by Steven Ertelt
April 8, 2008
London, England (LifeNews.com) — A British pro-life group has filed a lawsuit against Internet search giant Google for rejecting an advertisement that touted its pro-life and Christian views on abortion. The Christian Institute says Google rejected the "AdWords" ad because it combined abortion and religion.
AdWords is a Google advertising campaign that allows advertisers to purchase ads based on a pay-per-click format on specific keywords.
The Christian Institute wanted Google users to see its ads touting its news and information on British abortion law.
However, as it has been accused of doing in the past with other pro-life advocates whose ads have been rejected, Google said combining religion and abortion is inappropriate.
"At this time, Google policy does not permit the advertisement of web sites that contain ‘abortion and religion-related content’," Google emailed the Christian Institute about why it wouldn’t run the ad.
According to the London Daily Mail, the pro-life group has filed suit saying the Internet business is running afoul of the British Equality Act 2006 by discriminating against a group based on its religious faith.
"Google promotes itself as a company committed to the ideals of free speech and the free exchange of ideas," Christian Institute spokesman Mike Judge told the Daily Mail. "It is against this standard that Google’s anti-religious policy is so unjust."
"For many people, Google is the doorway to the Internet. It is an influential gatekeeper to the market place of debate," Judge added.
He told the newspaper that allowing abortion ads for pro-abortion blogs and abortion facilities is discriminatory.
While Google rejected the Christian Institute ad, it has accepted advertising for pro-life groups and web sites, including LifeNews.com.
The Timothy Plan, a pro-life investment fund, and Heritage House, a prominent company making pro-life wares such as bumper stickers, balloons and t-shirts, have advertised on Google AdWords for months.
The Christian Institute hoped to run the ads in advance of a vote in the British Parliament on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that allows human cloning and the creation of human-animal hybrids.
Google has come under fire from pro-life advocates before as the family of John Doerr, who owns a sizeable share of Google, contributed nearly a million dollars to the Proposition 71 campaign in California that led to funding embryonic stem cell research.