FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL: Google Maps removed directions to a Washington, D.C., pro-life pregnancy center and instead offered searchers options that included a local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.
Users who attempted to search for Capitol Hill Crisis Pregnancy Center on Monday via Google Maps (on either iPhone or desktop) found that Google Maps did not offer directions to the location. Instead, Google Maps suggested two different doula locations, a pro-life pregnancy center across the river in Maryland, and “Planned Parenthood – Carol Whitehill Moses Center,” an abortion clinic.
The Daily Signal reached out to Google on Monday around 11 a.m. after confirming that Capitol Hill Crisis Pregnancy Center could not be found on Google Maps (though it could be found on Apple Maps). Shortly afterward, the pregnancy center’s location became available on Google Maps.
Google confirmed to The Daily Signal that the pregnancy center’s location had, in fact, been removed.
“This listing was incorrectly removed and we have since reinstated it,” a spokeswoman told The Daily Signal. “We use many sources to keep Maps updated, including feedback from our community, information from businesses, and imagery. When we find inaccuracies, we correct them as quickly as possible.”
Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center clinic director Janet Durig told The Daily Signal on Tuesday afternoon that she would like to think this incident was an accident.
“But when you think of all the past things that have taken place affecting the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center in a negative way,” she said, “I can’t help but wonder if this was on purpose.”
“It comes back to totally misunderstanding the extensive services that we offer women in crisis pregnancies,” she added. “The fact that, yes, we offer pregnancy testing and we offer options, education, but we also go way beyond this with walking with them for months, if not sometimes years, and helping them with their child with material resources, emotional resources, and spiritual support.”
Google has repeatedly been accused of suppressing or censoring pro-life viewpoints and content. YouTube, which is owned by Google, automatically flags all abortion-related content with the description: “An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus. The procedure is done by a licensed healthcare professional.”
Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center has also been the focus of attacks and vandalism in the wake of the leak of the draft opinion indicating that Roe v. Wade would soon be overturned.
In June 2022, shortly before the overturn of Roe, a vandal or vandals dumped a bucket of red paint on the pregnancy center, spray-painted the words “Jane’s Revenge” on the wall of the center, and egged the windows.
The pro-life pregnancy center is about a four-minute drive from the Supreme Court and offers baby clothing, baby food, and other resources to needy D.C.-area parents who come to the center hoping they can find help rather than resort to abortion.
Durig, the clinic’s director, shared with The Daily Signal in October 2022 that the Metropolitan Police Department had increased its presence around the center due to the vandalism. Though the center itself had increased security measures, she said at the time, there had still been several incidents involving a male beating on the center’s windows that had made her feel very uncomfortable.
The Daily Signal also learned in October 2022 that D.C. police had suspended their investigation into the June 2022 vandalism pending further evidence. D.C. police confirmed in early August 2023 that investigation is still suspended pending further evidence—in other words, the vandal or vandals haven’t been found, and it is unlikely anyone is looking for them.
“The police have had our safety at heart,” Durig told The Daily Signal in August. “They inform us if they hear or know of events that might create problems.”
On the first anniversary of the June 2022 Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade, she said, “two police cars sat outside our building. Last year, the D.C. police department placed QR codes in our windows. These monitor how often patrol cars pass the building.”
“We are grateful for the officers and all they do to protect us,” she added, noting that her center hasn’t come under any kind of attacks since far-left protesters interrupted the center’s banquet in December 2022. That event took place in Crystal City, a neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington.
Her center has never heard from the FBI, Durig said, though the attacks on her center appear to amount to violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which “prohibits threats of force, obstruction and property damage intended to interfere with reproductive health care services.”
“There isn’t anything to say about national support,” she said. “It would be helpful if leaders who think certain lives are expendable take the time to learn firsthand what centers like ours do to help families.”
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