Google Changes Policy, Accepts Anti-Abortion Ads

Search engine settles after being sued for free-speech violations
By Rebecca Smith Hurd,  Newser User
Posted Sep 17, 2008 7:30 PM CDT
In this 2007 file photo, a visitor passes a Google exhibition in Duesseldorf, western Germany.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Google today changed its worldwide advertising policy to let anti-abortion groups buy space on its site, the London Times reports. Google previously banned pro-lifers from placing ads opposite abortion-related search terms, but a British group sued the company for violating activists’ free speech rights. Says one group member: The Christian Institute “is not a group of headbangers and would set out its position in a pretty factual, pretty sensible way.”

Google initially planned to fight the claim in the British courts, but ultimately settled. Religious interests may now “place ads on abortion in a factual way,” the company said. How Google will determine these facts remains in question, and opponents fear an onslaught of grisly photos. The institute's first Google ad links to various news articles and research papers.