Google will now indicate in its Maps application and in its search engine which clinics and hospitals offer abortions in the United States. The decision was made at a time when several states are restricting access to this practice following a Supreme Court ruling.
In a statement, the Mountain View (California, United States) company explained that these places will appear specifically labeled as centers where abortions are performed. Results will appear when the user searches for “abortion clinics near me.”
Only centers where Google Maps has received confirmation that abortions are actually performed will be shown, so as not to send anyone to a place where this does not happen. If there are no clinics near the user, it will be suggested to widen the search radius.
Recently published reports suggest that searches for abortion centers on Google sent users to some places where they were provided with false information about this procedure or even anti-abortion clinics.
Laws against abortion
This past week, a North Dakota judge blocked the law that would ban abortion in that northern state, just one day before it had entered into force. Judge Bruce Romanick agreed with the abortion clinic that filed the lawsuit against the State. He then blocked the law from taking effect while the case is resolved, claiming that otherwise “significant harm” would be caused to the plaintiffs.
The conservative states of Texas, Idaho and Tennessee began implementing laws that almost completely ban abortion. In some cases, they establish punishments of up to life imprisonment for doctors who practice it.
It is a new step in the war against abortion since the Supreme Court in June withdrew protections for that right. That already left more than 20.9 million women of reproductive age without access to that procedure.
The new laws do not change the reality on the ground in Texas, Idaho and Tennessee. All three already prohibited abortion at 6 weeks of pregnancy. There, most of the clinics stopped providing these services after the ruling of the Supreme Court. However, they do establish or increase fines and jail sentences for medical personnel, in an attempt to intimidate them.