Google Search, Maps to begin labeling abortion facilities


(NewsNation) — The Google Search function and the Maps app will begin labeling healthcare facilities that provide abortions, according to a report.

TechCrunch, an online newspaper that focuses on the tech industry, said if Google has received verification a facility provides abortions, a Google label for the center will say “Provides abortions.” 

The feature comes following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and allows states to enact their own laws regarding the medical procedure. Several so-called “trigger laws” have taken effect this week with more expected to follow.

Google’s decision comes as companies are trying to navigate the new healthcare restrictions and some Americans voice concerns about the role tech companies will play in private medical decisions.

Recently, a Nebraska woman was charged with helping her teenage daughter end her pregnancy at about 24 weeks after investigators obtained Facebook messages in which the two discussed using medication to induce an abortion and plans to burn the fetus afterward.

In one of the Facebook messages, Jessica Burgess, 41, tells her then 17-year-old daughter that she has obtained abortion pills for her and gives her instructions on how to take them to end the pregnancy.

Facebook spokesman Andy Stone defended the way the company handled authorities’ request for information in the case after a gag order about it was lifted.

“Nothing in the valid warrants we received from local law enforcement in early June, prior to the Supreme Court decision, mentioned abortion,” Stone said. “The warrants concerned charges related to a criminal investigation and court documents indicate that police at the time were investigating the case of a stillborn baby who was burned and buried, not a decision to have an abortion.”

Facebook says it will fight back against requests that it thinks are invalid or too broad, but the company said it gave investigators information in about 88% of the 59,996 cases when the government requested data in the second half of last year.

Just days after the Supreme Court’s decision, Instagram began removing posts offering pills to women who may no longer be able to access them.

Stone confirmed in a tweet that the company will not allow individuals to gift or sell pharmaceuticals on its platform, but will allow content that shares information on how to access pills.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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