Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., issued a letter on Wednesday alleging that Google blocked ads from a group that opposes abortion.
In his letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Hawley writes: “Choose Life Marketing helps [pregnancy resource centers] develop and circulate online ads detailing the women’s health services that they offer, such as free pregnancy tests. Consistent with Google’s stated policies, however, Choose Life Marketing does not publish ‘ads using keywords related to getting an abortion.'”
Under Google’s advertising policies, if someone runs ads ”using keywords related to getting an abortion, you will first need to be certified as an advertiser that either provides abortions or does not provide abortions.” Upon certification, “Google will automatically generate one of the following in-ad disclosures for your abortion product or service ads: ‘Provides abortions’ or ‘Does not provide abortions.'”
But Hawley’s letter raises several questions for the Google CEO, namely, “at what rate are ads produced by crisis pregnancy centers, pro-life advocacy organizations and firms that work with them, deemed ineligible for distribution on Google’s platform?”
The senator’s letter also alluded to allegations of bias at Google.
“It has been widely reported,” Hawley writes, “that a number of aggressive internal cadres of progressive employees are active within Google, leading to harsh backlash against employees who do not share these views. What steps has Google taken to ensure that ad eligibility decisions are not affected by employee bias?”
The senator’s letter comes the day after Live Action President Lila Rose announced that Google blocked her company’s ads.
Rose tweeted on Tuesday that “the now-banned Abortion Pill Reversal ads had been approved by @Google & running for over 4 months, spending over $170,000 & directing 100s of moms to the abortion pill reversal hotline Abortion activists knew the ads were making a difference, so they had Google shut them down.”
A Google spokesperson later responded to Rose’s claim. According to Fox News, the spokesperson said: ”We do not permit ads with unproven medical claims. Medical experts have raised serious concerns about abortion reversal pills. Beyond protecting users from medical harm, our policies do not distinguish between promoting pro-choice and pro-life messages.”
“Advertisers are allowed to offer either abortion or abortion-alternative services,” they added. “When doing so, both must prominently disclose which type of service they offer so that users have full transparency and can make their own decisions.”