This past week NARAL Pro-Choice announced that Google had responded to its complaints against reportedly “deceptive” web search ads by crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) and other pro-life advocates. The group contacted Google and claimed that up to 79 percent of crisis centers ads violated Google’s Adwords rules. (Where NARAL got those numbers is another issue entirely.) While Google has only agreed to continue to enforce its policy, NARAL touts this as a grand victory against the pro-life movement. In fact, the group has already moved on to protest ads on Yahoo! and Bing.
NARALs attack on CPC’s web search advertising is just another attempt by the anti-life movement to silence the opposition. You see, NARAL and their counterparts do not want women to find CPCs that offer options other than abortion. The abortion industry is reported to be a billion-dollar-a-year industry, and each woman who chooses an alternative to abortion is money out of the industry’s pocket.
That is why many abortion centers do a poor job at best in telling women about the other options available to them. According to a study in the Medical School Monitor, 79 percent of women who have visited an abortion center say they did not receive information about the alternatives to abortion, 84 percent say they did not receive adequate counseling, and 67 percent say they received no counseling at all. Despite their claims of being “for women,” abortion centers certainly don’t seem to have the woman’s best interest – or her right to informed consent - at heart.
Heroic Media’s advertising empowers women by helping provide honest, medically accurate information about abortion as well as support services available to women in need. Through partnerships with CPCs nationwide, we connect women with hopeful and healthy alternatives to abortion – ones they aren’t told about at abortion clinics. In the current fiscal year, Heroic Media has provided information and access to pregnancy support services for over 200,000 individuals.
NARAL is not pro-choice. If they were truly pro-choice, they would want women to have all information about all their options. They would want women to be able to make an informed decision about their pregnancy. They wouldn’t have a problem with women finding other options during their research on Google.
NARAL attacked web-search advertising because it has been highly effective in providing information to women in crisis. According to a recent Pew study, 58 percent of individuals turn to the Internet for information and advice when facing a major life decision. That is higher percentage of those that turn to friends, family or professionals. NARAL knows that women facing an unexpected pregnancy will go online for information and advice, and they don’t want them to find alternatives to abortion. They want them to feel abortion is the only option.
The anti-life coalition might think this is a step towards silencing the pro-life moment, but they are sadly mistaken. If you search for abortions in your area, you are almost guaranteed to find ads placed by CPCs. It turns out that far fewer of the ads were as “deceptive” as NARAL thought. These ads claim to offer information about abortions, which is exactly what CPCs do. They offer honest and accurate information about the potential risks and side effects of abortion women may not hear anywhere else without a financial interest in her “choice.”
The pro-life movement and Heroic Media have faced challenges like this before. In 2013, Heroic Media placed ads supporting the 20-week abortion restriction laws which were pulled from major publications. Due to the rejection, the ad was picked up on far more platforms than originally intended.
No matter how the anti-life movement tries to silence us, we will continue to have a voice. We will continue offering women hopeful alternatives to abortion, because we believe women have the right to make decisions armed with all options and information available. We will continue to speak out because we have the best interests of the woman and her baby at heart.