Google Sued for Rejecting Anti-Abortion Ad

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A UK Christian organization is fighting back after Google rejected their advertisement submission for being “unacceptable content”, and is taking the search company to court.  Google explicitly bans ads featuring “abortion and religious-related content”, but that’s not stopping The Christian Institute from taking legal action to try to change the policy.

The Christian Institute opposes abortion, embryonic stem cell research and chemical conception.  According to Mike Judge, a spokesman for the organization, “To describe abortion and religion-related content as ‘unacceptable content’, while at the same time advertising pornography, is ridiculous.”

They are planning on suing Google under the Equality Act 2006, which prohibits religious discrimination in the provision of a good, facility, or service.  The Christian Institute says that they would simply like equality under the law.

The group has the backing of Anne Widdecombe MP, who is a member of the Conservative Christian Fellowship.  “It does seem to me to be the most appalling and blatant case of religious discrimination,” she said.

The group had been hoping to advertise their online articles on pro-life issues in advance of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which is slated to arrive in the British House of Commons next month.

To say, however, that Google permits pornographic ads is a bit of a stretch.  Famously,  Google rejected the ads of Pampered Passions in December 2007, which invited men to buy lingerie.  These ads were said to have been too adult in nature, although Pampered Passions claims they were pretty tame and most definitely acceptable to the UK audience.

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  • One would think that if they allow other types of religious ads, they may be discriminating – they may have a point. Otherwise, rules are rules and it would be interesting to see if general guidelines could be viewed as discrimination.

  • Apparently some people think the rules shouldn’t apply to them, it’s funny but these are the same people who try to imposed their set of rules on everyone else. Mmmmm double standard perhaps…

  • It is just crazy that they would even go to court with that. Any sort of media has a right to reject an advertisement if doesn’t fit in with their policy.
    I would say that if they do accept pro-abortion ads there would be something wrong with it, but to my knowledge they don’t.

  • Ben Stevenson

    Google do allow both pro-choice adverts (e.g. Marie Stopes, BPAS) and adverts for pornography – I have saved screenshots of both.

  • Steve Skeete

    So far some of the comments I have read seem to have been written by persons who just landed on earth. Not to mention the comment that Goggle permitting pornographic ads is a “bit of a stretch”.

    The writer can’t be serious. All she has to do is type “porn” and she is on her way to over three million sites of unmitigated filth.

    And the person who pleaded “if they do accept pro-abortion ads there would be something wrong”. Wake up, Rip Van Winkle, your bias is showing.

    Google will lose this one, and they deserve to.