British Pro-Life Group Says Google Settles Lawsuit After Rejecting Abortion Ads
by Steven Ertelt
September 17, 2008
London, England (LifeNews.com) — A British pro-life group that sued Google in April for rejecting an advertisement that touted its pro-life and Christian views on abortion says the Internet search giant has settled the case. The Christian Institute said 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.
On Wednesday, the group informed LifeNews.com it is "delighted to confirm that our legal proceedings against Google for blocking our abortion ad have been settled on amicable terms."
"As a result of the court action and other representations made to Google in recent months, Google has reviewed its AdWords policy to enable The Christian Institute and other religious associations to place ads on the subject of abortion in a factual and campaigning way," the group said.
"The new policy will apply world-wide with immediate effect," it added.
Mike Judge, the organization’s director of communications, told LifeNews.com, "This is an important issue of free speech and religious liberty and we are pleased with Googles constructive response to this matter."
After rejecting the ads, Google emailed the Christian Institute saying, ""At this time, Google policy does not permit the advertisement of web sites that contain ‘abortion and religion-related content.’"
The pro-life group sued and claimed Google ran afoul of the British Equality Act 2006 by discriminating against a group based on its religious faith.
Judge said at the time that allowing abortion ads for pro-abortion blogs and abortion facilities is discriminatory while pro-life ads are rejected.
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 some time.
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.
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