Like many people, I subscribe to Google Offers. I rarely actually buy them, but occasionally I do. This evening one offer caught my eye, and not because I ever intend to use it.
The offer was for RealOptions Abortion Information and Pregnancy Centers. The offer was good for a free pregnancy test if you called them.
You would not know until you did some below-the-surface checking, but RealOptions is in fact an “anti-abortion” center operated by a Christian anti-choice organization. It offers free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and “post-abortion healing services.” Nowhere can I see that they actually offer abortions. Given that they also offer abstinence education to teens, I rather doubt it. I was suspicious right away, but then I am well-informed in this area and highly skeptical of any entity offering any sort of “abortion-related” services that is not associated with Planned Parenthood.
I suppose Google shouldn’t care about the deceit practiced by RealOptions in calling themselves an “abortion information center.” But there is another level of misrepresentation.
The Google Offers ad states “Free pregnancy test when you call us.” The implication is that the offer conveys something of value. It doesn’t. If you go to the RealOptions website, free pregnancy testing is just one of the services they offer — including much more expensive ones, such as ultrasound — free to anyone who walks in. So the offer, like RealOptions, is a sham.
Google does cover itself, of course: “Google does not make any warranty in relation to the offers, including without limitation their validity and/or value. Google is not a party to any transaction that the advertiser and user may enter into.” I don’t know which possibility bothers me more: that Google doesn’t vet its offers, or that they do and they just don’t care. That women may be subject to this deceit all in the name of yet more advertising dollars filling Google’s already overflowing coffers.
Not that most of us need it, but this is just a reminder that Google is a very big multi-national corporation. They may not be evil (yet), but they, like most other companies their size, are at the very least amoral.