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Google will label which health clinics provide abortions

Google will start labeling which health clinics or hospitals provide abortions when users search for reproductive care online or in maps, the California-based company announced this week.

The increase in information that the search engine plans to display for users comes after lawmakers criticized the company for featuring anti-abortion clinics — also known as crisis pregnancy centers — when people search for abortion clinics.

When users search in Google, the results will now display a disclosure high up that clearly marks whether a clinic “provides abortions” or “does not provide abortions,” said Google Vice President of Government Affairs Mark Isakowitz in a letter responding to lawmakers.

Google is working to “improve the accuracy and relevance” of results when people search terms like “abortion clinics near me,” the letter added.

“When someone in the US searches for health care providers that provide abortions… the Local Search results box will display facilities that have been verified to provide abortions. People will be able to broaden their search to show other relevant listings (including from organizations that do not provide abortions),” Isakowitz said.

Democratic senators criticized Google in June over the issue.

Shortly before the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) wrote a letter calling on Google to highlight whether search results provided abortions.

“Directing women towards fake clinics that traffic in misinformation and don’t provide comprehensive health services is dangerous to women’s health and undermines the integrity of Google’s search results,” the legislators wrote in the June 17 letter.

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