How Google Maps is making abortion harder to find

Monday, February 26, 2018 blog Share

Anti-abortion groups are gaming local search results to trick women away from clinics


When you're looking for coffee, groceries, or a bus stop near you, Google Maps will help you find it. But if you're trying to find a place to end a pregnancy, it might not steer you in the right direction. A joint investigation by Gizmodo and Damn Joan shows that anti-abortion groups have been manipulating Google Maps search results to make abortion clinics harder to find and to steer women instead to crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which try to pressure and trick them into giving birth.

Anti-abortion groups use keywords, reviews, and other tactics to slip CPC listings into the responses to questions like "where can I get an abortion" and "abortion clinic near me" — and to bump up the listings for fake clinics so they're higher in the search results. They also edit the listings for actual abortion clinics to change contact information or make it look like the clinics are out of business.

If you're worried about being steered to a crisis pregnancy center instead of an abortion clinic, or if you can't find women's health services near you at all, self-managed abortion with pills can be a safe, private option in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Get accurate, up-to-date information about the abortion pill and how to get and use it at