- Google will start listing verified abortion providers through its Google Maps service.
- The company will verify that these facilities perform the procedure and label them accordingly.
- The move will distinguish abortion clinics from crisis pregnancy centers, which discourage abortion.
Google is rolling out an initiative to help women locate abortion clinics via its Google Maps service.
Per Bloomberg, Google Maps will verify if a facility provides abortions and list them accordingly. Those that cannot be verified as abortion providers will be flagged with the label “might not provide abortions,” the outlet reported, citing a Google spokesperson.
“When people turn to Google to find local information, we aim to help them easily explore the range of places available so they can determine which are most helpful to them,” the Google representative told Bloomberg.
“For a number of categories where we’ve received confirmation that places offer specific services, we’ve been working for many months on more useful ways to display those results,” the representative added, per the outlet.
TechCrunch, which first reported on the new initiative, said Google would, on its end, call businesses and locations to get confirmation if the location does provide abortions.
Google’s new system will help to guide users of its maps app to genuine abortion clinics instead of places like crisis pregnancy centers, which try to steer women away from the procedure.
Insider reported in June that such facilities — also known as “pregnancy resource centers” — provide ultrasounds but do not perform abortions and, instead, nudge abortion seekers toward alternatives like adoption and parenting support. They also use vague language along with images of fetuses and babies to discourage pregnant women from undergoing abortions.
Bloomberg had earlier reported that Google Maps was not differentiating between these centers and legitimate abortion clinics, which resulted in many women visiting the wrong facility.
Ther rollout of the new Google Maps feature comes the same week that Yelp announced that it, too, would be flagging listings for crisis pregnancy centers. In Yelp’s case, these locations would be listed as providing “limited medical services” so users can distinguish them from abortion clinics.
Representatives for Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.