Google Employee Union Petitions Search Engine To Suppress Results for Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

Pro-abortion activists in front of a Planned Parenthood / Getty Images
August 18, 2022

Employees at Google's parent company are urging the search engine to suppress results for pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, according to a petition sent Monday by the company union to Alphabet Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai.

In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, more than 650 employees at Alphabet Inc. signed the petition, which demands that Google remove "results for fake abortion providers" and what the union considers "misleading information" about reproductive health care services. The petition also demands that Google stop collecting users' data on abortion-related searches, saying that users' data would be "used against them" in states that have banned or restricted abortion.

Abortion providers often vilify pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, which provide counseling, resources, and often medical services to pregnant women. Planned Parenthood calls such centers "fake clinics" that have the "shady, harmful agenda" of talking women out of getting abortions.

The petition, circulated by the Alphabet Workers Union, urges Google to institute data privacy controls for "health-related activity," such as searches for "reproductive justice, gender-affirming care, and abortion access information." These data, according to the petition, "must never be saved, handed over to law enforcement, or treated as a crime."

Big Tech companies such as Facebook and Google have faced political challenges on data disclosure since a draft opinion of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health was leaked in May. Twenty-one congressional Democrats in June urged Google in a letter to "limit the appearance" or add "user-friendly disclaimers" to search results for pro-life pregnancy centers.

Google states in its Privacy Policy that it must respond to a government subpoena, court order, or search warrant but pushes back on requests for information it deems too broad.

A Nebraska police department this month used legally acquired information from Facebook to prosecute 17-year-old Celeste Burgess for violating Nebraska's ban on abortions after 20 weeks, the Nebraska Examiner reported.

Google stated in July it will automatically erase visits to abortion facilities from a user's location history, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Alphabet executives have not yet responded to the petition.