Josh Hawley Calls on Google CEO Sundar Pichai to Answer for Censorship of Pro-Life Groups

Josh Hawley
Getty Images/ Chip Somodevilla

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Wednesday demanding answers on the company’s censorship of pro-life groups.

“Your company appears to have taken a page out of the progressive left playbook and has started targeting pregnancy resource centers and pro-life activist organizations for disfavor,” Hawley wrote in his letter to Pichai.

The senator added that “this would not be the first time that political considerations have influenced [Google]’s ad eligibility decisions.”

Google's Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai gives a keynote address during the opening day of the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on March 2, 2015. Phone makers will seek to seduce new buyers with even smarter Internet-connected watches and other wireless gadgets as they wrestle for dominance at the world's biggest mobile fair starting today. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS LLENE (Photo by Lluis GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Google’s Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai gives a keynote address during the opening day of the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on March 2, 2015. Phone makers will seek to seduce new buyers with even smarter Internet-connected watches and other wireless gadgets as they wrestle for dominance at the world’s biggest mobile fair starting today. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS LLENE

Heartbeat

Anti-abortion protesters wait outside the Supreme Court for a decision, Monday, June 29, 2020 in Washington on the Louisiana case, Russo v. June Medical Services LLC. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“In the summer of 2020, under pressure from the cryptic organization ‘Center for Countering Digital Hate,’ Google threatened the conservative website the Federalist with removal from the Google Ads platform, based on the contents of its comments section,” Hawley noted.

In his letter, Hawley explained that the Missouri company Choose Life Marketing — which works with pregnancy resource centers, helping them with their online advertisements — found that ads they had attempted to run for a client in the Washington, D.C. metro area were not running, even though Google designated them as eligible to run.

“Worse, Choose Life Marketing was unable to obtain an exemption from your company,” Hawley said, adding that “a cursory investigation reveals numerous examples of Planned Parenthood advertising directly to internet users that it offers abortions, contrary to Google’s stated policies.”

The senator added that “Choose Life Marketing does not publish ‘ads using keywords related to getting an abortion,'” which is “consistent with Google’s stated policies.”

“All of this is alarming enough on its own, and the situation has only continued to escalate,” Hawley continued. “Lila Rose — president of the pro-life organization Live Action — reported on September 14 that your company had pulled the plug on Live Action’s advertising campaigns, citing ‘Google Ads policy.'”

On Tuesday, Rose said Google banned Live Action’s advertisements, including an abortion pill reversal ad. The pro-life activist called the tech giant’s decision “a blatant, political double standard,” adding that “Meanwhile, Google is permitting abortion facilities to advertise next-day abortions & abortion via mail.”

A Google spokesperson provided the following statement to Breitbart News:

We do not permit ads with unproven medical claims. Medical experts have raised serious concerns about abortion reversal pills. Beyond protecting users from medical harm, our policies do not distinguish between promoting pro-choice and pro-life messages. Advertisers are allowed to offer either abortion or abortion-alternative services. When doing so, both must prominently disclose which type of service they offer so that users have full transparency and can make their own decisions.

Meanwhile, Sen. Hawley is calling on Google to provide his office with answers to the following questions:

Why have Choose Life Marketing’s clients’ ads in the D.C. area not appeared online, despite being designated as eligible to run?

Why were Live Action’s advertising campaigns abruptly disapproved by Google?

At what rate are ads produced by crisis pregnancy centers, pro-life advocacy organizations, and firms that work with them, deemed ineligible for distribution on Google’s platform?

What contacts have Google executives or other leaders had with abortion advocacy organizations in the last month?

It has been widely reported that a number of aggressive internal cadres of progressive employees are active within Google, leading to harsh backlash against employees who do not share these views. What steps has Google taken to ensure that ad eligibility decisions are not affected by employee bias?

Breitbart News will continue to report on Google censorship.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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