Google Maps will start listing verified clinics that provide abortions

When users search for ‘abortion clinics near me’, the results box will display facilities verified to provide abortions (Picture: Google)

will clearly label medical facilities in the United States that provide abortions in its search results.

On Thursday, the tech giant announced that verified abortion clinics will be clearly labelled in Google Maps to avoid confusing them with anti-abortion centres.

When users search for ‘abortion clinics near me’, the results box will display facilities verified to provide abortions, said Mark Isakowitz, vice president for government affairs and public policy for US and Canada at Google, in a letter to US lawmakers.

The tech giant will also allow people to broaden their search to show other relevant listings, including from organizations that do not provide abortions, Isakowitz said.

Google’s response follows that urged its parent company Alphabet’s CEO Sundar Pichai to prevent misleading Google search results that directed ‘crisis pregnancy centres’ which steer women away from the procedures.

Google will clearly label medical facilities in the United States that provide abortions in its search results (Picture: Reuters)

A crisis pregnancy centre or a pregnancy resource centre is a type of nonprofit organization to persuade pregnant women against having an abortion. Some of the centres have been accused of giving women inaccurate information about their pregnancies, which can jeopardize their access to abortion.

‘Google should not be displaying anti-abortion fake clinics or crisis pregnancy centers,’ the lawmakers wrote. ‘If Google must continue showing these misleading results…the results should, at the very least, be appropriately labeled,’ said the letter.

In May, even before Roe v Wade was reversed, that could be used to identify people who’ve had abortions.

About half of US states have or are expected to seek to ban or curtail abortions following the reversal of Roe v Wade. States including Idaho, Texas and 11 others have adopted ‘trigger’ laws banning abortion upon such a decision.

Just this month, over 650 Google employees signed a petition demanding more from the tech giant with regard to abortion.

In July,  would delete location data showing when users visit an abortion clinic following privacy concerns. It also said that it would continue to push back against improper or overly broad demands for data by the government, without reference to abortion.

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