Amazon.com last week modified its search engine after an abortion rights organization complained that search results appeared skewed toward anti-abortion books.
Until a few days ago, a search of Amazon's catalog of books using the word "abortion" turned up pages with the question, "Did you mean adoption?" at the top, followed by a list of books related to abortion. (NY Times)
Note to reporter: "adoption" is not the same as "anti-abortion". Or is it?
Amazon removed that question from the search results page after it received a complaint from a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, a national organization based in Washington.
"I thought it was offensive," said the Rev. James Lewis, a retired Episcopalian minister in Charleston, W.Va. "It represented an editorial position on their part."
This boggles my mind. After years of hearing abortionists say they are not pro-abortion but are pro-choice, how exactly does adoption pose a threat to them? Or even an "editorial position"? Do they really care if a woman chooses adoption instead of abortion? Do they somehow have a vested interest in women choosing abortion?
[The] Rev. Jeff Briere, a minister with the Unitarian Universalist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., and a member of the abortion rights coalition, said he was worried about an anti-abortion slant in the books Amazon recommended and in the "pro-life" and "adoption" related topic links.
"The search engine results I am presented with, their suggestions, seem to be pro-life in orientation," Mr. Briere said. He also said he objected to a Yellow Pages advertisement for an anti-abortion organization in his city that appeared next to the search results, apparently linked by his address.
Funny, it wasn't too long ago I read about abortionists trying to claim the title of "pro-life" and label those against, er, "choice" as "pro-abortion". I'm glad we've left that muddle behind.
Against fully-informed choice: check. Hoping women will choose abortion instead of adoption: check. And one more thing Mr. Briere objects to: pro-life advertisements. The nerve of those pro-lifers! Perhaps the abortionists should buy some ads against the search term "adoption" and hope they can win some hearts and minds back to their side.