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Abortion: Google staff members ask for privacy

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A letter detailing the demands was signed by more than 650 staff members and sent this week to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Alphabet senior management.

The group, for example, calls for the blocking of advertisements that misleadingly direct people to anti-abortion organizations.

The group also wants people working on a contract basis to benefit from the reimbursement of health care costs during abortions, as is the case for employed people. Their contract often provides less pay and has fewer benefits than those of full-timers.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, had pledged to pay travel and other costs for employees seeking abortions outside of the state where they reside. The company also wanted to help its workers relocate after the US Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion. The June decision reversing Roe v. Wade’s 1973 paved the way for severe abortion restrictions or banning it in nearly half of the US states.

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The letter also demands that the company cease any political donations or lobbying of political figures or organizations responsible for appointing Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade.

The petition was initiated by members of the Alphabet Workers Union, a union that is trying to gain ground within the company. Google declined to comment Thursday.

In July, the company announced it would begin automatically deleting information about people who visit abortion clinics or other places that may pose legal problems. People have always had the option to edit their location history themselves, but Google said it would be done automatically.

The petition says the company should also immediately institute data privacy controls for all health-related activities, including information about abortions, so that they never saved, handed over to law enforcement or treated as a crime.

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