For Immediate Release:
July 21, 2022
Attorney General Steve Marshall Warns Google Not to Block Crisis Pregnancy Centers from Abortion-Related Online Searches
(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Steve Marshall warned tech giant Google not to block or remove crisis pregnancy centers from online searches for abortion services, making clear that such discriminatory conduct could open the company to investigations for antitrust violations and religious discrimination. Attorney General Marshall joined 16 other attorneys general Thursday in calling on Google’s CEO to resist political pressure from liberal lawmakers who are demanding discrimination against pro-life crisis pregnancy centers.
“Google accounts for more than 90 percent of all internet searches in the United States,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall. “It also holds a dominant position in the market for online advertising. This dominant market position comes with a tremendous responsibility to Google’s users and to the American public. Google once recognized its outsized public duty in its corporate motto, ‘Don’t be evil,’ and its commitment to ‘provide . . . users with unbiased access to information.’ 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 its search results, in its online advertising, and in its other products such as Google Maps.”
“If Google fails to resist political pressure from those on the left and bow to their demands to censor or block crisis pregnancy centers, then we will act swiftly to protect American consumers,” added Attorney General Marshall.
Attorney General Marshall and his fellow attorneys general issued a clear warning to Google in their letter: “If you comply with this inappropriate demand to bias your search results against crisis pregnancy centers, our offices will (1) conduct thorough investigations to determine whether this suppression violates the antitrust laws of the United States and our States; (2) investigate whether Google’s conduct amounts to an unlawful act of religious discrimination under state law; and (3) consider whether additional legislation—such as nondiscrimination rules under common carriage statutes—is necessary to protect consumers and markets.”
Crisis pregnancy centers are private charities that show compassion and practical support to women in a time of need. In 2019, crisis pregnancy centers served over 1.8 million clients and provided services valued at over $266 million for little or no cost. These included ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, STD testing, parenting and prenatal education classes, post-abortive care, recovery counseling, and free or reduced-cost diapers, baby clothes, car seats, and strollers.
Attorney General Marshall joined attorneys general from Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia in writing the letter to Google.
The attorneys general letter can be read here*.
*[To access hyperlink, click PDF icon at upper right of press release]