Google Maps and Search will now explicitly label healthcare facilities that provide abortion services, TechCrunch reported. It’s another change made in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and end federal protection for abortion.
Searching “abortion clinics near me” will now let users see which places are confirmed to offer abortion services. If Google doesn’t have confirmation, the label will read “might not provide abortions.” If there aren’t results nearby, it’ll give an option to expand the search to farther away.
The move comes after a Bloomberg report that Google Maps shows crisis pregnancy centers — which do not provide abortions and often distribute misinformation about the safe medical procedure — when someone searches for abortion clinics. Analysis from other groups had similar findings: the Center for Countering Digital Hate, for example, found that 37 percent of Google Maps searches around abortion directed people to anti-abortion clinics.
Google’s new approach does not flag or limit searches for crisis pregnancy centers specifically, which US lawmakers asked for in a letter in June. Yelp took that step, announcing Tuesday that it would add a notice to crisis pregnancy centers alerting users that they might provide “limited medical services.”
Google’s labeling system will also apply to other facilities that offer specialized services, like veterans hospitals. “We’re now rolling out an update that makes it easier for people to find places that offer the services they’ve searched for, or broaden their results to see more options,” an unnamed Google spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch.
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