Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has initiated a lawsuit against Yelp Inc. Through the lawsuit, he claims that Yelp has been misleading consumers through the reviews on its website. Originally filed in the Bastrop County District Court, it accuses the platform of violations of Texas laws related to business practices. It accuses Yelp of engaging in unfair business practices instead.
Paxton claims that Yelp’s notices on crisis pregnancy centers lead consumers to believe that Yelp provides limited medical services. This, according to him, is misleading to people. Yelp is a California-based company.
Crisis pregnancy centers are places that claim to offer guidance and counseling to pregnant women who want to get abortions. The purpose of these centers is to stop pregnant women from getting abortions and rethinking their choices.
However, these organizations have never truly or publicly taken an anti-abortion stance. According to the lawsuit, Yelp’s notices started showing up on crisis pregnancy centers’ pages in August 2022. The controversial notices read, “This is a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Crisis Pregnancy Centers typically provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite.”
Paxton, along with other Republican state attorneys general, informed Yelp in February that these notices were misleading because they were posted on pages of centers that did have licensed medical professionals. In response, Yelp changed the notices to state that crisis pregnancy centers “do not offer abortions or referrals to abortion providers.”
The lawsuit claims that Yelp’s notices led to “dissuaded consumers from visiting these clinics in favor of clinics that perform abortion services.” It seeks unspecified monetary damages.