Google employees demand abortion benefits for contractors and suspension of donations to anti-abortion politicians

More than 650 employees of Google owner Alphabet are demanding that it provide abortion benefits to contractors, halt donations to anti-abortion politicians and better protect users from abortion-related misinformation and claims of the font. The demands were sent this week in a petition to leaders seen by Reuters. They reflect concerns across the country since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June sparked or raised the possibility of new restrictions on abortion and reproductive care in more than half of the 50 states.

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

Many companies, including Google, have policies in place to help employees get abortions. The Alphabet workers said temporary staff and contractors should also receive these benefits, such as reimbursement for travel to states where the procedure remains legal.

Thousands of workers live in states that restrict abortions, said Alejandra Beatty, technical program manager for Verily, Alphabet’s healthcare affiliate, and co-leader of the petition.

Alphabet, which employs more than 174,000 people worldwide, said that while it sets certain standards, it cannot entirely dictate the policies of external vendors.

Additionally, the petition states that Alphabet should not direct political contributions to groups and candidates campaigning to restrict Abortion to access. He stopped giving at least once before. In 2021, after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Google said it would suspend donations to Republicans who voted against certifying that the US President Joe Biden won the election.

The petitioners write that users’ searches for abortion on Google “should never be logged, turned over to law enforcement, or treated as a crime.”

Google said it would continue to fight police requests for user information it deemed excessive.

The workers also echoed demands from abortion advocates, who for years have said Google should remove search results from crisis pregnancy centers, which try to dissuade people from having abortions. Google said it removes misleading results that are flagged.

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

“We expect a global response,” she said.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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