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Google union calls on company to give abortion-related health benefits to contractors

The Google logo is seen on one of the ceremonial shovels that are on stands before the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center on June 24. Union workers with the company asked for it this week to give abortion-related benefits to all employees. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/d8efb0ee1e9dbedf26b5207915ccbeb5/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The Google logo is seen on one of the ceremonial shovels that are on stands before the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center on June 24. Union workers with the company asked for it this week to give abortion-related benefits to all employees. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A petition calling on Google to give abortion-related health benefits to its contractors and to protect user privacy has been signed by more than 650 employees, its union said.

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down abortion protections provided by the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, Google's Fiona Cicconi informed employees that their healthcare insurance would cover out-of-state medical procedures.

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The benefits, however, did not cover temporary workers, vendors or contract employees, which make up about half of Google's workforce.

The Alphabet Workers Union petition calls for Google to extend abortion-related health benefits to all employees regardless of classification, and for it to end funding politicians that played a role in supporting Supreme Court justices who overturned abortion protections and protecting Google users seeking abortions.

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The petition said that protection should include preventing law enforcement from accessing abortion information and preventing misleading ads that direct users to anti-abortion "pregnancy crisis centers" when searching for abortions.

"Google has the money and resources to ensure all their employees, contracted or not, have access to abortion," AlejandraBeatty, the southwest chapter lead of AWU, said in a statement.

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"They emailed us right after the ruling to affirm their support for their full-time employees getting abortions, but did not address how contracted workers, who tend to have more marginalized identities, would be supported in trying to exercise their right to choose. Google can and should do better."

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The petition comes to light after Facebook allowed law enforcement to access private messages between a mother and daughter over an abortion that led to felony charges in Nebraska.

"Every day, across the country, police get access to private messages between people on Facebook, Instagram, any social media or messaging service you can think of," said Andrew Crocker, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, according to National Public Radio.

"A lot of people are waking up to it because of the far-ranging nature of how we expect abortion investigations are going to go. And it's going to touch many more people's lives in a way that maybe that they hadn't thought about in the past."

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