Google Updated Search and Maps to Show Abortion Providers More Clearly

  • 03-09-2022 |
  • Jackson Matthew

Google will now clearly label US-based health care facilities accredited to provide abortion services. The decision aims to eliminate the confusion that some women experienced when they asked Google Search and Maps to be given directions to a nearby abortion clinic but were offered addresses of crisis pregnancy centers where the patients were often urged not to undergo the operation. It happened in more than a quarter of cases and caused women much discomfort.

To promote the transparency of search results and provide users with better access to relevant resources, Google Maps will now make medical clinics providing abortion services more visible. They will have a special ‘Provides abortions’ label, whereas unverified search results for abortion venues will say ‘May not provide abortions.’

An additional adjustment has been introduced to Google’s Maps UX, where the search results for ‘abortion near me’ queries will now specifically exclude local facilities that do not offer abortions. Users can also widen their search to cover results for a broader area.

These changes come two months after a group of US lawmakers turned to the tech company requesting that Google review its labeling system to avoid misleading search results for abortion providers. The legislators claimed that a third of all Google Maps results for abortion services in states where abortions were illegal directed women to crisis pregnancy centers. Such facilities are not only known for their strong anti-abortion policies but also for storing clients’ personal and contact information and even sharing it for prosecution purposes.

Do you welcome the changes announced by Google? Are abortion services legal to seek in your state? Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments below and share the news with others!

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