinely allows deceptive ads? And what if many of those ads are for abortion clinics and are triggered to launch when someone Googles “abortion alternatives” or “crisis pregnancy center” and other related terms?
The following examples suggest a very selective enforcement of Google’s allegedly rigorous policy…
- A paid ad in the #1 position for “Gentle Abortion” from American Women’s Services. As you navigate the site you’ll finally encounter the term “risk” when you click on the “Gynecological Services” tab and learn that the Morning-After Pill “taken up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse…has been proven to reduce the risk of pregnancy up to 89% of the time” (emphasis mine).
- A paid ad for Washington Surgi-Clinic, whose website’s only mention of risk is “warm, courteous professionals counsel each patient extensively on the benefits, risks, and alternatives of the procedure.”
- A Tidewater Women’s Health Clinic paid ad leading to a website that doesn’t provide a single instance of the term “risk” in any context.
- And finally a paid spot for the Falls Church Health Care website whose only reference to “risk” in any context is “Who is at greater risk for abnormal pap results?”
It’s no shock that Google has outsourced its ad policy enforcement to the culture of death. While company execs do hedge their political bets a bit, they overwhelming support the party of unrestricted abortion and in 2008, Google’s PAC, employees, and employees’ immediate families made Google the fifth-largest source of funds to Barack Obama’s election campaign. Recently, Google’s Exec Chairman Eric Schmidt has been cozying up to Governor Andrew “pro-lifers have no place in the state of New York” Cuomo.
Perhaps in light of the above evidence Ms. Hogue will reconsider her rush to judgment and “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.” Or maybe Google will live up to its promise this week: “If we find violations, we’ll take the appropriate actions—including account disablings and blacklists—as quickly as possible.” But not likely.