Press release: Article in The Observer newspaper

25th February 2023

The Observer (Guardian) has published an article suggesting that the Pregnancy Crisis Helpline misuses Google Ads for advertising its services:

The article states that when asked for comment, Google confirmed that “the adverts flagged by the Observer complied with its rules, highlighting that they contain an ‘ad’ tag in bold lettering and a line stating that the services they promote do not provide abortions.

The Pregnancy Crisis Helpline responded to The Observer’s request for comment with the following statement:

We are a listening service supporting women who are struggling with a pregnancy or after an abortion. We do not offer medical advice (we state this on the website). We simply help women explore their feelings and their options, so that they can make their own fully informed choices. 

If a client asks for medical advice we signpost them to their GP, 111 or A&E as appropriate. If they want information on the development of their baby, or the abortion procedure we signpost them to the NHS website.

When we opened, we consulted the Advertising Standards Authority for advice on how to ensure we meet our legal requirements, and they advised us to state that we do not refer for abortion. We therefore display this message ‘we do not refer for abortion’ on our website wherever the phone number is shown. 

Google Ads requires services to state whether they offer abortion or not. We registered with Google Ads stating that we do NOT offer abortion, so we are fully in compliance.

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