Women across the country use Google every day to find an abortion clinic, and for years pro-life pregnancy resource centers have been using Google Ad Words to try and get abortion minded women to come through their doors. The system was working and rankled many pro-abortion activists, but now it seems like abortion activists have won over Google.

Last week, Google announced that any ads featuring abortion must be vetted by the search engine’s staff members. The purpose for this is so Google can “verify” which ads are from certified abortion providers or non-abortion providers and add the disclaimer “Provides abortions” or “Does not provide abortions.” It’s a decision that could have a devastating impact.

For those without marketing experience, Google Ad Words presents search words or terms that companies can buy in order to appear first in a search result on Google, Bing and other search engines. Companies do this by bidding on the words or phrases, and the company that pays the most shows up first in the search under the designation “Ad.” 

The ability to buy Google Ad Words has become a way that PRCs can reach abortion minded women, a group that would normally never set foot inside a pro-life center. Now with Google’s new rules, reaching those women might be more difficult than ever, and that’s a dream come true for businesses like Planned Parenthood.

For years, abortion activists have claimed that pro-life organizations are acting maliciously by purchasing Google Ad Words, but it was a ridiculous claim meant to compromise the work of PRCs. As Planned Parenthood and others are fully aware, any company or organization can buy Google Ad Words for a price.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses decided to keep up with this deceitful line in the press, while simultaneously increasing their marketing budget and buying ad words out from under PRCs. Pregnancy Hope Center in the Dallas, TX area has seen this problem first hand. Despite doubling their marketing budget, they’ve been unable to keep up with the aggressive bidding by Planned Parenthood and have seen fewer women reach out for help. Although from a pro-life perspective that is a disheartening development, as Google ads are sometimes the only way that PRCs can reach these women, it is also a demonstration how the free market works. 

Google has now decided that is no longer an option.

Instead of letting the marketplace work itself out, Google is deciding for women what is appropriate for them to see in a search and clearly identify one organization as superior to the other. It is a blatantly manipulative act that interferes with a woman’s right to find options other than abortion, but Google has caved to the abortion lobby. 

The real victims of this decision aren’t the PRCs though, but the women who are searching for help and alternatives to abortion. In place of counseling and support, women will find that abortion is seemingly their only option and many, if not most, will make the decision to terminate if they walk through the door of Planned Parenthood. That is why the ability of PRCs to impact women through Google is so important. Even women who are abortion minded may be willing to rethink their decision once they know that there is support, mentorship and other opportunities through PRCs.

While there might be a lot to celebrate in the pro-life arena, this latest decision from Google deeply hinders the ability of PRCs to reach out and make an impact in their local community. It is problematic, wrong and a political declaration from the world’s largest search engine. At the end of the day, women should be given the choice of where to go and what help to find, and not have Google decide for them.