San Francisco Mayoral Candidate Attempting to Ban Pro-Life Pregnancy Center From Google Ads

Talk about being scared of the “competition”:

Google ads rely on what users search for to determine what ads appear on the pages of search results. But one San Francisco Mayoral candidate is not amused by a certain agency’s misleading ad buys on the search giant.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera has asked one anti-abortion center, First Resort, Inc, to stop buying ads that pop up when people are searching for abortion providers, reports SF Weekly.

The ads imply that the pregnancy crisis center performs abortions, when in fact they are trying to “achieve an abortion-free world.”

Herrera’s letter is partnered with legislation introduced at the Board of Supervisors meeting, that would prohibit pregnancy service centers from misleading or lying to the public about their services. [NBC Bay Area]

“Misleading” and “lying” to the public? Those are very strong claims.

This is what one of First Resort’s ads looks like on Google:

… as you can see, the ad never claims to be for an organization that provides abortions. FirstResort’s actual website welcomes you with this message:

First Resort is a Pregnancy Counseling Women’s Health Clinic. We provide counseling and medical care to women who are making decisions about unplanned pregnancies.

First Resort’s services are free of charge. Thanks to financial donations; we have been able to provide quality care to our clients at no charge for 25 years! Our focus is on helping women make healthy, well-informed choices in line with their own beliefs and values.

On their “Options” page they give three: abortion, pregnancy and adoption.

Now, I don’t agree with them offering abortion as even a potential option — it’s never the “right” choice to choose abortion — but it’s very clear this pregnancy counseling clinic does want to make sure women are informed about ALL the options.

Dennis Herrera, the mayoral candidate in San Francisco, very clearly doesn’t want women to be given any choice except abortion.

So who is really misleading and lying? The pregnancy counseling clinic … or Mr. Herrera?

Sadly, this disturbing trend of attempting to “crowd out” abortion alternatives from the public space (both on the internet and in the real world) isn’t limited to San Francisco.



  • Greg Smith

    Thom ~ First resort is great! After the legislation is found unconstitutional, let’s talk about SERIOUSLY going into competition with Planned Parenthood. Why can’t something like First Resort grow into a “Chain” at least as big as PP? ~ Greg

  • Tam

    How can we let Google know that we want these ads to appear?

  • Davide

    California is a beautiful state but it’s weird. The Republic of California; kinda sounds communist; and it kinda is. Nothing coming out of SF surprises me. I been to SF once and never again. Great post Tom. Thx

    • Greg Smith

      Aw Davide ~ We have some great Italian resturaunts! ~ Best, Greg

      • davde

        You in America use “great Italian restaurants” loosely. :) Be well

  • Francis

    You know what is also misleading? The headline from Matt Bowman’s article on this same topic.

    • Matt Bowman

      Not to mention some hostile commenters’ statements. But it just goes to show you that “misleading” is a dangerous tool to put into the hands of a government censor, who peruses your website for statements he can punish with fines. On the other hand, Francis, maybe the SF City Attorney’s office has a job opening for you.

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    • Scott S

      It seems Thomas has fallen into the trap that the SF City Attorney is trying to prevent. Thomas notes that the “crisis pregnancy center” First Resort offers three “Options” on their website “abortion, pregnancy, and adoption.” In fact, First Response does NOT offer abortion services, nor will they refer their “Clients” to abortion providers. They do however refer Clients to adoption agencies and pregnancy centers. Even the writer was confused about this, so certainly pregnant women could be expected to be confused. This is a case of false advertising and it should be prosecuted as such. Additionally the title is inaccurate and dishonest. The city attorney is seeking to require companies to be honest with their ad buys from google. They aren’t “ban[ned] from google ads” as the title suggest. They are required to advertise only in appropriate headings. Having sensational and inaccurate headlines makes this site no better than the National Equirer. I would hope we would expect something better from a website claiming to be Catholic.



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