More than 650 employees who work at Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, are demanding the company give employees additional benefits, stop funding anti-abortion politicians, and to better protect users from abortion-related disinformation as well as police requests.
These demands were presented and dispatched in the form of a petition to executives this week. The petition clearly highlights concerns across the US since the time the Supreme Court ruling in June encouraged or increased the likelihood of imposing new restrictions on reproductive care and abortion in more than half of the 50 states in the US.
Google has rejected to comment on the petition drafted by the Alphabet Workers Union group.
A number of companies have introduced policies, including Google in order to aid their workforces seeking abortions. The workers at Alphabet highlighted that contractors and temporary staff members should also get these benefits, which include paying compensation for travel to states where procedures related to abortion or reproductive care are considered legal.
Alejandra Beatty, co-lead of the petition and technical program manager at Alphabet healthcare subsidiary Verily, estimated that the number of employees from the states where abortion is still not legal is in the thousands.
As far as the count of employees is concerned, Alphabet employs more than 174,000 people globally and has pointed out that even if the company sets some standards, it does not have the ability to rule the policies set by external vendors.
On top of that, the petition also states that the company shouldn’t encourage and direct contributions towards political groups and candidates campaigning in order to restrict access to abortion. Alphabet has stopped donating at least once before. After the attack on the US Capitol building on the 6th of January, 2021, Google announced that it would stop giving funds to Republicans who voted against the official statement that Joe Biden won the election.
In addition to this, the petition also states that when users search about their concerns regarding abortion on Google, then these searches must not be saved, as they need to be delivered to law enforcement; otherwise, the same will be considered a crime.
According to Google, the company is looking forward to continuing fighting police requests for user information that it believes to be excessive.
Besides that, workers also reiterated demands that abortion advocates have put forward for several years now, which include that Google must eliminate search results related to abortion concerns for Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC), an organization that advises people not to opt for an abortion. In turn, Google has said that it will clear the results that mislead people after being reported.
According to Ms. Beatty, Alphabet needs to take the initiative to protect reproductive rights, an existential battle the same as they did with COVID-19, and to organize a task force to supervise product changes. “We’re looking for a comprehensive response,” she added.