Google has announced a new initiative to promote the use of Google Maps to locate nearby clinics in an effort to make it easier for women to access abortion services.

According to Bloomberg, Google Maps will soon check whether a clinic offers abortions before including it in its listings. According to a Google representative, unconfirmed abortion providers will be labelled as “might not provide abortions.”

According to a Google representative, the company wants to make it easy for users to “explore the variety of options available” when searching for local information on Google.

The representative also stated, “We’ve been working for many months on more useful ways to display those results for a number of categories where we’ve received confirmation that places offer specific services,” according to the outlet.

According to TechCrunch, which first reported on the new programme, Google will call businesses to confirm whether they provide abortions.

Google’s mapping app can now more accurately direct users to legal abortion clinics rather than crisis pregnancy centres that actively discourage abortion with this new system.

These “pregnancy resource centres,” as Insider refers to them, provide ultrasounds but not abortions, instead directing women who seek them to alternatives such as adoption and parenting classes. They use ambiguous language and graphic depictions of unborn babies and foetuses to discourage expectant mothers from having abortions.

According to a previous Bloomberg report, many women went to the wrong facility unknowingly because Google Maps failed to differentiate between these and legitimate abortion clinics.

Both Google Maps and Yelp announced new features this week that will highlight the locations of crisis pregnancy centres. To differentiate them from abortion clinics, Yelp would classify these establishments as providing “limited medical services.”

Google did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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