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Google awards $ 150,000 in free advertising to anti-abortion group: report

According to a public record, Google would have given $ 150,000 free publicity to an anti-abortion group.

Obria Group, based in Southern California, is a non-profit organization that apparently targets women seeking abortion to prevent them from doing so. The group, which describes itself as being funded by a Catholic organization and providing "life-saving care," received a $ 120,000 advertising grant from Google in 2015 and another $ 32,000 grant in 2011, the Guardian reported.

Google's advertising grant is part of a business program aimed at supporting non-profit organizations around the world.

This grant was awarded by Google to Obria, even though it had been criticized a year ago following an investigation by the pro-choice group NARAL, who had discovered that the search engine was running ads for The Washington Post reported at the time.

NARAL's survey revealed that 79% of the crisis centers reported on Google indicated that they were providing medical services, such as abortions, while they were actually engaged in counseling and information services. about alternatives to abortion.

The ads were then deleted after Google violated them.

The Washington Post does not mention any pregnancy centers in specific crisis, but according to The Guardian, many Obria clinics in the United States suggest on their websites that they offer an abortion when in fact the group is opposed to abortion and all forms of contraception.

This has fueled the concerns of reproductive rights groups and activists who believe that Americans deserve an explanation from Google.

"The more we learn about Obria, the more questions we have. We know why the federal government and its anti-abortion acolytes have rolled out the so-called "health care provider" red carpet that does not offer birth control and does not sell medically-proven services. But why does Google follow these unscientific steps? Taxpayers and the hundreds of millions of Americans who use Google deserve an explanation, "said Mary Alice Carter, executive director of Equity Forward at The Independent.

Alice Huling, of the Watchdog group, advocate of the Campaign for Accountability, said that Google is often the first resource that women turn to when they seek an abortion, and that advertisements for anti-cancer clinics – Abortion spread of "misinformation".

"Google should not allow CPCs to use its platform to spread misinformation to pregnant women," Huling told The Guardian.

"Google's business model is based on delivering customer announcements and the company clearly does not want to take the necessary steps to combat misleading ads placed by CPCs."

Although Google did not specifically comment on the grant, the Guardian said, "The Google Advertising Grants program is open to qualified non-profit organizations, regardless of their position on abortion. We provide grants to nearly 50,000 organizations worldwide that represent a broad spectrum of opinions and causes.

"All grant recipients must adhere to our advertising policies, which prohibit false statements in ads. If we find ads that violate our policies, we delete them. "

Obria was first in the spotlight when it was awarded $ 1.7 million in federal funds, called title X funds. Title X finances contraception, the screening for sexually transmitted diseases and cancer screening. It serves about 4 million women every year and costs taxpayers about $ 260 million, the Telegraph reported.

The Trump Administration's decision to fund Obria is interpreted by some as the administration's preference for faith-based groups to keep women out of abortion.

"We are very concerned that Obria is entering the program preventing women from being informed of all their health care options," said Julie Rabinovitz, President and CEO of Essential Access Health at the Telegraph.

"It could really reduce the progress we have made in reducing unwanted pregnancies."

An Obria spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.

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