Yelp’s latest alerts users to Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Yelp, a site for community-based reviews and business ideas, has announced that it is expanding the site’s features to help users find out about medical abortion care.

A new consumer notification alerts visitors when they find Crisis Pregnancy Center’s (also known as CPC) Yelp business page. Such clinics are called “women’s clinics,” and they present themselves as inclusive clinics but in reality shame, intimidate, or prevent pregnant women from obtaining abortions. The centers, which sometimes look like mobile units, claim to offer free pregnancy tests, sexual health information, ultrasounds, or other services, but are not licensed medical facilities, Planned Parenthood explains.

“As the future of abortion rights draws closer, we have increased our efforts to protect our users and provide them with access to the information they need, which includes better connecting them with reproductive health services that provide abortions while seeking abortion care and making it easier for them to see abortion sites. ,” the company wrote in its press release.

Business initiatives like Yelp have joined organizations and reproductive rights activists who have been quick to combat the misinformation and dangerous care that is proliferating with Crisis Pregnancy Centers and Faith-based Centers on the ground and in digital spaces.

The Crisis Pregnancy Center map, which was created in 2018 by researchers Dr. Andrea Swartzendruber and Dr. Danielle Lambert of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia, is compiling a free, non-searchable database around the United States. Expose Fake Clinics, another CPC online map around the country, was created by the Abortion Access Hackathon and the Abortion Access Front (and 60 other partner organizations) to help reduce the number of people seeking abortions in these places. Many pro-abortion websites like this work with national networks of abortion providers and abortion funds, such as the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Yelp’s update isn’t the first time the review site has tried to address the issue of these “health centers.” In 2018, Yelp also began reclassifying businesses that don’t offer actual abortion services as Crisis Infertility Clinics or Abortion Centers. As the company wrote in a press release, this segmentation effort continues in 2022, where 33,500 US websites were analyzed for accuracy and 470 of them were classified as CPC.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers have risen into the public consciousness since the US Supreme Court’s decision to end the confidentiality enshrined in the 1973 decision Roe v. Wade. Google came under fire earlier this year for its search engine’s apparent dominance of the site when search engine users were using Google’s abortion services, and the widespread problem is still happening in Google Maps searches. This has upset many, including Senate Democrats who called on Google to end the problem in June.

That same month, youth activists with the digital organizing group Gen-Z for Change flooded the CPC review sections with anti-abortion sites on Google business listings and Yelp listings — part of the SAFER organization (Spam, Assist, Fund, Educate ). , and Register) campaign. Yelp and Google temporarily suspended reviews on business websites in response.

With the latest additions to the program, Yelp is finally addressing, on the user-facing side, the main problem of CPCs and other sites like them: the spread of false information and poor medical care that does nothing to support reproductive rights. people on the ground.

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