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Online review company Yelp is continuing the war on pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, placing a warning on search results as well as recategorizing search results to make pregnancy centers less likely to appear.
Yelp’s warning, displayed prominently on organizational pages, is intended to let users know that “Crisis pregnancy centers provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite.”
Noorie Malik, Yelp’s vice president of user operations, explained,
“After learning about the misleading nature of crisis pregnancy centers back in 2018, I’m grateful Yelp stands behind these efforts to provide consumers with access to reliable information about reproductive health services. It has always felt unjust to me that there are clinics in the U.S. that provide misleading information or conduct deceptive tactics to steer pregnant people away from abortion care if that’s the path they choose to take.”
The company added, “It’s well-reported that crisis pregnancy centers do not offer abortion services, and it’s been shown that many provide misleading information in an attempt to steer people seeking abortion care to other options.”
Malik is referring to the false but increasingly prevalent claim that pregnancy centers pretend to be abortion clinics so they can deceive women. It is also false that pregnancy centers don’t provide medical services or have medical staff on site. While it is true that many pregnancy centers are volunteer-based, many do provide medical exams and STD testing; according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, 10,200 medical professionals volunteer or work at pregnancy resource centers.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, responded to Yelp’s censorship by saying, “Shame on Big Tech companies like Yelp for colluding with the abortion lobby in their war on compassionate pregnancy help. Discriminatory labels are not meant to inform, but to scare women away from receiving the support and resources they need.”
She continued, “If Big Tech’s labels were truthful, they’d highlight all the real services pregnancy centers provide that Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry don’t, such as diapers, formula, clothing, strollers, parenting and childbirth classes, education and career help, and much more — typically free of charge.”
Yelp is also manually reviewing pregnancy center results and recategorizing them.
In April the company stated that abortion was “fundamental” to women’s ability to succeed.
Yelp’s censorship arrives amid demands from politicians and pro-abortion groups, as well as employees at Google, that Google also censor pro-life pregnancy centers in its search results. Some are even calling for the centers to be shut down.
Pro-life pregnancy centers have been the targets of numerous acts of vandalism and some have even been firebombed. The attacks have centered on claims that the centers are “fake clinics” that deceive women. In reality, the centers do no such thing. Most of them clearly state their pro-life values on their Yelp page, with many stating that they specialize in abortion alternatives, as well as their stated focus, which is to provide support, education, and free resources to pregnant women and mothers of young children.
Let’s make one thing clear: When Yelp says that pro-life pregnancy centers provide limited medical services, what they really mean is that they don’t provide abortion. Yelp isn’t concerned with women or their health, it’s concerned with abortion. If those who hate pro-life pregnancy centers cared about women, they wouldn’t push to close centers that provide free resources and support to pregnant women and mothers.
Pro-life centers aren’t deceiving anyone. By deceive, pro-aborts mean that these centers might show women that they can be mothers; based on the information and support they receive at the centers, they may choose not to kill their child and realize that motherhood is possible and meaningful. The abortion lobby and its supporters don’t want that. What they want is for women to have abortions — as many as possible, in fact.
It is actually the lies and deception from pro-abortion groups that have led to the violence against pregnancy centers. These centers are good; there is nothing bad about them, though they might decrease the prevalence of abortion by giving women the resources they need to become mothers. That, we once were told, was the goal. Now, though, companies don’t want pro-lifers to support women and their children because they don’t want abortion to be rare. They want women dealing with an unplanned pregnancy to believe that their only real choice is abortion.
1 Peter 3:14-17 says,
“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear what they fear; do not be shaken.’ But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you. But respond with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander you may be put to shame by your good behavior in Christ. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
Groups that claim pregnancy centers are harming women are slandering them. Yet the work these centers are doing is invaluable. Christians must continue this good work and give no mind to slanderers, who do nothing to help the women they claim to care about and who one day will be ashamed of their behavior.
Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.