Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) depend on being able to trick people into believing that they provide abortion or abortion referrals, using that deception to lure people in and pressure them to remain pregnant. Online search engines and online advertising are one of their key tools for deception and manipulation—and now, Yelp is taking a step to crack down.
The customer review platform is adding a consumer notice to crisis pregnancy center listings alerting users that the CPCs “provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite,” Axios reports. That follows a move by the company, starting in 2018, to ensure that crisis pregnancy centers are not categorized with abortion providers.
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“After learning about the misleading nature of crisis pregnancy centers back in 2018, I’m grateful Yelp stands behind these efforts to provide consumers with access to reliable information about reproductive health services,” Noorie Malik, Yelp’s vice president of user operations, told Axios via email.
Malik told Axios that Yelp will continue its efforts to ensure that people who are looking for information about abortion are able to find it.
Yelp’s move highlights what other tech companies could and should be doing, with the Alphabet Workers Union pressuring Google to remove misleading listings for crisis pregnancy centers. It’s especially urgent for tech companies to take action because their services are so central to what crisis pregnancy centers are doing, including Google Ads targeted to people specifically looking for abortion services. If you search for “need an abortion,” you should not be directed to an organization that will do anything in its power to prevent you from getting an abortion.
If crisis pregnancy centers can’t do what they do without lying, they shouldn’t get to do it. And it’s really not at all extreme to say they shouldn’t be allowed to lie.
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