Tech Finally Makes a Statement that Abortion Is Healthcare, and Fake Clinics Aren’t

| Reproaction

By: Shireen Shakouri

The fight against anti-abortion fake clinics has been core to Reproaction’s work for years. Though the movement had a setback in the laughable Supreme Court decision in NIFLA v. Becerra, [1] which greenlit fake clinics’ deceiving patients as a matter of “free speech,” we kept showing up and demanding accountability, and it’s paid off.

Earlier this month, Google updated their Healthcare & Medicines policy to enforce that groups that wanted to advertise for abortion services would have to prove that they’re actually an abortion provider, otherwise they’d be listed under a separate category, “does not provide abortions.” [2] This distinction is a huge leap forward in the fight to stop anti-abortion fake clinics from misleading people away from getting the care they need.

For years, activists and organizations have called out Google for allowing anti-abortion advertisers to list their services in a purposefully deceptive way to lure women in their doors and push anti-abortion stigma. In one notable case, Google gave a fake clinic chain $150,000 in free ads for their anti-abortion mission. [3] The organization Human Coalition, which we’ve spotlighted a lot on this blog, began with a central purpose to game internet searches and reach “abortion minded women” seeking real providers.

From Abortion Access Front (formerly Lady Parts Justice League) sparking the #ExposeFakeClinics movement, to the End the Lies campaign around the NIFLA case, to Reproaction’s publication of the Fake Clinic Database and tireless organizing to call out fake clinics in communities across the country, activists showed up, and it’s paying off.

Additionally, Yelp has added a new business category to their platform, separating anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers” (fake clinics) from reproductive health services. And it’s about time. While activists and concerned citizens held reviewing parties, trying to add accurate reviews of anti-abortion centers on Google and Yelp, [4] the sites often responded by deleting honest reviews or suspending page activity – rather than fixing the problem that groups were masquerading as abortion providers on their platforms.

Also recently, Yelp joined Twitter, Square, and other major companies in an open letter stating that restrictions on abortion are “bad for business” and “against our values” – both for their employees and customers. [5]

While the anti-abortion movement has claimed “censorship” from big tech – a claim Reproaction has debunked time and again – reproductive rights and justice activists have watched as tech companies sat on their hands rather than help women and people seeking abortion information. But no longer. We’re happy to welcome big tech to dawning awareness of our everyday reality: abortion restrictions are harmful, and there’s no fairness in allowing their shaming and deception to continue on online platforms in violation of their content policies.


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