The evil one doesn’t usually outright lie to you. He will most often twist the truth. That’s what happened in the beginning. God told Adam and Eve to enjoy whatever they wished, just not that one thing. Satan then deceived by tempting, “Oh, you can eat that one thing—nothing will happen.” Search for “crisis pregnancy center near me” and in the blink of an eye, you’ll have 150,000,000 results pointing you in various directions. Now, imagine it’s the middle of the night and you just found out you are pregnant. You feel overwhelmed, hopeless, and alone. You type in the search box seeking advice, answers...the truth. Instead, you find deception.
Google recently took pregnancy centers out of Google Maps results for abortion-related search terms unless you check a box to “expand your search.” Otherwise, all you see are abortion clinics. Yelp recently added the phrase “This is a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Crisis Pregnancy Centers typically provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite” to search findings for pregnancy centers, including those affiliated with Care Net. Make no mistake, there is a battle being fought online, and the search terms matter. Here are 3 things Big Tech forces people to find when they search for “crisis pregnancy center near me.”
3 Things You Find When Searching for “Crisis Pregnancy Center Near Me”
1. An Inconsistent Standard
Big Tech is claiming that tactics like adding a “consumer notice” will help searchers accurately find and review local businesses. We’re told it will help them differentiate pro-life crisis pregnancy centers from abortion clinics. But Roland Warren, Care Net’s president and CEO, says:
“Every doctor’s office in the country provides limited medical services…if you go to a heart surgeon and ask for foot surgery, she won’t do it…these warnings seem to discriminate against pro-life centers…Planned Parenthood provides limited medical services, too. They provide abortions, but if you have complications from an abortion, they send you to an emergency room.”
This inconsistent standard of labeling search terms doesn’t seem to apply equally to Planned Parenthood. I propose a change. In the name of care, truth, and notifying the consumer before clicking, Google and Yelp should add the phrase “Sells abortions and provides limited medical services.”
2. A Misleading Answer
These new notices from Big Tech are not only inconsistent, but they are also misleading. If you look deeper, you find that many crisis pregnancy centers – especially in the case of Yelp’s notice that reads, “Crisis Pregnancy Centers typically provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite,” – have medical professionals on staff and offer holistic care for women and men seeking to make pregnancy decisions. Pregnancy centers offer physical, emotional, and spiritual help that goes much further compared to anything that is offered by abortion clinics.
Noorie Malik, the vice president of user operations at Yelp, explained the company’s move to place new notifications on Yelp business pages for crisis pregnancy centers: “It’s well-reported that crisis pregnancy centers do not offer abortion services, and it’s been shown that many provide misleading information in an attempt to steer people seeking abortion care to other options.”
Roland Warren called these claims that centers may not have licensed medical professionals onsite a red herring. “At centers where we provide medical services, we have personnel on site who are licensed to provide those specific medical services,” Warren said. He explained, “At centers where we do not provide medical services, we obviously don’t have to have licensed medical professionals on-site. It’s a non-issue.”
3. A Deceptive Confusion
While these new labels are inconsistent and misleading, they are also confusing. Malik, Yelp’s VP of operations, says, “With this new consumer notice we’re aiming to further protect consumers from the potential of being confused.” If Big Tech’s labels were truthful, they’d highlight all the real services pregnancy centers provide that Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry don’t—such as diapers, formula, clothing, strollers, parenting and childbirth classes, education and career help, ongoing family services and counsel, and more—typically free of charge.
If Big Tech were truly providing help for women who are searching for it, they would apply clear labeling for abortion clinics that would point out that, beyond selling abortions, they do little to nothing to offer additional or ongoing support before, during, and after a pregnancy decision.
Like the evil one in the garden who tried to stir up doubt when he said, “That’s not exactly what God said, was it?”, these new online search labels create confusion and seek only to question the credibility of the very ones providing what woman and families need most.
To a lost and dying world, the truth is on trial. The belief that all are created in God’s image and have value is in question. The organizations that provide compassion, help, and hope—through Christ and community—are being questioned. Even if the new labels are inconsistent, misleading, and confusing—they are clear. They are clearly leading searchers down one path – the path to an abortion. We must continue to be gentle as doves and wise as serpents to ensure that women and men who need help with their pregnancy decisions find the truth.