As New York State has now legalised abortion up to birth, many people must now be looking around for information to work out how they feel about the issues involved.
But Google may be quietly making their minds up for them:
"According to the Breitbart source, a Google software engineer started the discussion thread after learning that abortion-related search results had been manipulated.
"The source said the manual intervention was ordered after a Slate journalist inquired about the prominence of pro-life videos on YouTube.
"In response, pro-life videos were allegedly replaced with pro-abortion videos in the top ten results, the software engineer said, calling that change a 'smoking gun'."
And when I look for statistics on the British Pregnancy Advice Service, to see if there may be any bias in their advice to expectant mothers, on Google I find nothing.
However the tone of their chief executive, Ann Furedi, is interesting:
“The answer to unsafe abortion is not contraception, it is safe abortion. When you encourage women to use contraception, you give them the sense that they can control their fertility – but if you do not provide safe abortion services when that contraception fails you are doing them a great disservice. Our data shows women cannot control their fertility through contraception alone, even when they are using some of the most effective methods. Family planning is contraception and abortion. Abortion is birth control that women need when their regular method lets them down.”
Furedi's background may be relevant, for although the BPAS site says "We support pregnancy choices and trust women to decide for themselves," her past history may give us some clues:
"Furedi has worked in pro-choice organizations for more than 20 years, mainly in policy and communications. She ran the press office of the UK Family Planning Association before leading Birth Control Trust, a charity that advocated the need for research and development in methods of contraception and abortion. Before joining BPAS, as its chief executive in June 2003, Furedi was Director of Policy and Communications for the UK regulator of infertility treatment and embryo research, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). She is regarded as a leading pro-choice advocate and spokesperson, often appearing in the media representing this perspective.
"Prior to her career in pro-choice organizations, Furedi was a journalist, specialising in healthcare features for women's magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Company, sometimes writing under her "maiden name", Bradley. She is also known as Ann Burton. In the early 1980s, she worked for the National Council for Civil Liberties as its Gay Rights Officer, using the name of Ann Marie Bradley.
"In 1982, she married Frank Furedi, the founder and then leader of the British Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP)."
Broadcast media may be no more help to those who want unbiased discussion - see this complaint by the pro-life organisation Life:
Years ago there was an office in the Birmingham Bull Ring for something called the Solid Fuel Advisory Service; run, of course, by the Coal Board. I assumed their advice would go something like this:
Should I have a gas fire, or a coal fire?
And if a woman comes to the BPAS and says, "I'm pregnant and I'm not sure what to do," what (when there's no cameras or voice recorders) will their advice be?
- And do they put it in writing?