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Google to display religious groups' anti-abortion ads

In settlement, search giant backs down on its advertising policy regarding abortion, Christian group says. It now enables "religious associations to place ads on abortion in a factual way."

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills

Google has agreed to display ads for anti-abortion messages from religious groups on its search site as part of an out-of-court settlement with a British Christian organization, the group said Wednesday.

The Christian Institute ad that Google rejected. BBC News

The Christian Institute filed a legal action against Google in April, after the search giant rejected an anti-abortion ad from the group, citing its policy of not accepting ads that contain "abortion and religion-related content."

Lawyers for The Christian Institute alleged that Google's policy violated the United Kingdom's Equality Act of 2006, which prohibits religious discrimination in providing services.

In a statement, Google said: "The issue of abortion is an emotive subject and Google does not take a particular side. Over the last few months, we have been reviewing our abortion ads policy in order to make sure it was fair, up-to-date, and consistent with local customs and practices. Following the review, we have decided to amend our policy, creating a level playing field and enabling religious associations to place ads on abortion in a factual way."