Illustration by Max Fleishman

Yelp to warn users by flagging anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers after viral campaign

Gen Z for Change called out the platform.


David Covucci


Posted on Aug 24, 2022   Updated on Aug 25, 2022, 8:26 am CDT

Yelp pledged yesterday to more prominently label crisis pregnancy centers on its app, after a viral campaign raised awareness of the ways the businesses masqueraded on the site as actual abortion clinics.

Crisis pregnancy centers attempt to bring in pregnant people with questions or concerns about their pregnancy, and steer them away from choosing abortions, instead pushing them into keeping their babies or carrying the pregnancy to term and offering the child up for adoption.

However, the centers often come up when people search for abortion, attempting to prey on unwitting people who don’t expect, when they arrive at a clinic where they were seeking an abortion, to be pressured into having a child.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the youth outreach organization Gen-Z for Change built a tool to spam crisis pregnancy centers on Yelp with comments highlighting that they did not provide abortion services.

Yelp almost immediately blocked the tool and began deleting the comments. In a statement to the Daily Dot at the time, Yelp said that while it supported abortion rights, it did not allow for reviews from people who clearly had not visited the business they were reviewing.

And while the comments may have been banned, the campaign appears to have been a success. In a press release yesterday, Yelp said that it would more clearly label crisis pregnancy centers so that people can see they don’t provide abortions.

“To further demonstrate this commitment [to reproductive rights], today, we’re introducing a new notification on Yelp business pages for Crisis Pregnancy Centers and Faith-based Crisis Pregnancy Centers that informs consumers these businesses typically offer limited medical services. In addition, we’re expanding our manual recategorization effort for those businesses.”

Yelp said it was aware that crisis pregnancy centers often times use misleading advertising, and this new notification tool would “further protect consumers from the potential of being misled or confused.”

Yelp also added that in 2022, it recategorized almost 500 businesses that were misleading about offering abortion services, ensuring they would be seen on the site as “faith-based crisis pregnancy centers,” keeping people from accidentally steered toward them.

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*First Published: Aug 24, 2022, 9:31 am CDT