Google is suspending all advertising connected to an Ireland pro-life bill in an effort to protect "election integrity," the tech giant announced Wednesday.
Voters are being asked whether they want to repeal the country's Eighth Amendment, a clause in the constitution that protects "the right to life of the unborn."
So far, both Google and Facebook have backed out of displaying ads related to the May 25 referendum. The move comes amid global concerns about online election meddling and the role of internet ads in swaying voters.
But The National Review's Michael Brendan Dougherty suggests the tech giants are bowing to pressure from abortion advocates in Ireland.
He goes on to cite a pro-abortion columnist whom he claims began baiting the tech companies in recent weeks, saying that the pro-life campaign "will be modeled on those that helped both Donald Trump and Brexit to victory" and that it will deploy "fake news" across social media.
"This column and many other commentaries amounted to a warning: If the Irish referendum was won by conservatives, the tech companies would get the blame," he wrote.
Meanwhile, abortion supporters like Ailbhe Smyth, co-director of the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment, applauded the tech giants' decision, saying it "creates a level playing field between all sides, specifically in relation to YouTube and Google searches."
But Bishop of Ossory Dr Dermot Farrell warns that repeal would mean open season on unborn children.
"The real issue is not the difficult and stressful pregnancies so often cited in debate," he told The Irish Times, "but whether we want to strip the unborn defenseless child forever of the right to life."
"The law and the teaching of the Church have always found a way, with compassion, to deal with the hard cases," he said.