Anti-Abortion Group Uses Google Ads To Misdirect Women Seeking Abortions

An anti-abortion group called Online for Life is buying up Google ad space as part of a campaign to deliberately mislead and misdirect women seeking information about abortions on the internet, the Washington Independent reported Friday. In order to “intercept” “abortion-determined” women who try to find service providers online, the Texas-based group has made their deceptive ads some of the first hits women see when they use Google to search for “abortion” in certain cities. Several of the ads trick women by appearing to offer full-service medical counseling, but instead re-route them to “crisis pregnancy centers” that perform ultrasounds and try to scare women out of having abortions by telling them false or misleading information about the risks of the procedure.

Online for Life explains the strategy on its website under the heading “Rescuing pre-born babies from abortion using the Internet”:

The pro-life search result connects the frightened, uncertain Mom with a website that Online for Life maintains for a pro-life pregnancy resource center in her hometown…that connection leads to a phone call, then a visit, then a sonogram, and…

…when an abortion-minded woman sees her baby’s ten tiny fingers…ten tiny toes…and a beating heart…it is almost certain she will change her mind and choose life!

Anti-choice groups and news outlets are already crowing about Online for Life’s success confusing women and making finding abortion providers more difficult. Christian Newswire praises the site’s innovation, writing “The outreach literally breaks the stranglehold the lavishly financed abortion industry has on Internet search results.”


Much of the Online for Life website is devoted to soliciting donations, telling visitors their “life-saving impact is limited only by funding.” The group bases its pitch on effectiveness, claiming to be able to quantify its success. Though it never specifies how it obtains these numbers, the group says it has already “saved” 42 babies. The website boasts, “Through the use of innovative Internet technology, we can verifiably save the lives of unborn babies.”

They even claim to be able to put a dollar amount on how much its costs to prevent an abortion — $676. Donors can “save three babies from abortion” by giving the group $2,028. Life News editorializes, “It costs less than a Bowflex to save a life.” According to the group’s website, they are affiliated with the socially conservative Focus on the Family.

This subterfuge ad campaign is simply the anti-choice lobby’s latest maneuver to bully, frighten, misinform and otherwise prevent pregnant women from making their own choices. Unfortunately, they are getting considerable help from their friends in Congress and state legislatures across the country, who are putting up their own barriers to make it more difficult for women to access safe abortions. Texas recently passed a bill requiring women to have sonograms 24 hours before an abortion, Indiana has cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, and two weeks ago the House GOP unanimously passed a bill that raises taxes on abortions and bans D.C. from using its own money to fund abortions.