Google will now show whether medical facilities offer abortion services

Centers performing abortions will be tagged in search results and in the Google Maps app when confirmed by the company.

Since the cancellation of the right to abortion by the Supreme Court, Google has taken measures to protect American women seeking this type of service. After the automatic deletion of data on visits to specialized clinics, the American giant will now clearly indicate the medical establishments in the United States that perform abortions in search results and in its Maps application.

In other words, when the company has confirmation that a medical center offers services to terminate a pregnancy, a label “performs abortions” will be displayed. In the event that she cannot confirm this, she will indicate that the health establishment “might not offer abortion services”. “When people turn to Google to find local information, our goal is to help them easily explore the range of places available so they can determine which ones are most useful to them”the company said in a statement.

Protect women from misleading results

Google says it uses different methods to verify that a business offers specific services, such as calling it regularly or working with authoritative data sources. “For a number of categories where we have received confirmation that places offer specific services, we have been working for several months on more useful ways to display these results”has also explained the firm of Mountain View.

Google’s announcement follows several revelations about its abortion misinformation problem. According to a study by the Center for Countering Digital Hate published in June, the search engine directs people wishing to have an abortion to fake clinics claiming to offer advice when in reality they are opposed to this practice and seek to dissuade them. More recently, Bloomberg revealed similar facts, with so-called “pregnancy centers in crisis” accounting for almost a quarter of the top ten search results on average in Google Maps.

Note that Google is not the only company to have recently taken this kind of measure to protect women wishing to have an abortion. Yelp announced a policy change last week with a notice appearing on the business pages of religious and secular crisis pregnancy centers, flagging them as places that “provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals on site”.

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