Alabama AG joins coalition to issue warning to Google on blocking anti-abortion crisis centers

In a letter to Google, Marshall and 16 other Republican attorneys general gave a very clear warning

Updated: July 22, 2022 - 4:26pm

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Alabama GOP Attorney General Steve Marshall is warning Google not block or remove crisis pregnancy centers in the state from online searches for abortion services.

Marshall, the state's top law enforcement officer, said such action could open Google to investigations into anti-trust laws and religious discrimination.

"Google accounts for more than 90% of all internet searches in the United States," Marshall said. "It also holds a dominant position in the market for online advertising. This dominant market position comes with a tremendous responsibility to Google’s users and to the American public. Google once recognized its outsized public duty in its corporate motto, 'Don’t be evil,' and its commitment to 'provide ... users with unbiased access to information.' "

Marshall also said "several national politicians" are seeking to use Google’s market power "by pressuring the company to discriminate" against anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers in search results, online advertising and other products such as Google Maps.

"If Google fails to resist political pressure from those on the left and bow to their demands to censor or block crisis pregnancy centers, then we will act swiftly to protect American consumers," Marshall said in the release.

In a letter to Google, Marshall and 16 other Republican attorneys general gave a very clear warning. 

The letter, in part, reads, “If you comply with this inappropriate demand to bias your search results against crisis pregnancy centers, our offices will (1) conduct thorough investigations to determine whether this suppression violates the antitrust laws of the United States and our States; (2) investigate whether Google’s conduct amounts to an unlawful act of religious discrimination under state law; and (3) consider whether additional legislation – such as nondiscrimination rules under common carriage statutes – is necessary to protect consumers and markets.”

Crisis pregnancy centers are charities that are private and show compassion and practical support to women, according to release from Marshall.

The centers, in 2019, provided services to more than 1.8 million people and $266 million in services for little or no cost to women, including ultrasounds, STD testing, pregnancy tests, parenting and parental education classes, the release also states.

Marshall joined other Republican attorneys general from Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia in penning the letter.