Starting today, Yelp will apply a label to business pages for crisis pregnancy centers (also known as anti-abortion centers) to clarify that these facilities usually have limited medical services. The label also notes that crisis pregnancy centers “may not have licensed medical professionals onsite.” The consumer notice could help people avoid confusion with clinics that offer abortion services.
In a blog post, Yelp said it was making the change following the US Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, a ruling that conferred a nationwide right to safe abortion access for nearly 50 years. “The trust and safety of our community is a top priority, which is why providing consumers with reliable and useful information to help inform their decisions is critical to our mission — this includes access to reliable information about reproductive health services,” Yelp wrote.
Many crisis pregnancy centers have religious affiliations, as the Associated Press previously reported. Some are said to provide misleading information about abortion and contraception.
Yelp has reviewed tens of thousands of business listings since 2018 with the aim of ensuring crisis pregnancy centers are differentiated from abortion clinics. It noted that moderators have reclassified almost 470 businesses as crisis pregnancy centers or faith-based crisis pregnancy centers this year alone in the US, after reviewing nearly 33,500 business pages. It plans to review more than 55,000 business pages across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico in the coming months.
This is an issue that other tech companies have been contending with. Last week, the Alphabet Workers Union demanded that Google address “misleading search results related to abortion services by removing results for fake abortion providers.” Democratic lawmakers have asked Google to stop directing people seeking an abortion to anti-abortion facilities, while some Republican attorneys general warned the company not to limit such centers from appearing in search results. In early July, Google said it would delete abortion clinic visits from user location histories.