The Democratic lawmakers followed up an earlier request asking for more information about the search engine’s ad labeling policies surrounding abortion access.
Two Democrat lawmakers are continuing to probe into Google’s potential deceptive advertising about abortion access on its search engine, following a series of private investigations and previous federal oversight requests since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June.
Addressing Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google parent company Alphabet Inc., Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., sent a letter requesting that the company address outstanding accuracy issues with abortion health care advertising. Specifically, Warner and Slotkin are requesting more thorough labels on ads to distinguish which clinics offer abortion services and which do not.
“As many states are increasingly narrowing the window between getting a positive pregnancy test and when you can terminate a pregnancy, every day counts,” the letter reads. “We find ourselves again asking that Google live up to its promises with regards to preventing misleading ads on its platform.”
The lawmakers cite investigations conducted by Bloomberg News and the Center for Countering Digital Hate, both of which document a lack of consistency with Google’s labeling procedure for anti-abortion clinics versus abortion clinics.
Search results for inputs including “Planned Parenthood” or “pregnancy help” often yielded inaccurate ads that had incorrect disclaimer labels.
The lawmakers noted that Google’s advertising policy specifically states that ads featured on the platform are not allowed to use deceptive tactics to mislead users.
“We urge you to take proactive action to rectify these and any additional issues surrounding misleading ads, and help ensure users receive search results that accurately address their queries and are relevant to their intentions,” the letter reads.
Warner and Slotkin previously teamed up to call out Google for the accuracy of abortion-related search results in June 2022, noting in their most recent letter that Google addressed those particular concerns. Some of the new questions the lawmakers developed ask about specific search terms Google classifies as related to “getting an abortion” and Google’s procedures when it comes to removing ads deemed inaccurate or in violation of company policies.