Google has given $150,000 in free ads to deceptive anti-abortion group

By: Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Jessica Glenza, The Guardian, May 13, 2019

Google has given tens of thousands of dollars in free advertising to an anti-abortion group that runs ads suggesting it provides abortion services at its medical clinics, but actually seeks to deter “abortion-minded women” from terminating their pregnancies.

The Obria Group, which runs a network of clinics funded by Catholic organisations, received a $120,000 Google advertising grant in 2015, according to a public filing. In 2011, it received nearly $32,000. Such grants are designed to support and expand the reach of non-profits around the world.

Alice Huling, counsel for the Campaign for Accountability, a watchdog fighting a recent change in federal rules on what kinds of clinics can receive federal funds for healthcare services, said Google was usually the first resource for a woman with an unplanned pregnancy.

“Google should not allow CPCs to use its platform to serve misinformation to pregnant women,” she said. “Google’s business model is predicated on serving ads to customers, and the company is clearly uninterested in taking the steps necessary to crack down on misleading ads placed by CPCs.”

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