Google employees demand better abortion and privacy

Google’s parent company Alphabet employs over 174,000 people globally (Image: Reuters)

Over 650 Google employees are demanding more from the tech giant regarding abortion.

The petition asks the company to:

  • Offer abortion benefits to entrepreneurs
  • Suspend donations to anti-abortion politicians
  • Better protect users from abortion-related disinformation and police requests

The petition reflects concerns across the United States since a Supreme Court decision in June ended 50 years of abortion rights in the country.

Google declined to comment on the petition, which was organized by the Alphabet Workers Union group.

Many companies including Google have established policies to assist employees seeking abortions. Google workers want those guidelines to include temporary workers and contractors to access reimbursement for travel to states where the procedure is still legal.

Thousands of workers live in states that restrict abortions, estimated Alejandra Beatty, technical program manager at Google’s healthcare subsidiary Verily and co-leader of the petition.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 6: Protesters for abortion rights demonstrate outside a Catholic church in midtown Manhattan on August 6, 2022 in New York City.  The protests took place at the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, where a small number of anti-abortion activists worship.  Five pro-abortion protesters were arrested today by the New York Police Department.  (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

Over 650 Google employees are demanding more from the tech giant on abortion (Image: Getty Images)

Google’s parent company Alphabet employs over 174,000 people globally and has said that while it sets some standards, it cannot fully dictate policies for outside suppliers.

In addition, the petition states that Alphabet should not direct political contributions to groups and candidates who campaign to restrict access to abortion.

The petition also raises concerns that user searches regarding abortion on Google ‘must never be stored, handed over to law enforcement or treated as a crime’.

In July, Google said it would delete location data that shows when users visit an abortion clinic due to privacy concerns. It also said it would continue to push back against inappropriate or overly broad requests for government data, without reference to abortion.

The workers also echoed earlier demands from US lawmakers who have asked Google to remove search results for crisis pregnancy centers, which try to discourage people from getting abortions. Google has said it removes misleading results that are reported.

Beatty said Alphabet should consider protecting reproductive rights as an existential struggle, as it did Covid-19, and convene a task force to oversee product changes.

MORE: Google will delete location history for visits to abortion clinics

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