Is Google Censoring Pro-Life Ads? Hawley Asks Google to Explain.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) asks a question during the nomination hearing of Ed Gonzalez for director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 15, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) sent a letter to Google on Wednesday demanding answers  about why it has “seemingly censored” ads by pro-life organizations Live Action and Choose Life Marketing. 

Hawley wrote to Google CEO Sundar Pichai asking, “At what rate are ads produced by crisis pregnancy centers, pro-life advocacy organizations, and firms that work with them deemed ineligible for distribution on Google’s platform?”

The senator also questioned what “contacts” Google executives or other leaders have had with “abortion advocacy organizations in the last month.”

“When I spoke with Mark Zuckerberg about a similar issue in September 2019, he acknowledged the danger of bias on the parts of content reviewers in this area, particularly where pro-life activist groups like Live Action are concerned,” Hawley wrote. “But if your company’s behavior is any indication, those concerns have gone unaddressed.”

He suggested that Google “appears to have taken a page out of the progressive left playbook and has started targeting pregnancy resource centers and pro-life activist organizations for disfavor.”’

The Missouri Republican said that Choose Life Marketing, a company from his home state that works with pro-life pregnancy resource centers, found that its ads were not running, “even though Google designated them as eligible to run.”

Hawley wrote that the company was “unable to obtain an explanation” from Google and noted that “even a cursory investigation reveals numerous examples of Planned Parenthood advertising directly to internet users that it offers abortions, contrary to Google’s stated policies.”

The letter came one day after Live Action President Lila Rose said that Google had blocked 18 of her organization’s ads, including one promoting the abortion reversal pill. 

A Google spokesperson told Fox News it had restored a video posted by Live Action after finding it did not violate any of the company’s policies. Google said it had “corrected the label that temporarily blocked its ability to be promoted.”

“We do not permit ads with unproven medical claims. Medical experts have raised serious concerns about abortion reversal pills,” the spokesperson said, citing a post from the pro-abortion American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ,which said that abortion-reversal pills are not backed by science.

“Beyond protecting users from medical harm, our policies do not distinguish between promoting pro-choice and pro-life messages.”

Hawley said the most recent incidents were not the first time that “political considerations” had influenced Google’s ad eligibility decisions.

“In the summer of 2020, under pressure from the cryptic partisan organization ‘Center for Countering Digital Hate,’ Google threatened the conservative website The Federalist with removal from the Google Ads platform, based on the contents of its comments section. Something similar appears to be happening here,” he said.

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