A group of GOP attorneys general urged Google in a letter not to censor search results in such a way that women would be blocked from seeing results directing them to pro-life pregnancy care centers.
Attorneys General Jason Miyares (R-VA) and Daniel Cameron (R-KY) led a group of 15 additional state attorneys general in the message to Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, several national politicians now seek to wield Google’s immense market power by pressuring the company to discriminate against pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in Google search results, in online advertising, and in its other products, such as Google Maps,” the letter read.
“As the chief legal officers of our respective States, we the undersigned Attorneys General are extremely troubled by this gallingly un-American political pressure. We wish to make this very clear to Google and the other market participants that it dwarfs: If you fail to resist this political pressure, we will act swiftly to protect American consumers from this dangerous axis of corporate and government power,” it added.
The Republican leaders warned that they would investigate any attempt to make changes to limit pro-life pregnancy center search results. This included “thorough investigations” to determine violations of antitrust laws, investigating potential “religious discrimination,” and “common carriage statutes” to protect consumers, according to the letter.
The letter concluded with the lawmakers arguing they will uphold “viewpoint diversity, free expression, and the freedom of religion for all Americans,” requesting answers from Google’s CEO within 14 days.
The letter also responded to a message last month to Google from Democratic lawmakers that asked the search engine to remove “anti-abortion ‘fake clinics'” from its search results. The letter, sent June 17, came one week prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and returned laws regarding abortion to individual states.
In addition to arguing for the removal of pro-life pregnancy centers from search results, the Democratic lawmakers suggested an alternative that “at the very least” the pro-life services should be “appropriately labeled.” The letter also urged Google to take down ads from crisis pregnancy centers for organizations using Google Ads.
In an abortion-related policy change earlier this month, Google announced that it would automatically delete user data for visits to certain facilities, including abortion clinics.
“Some of the places people visit — including medical facilities like counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics, and others — can be particularly personal,” the company said. “Today, we’re announcing that if our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit. This change will take effect in the coming weeks.”
Google also announced actions following the Supreme Court ruling leak in May. A group called Ruth Sent Us publicly shared the addresses of the personal homes of Supreme Court Justices Amy Coney Barrett, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch. In response, Google removed the map “due to a violation of our Terms of Service and/or policies.”