To the naked eye, the ad was like any other that pops up mid-browse on the ol' webs: a picture of a pregnant woman with a female symbol on one side and a male on the other. However, the ad featured on Google, is for an illegal gender selection kit.
Google has been ordered by the Indian Supreme Court to respond to a petition to remove the ads — they did, for a short period of time — but as of this week, they're back. Gender selection is a big problem in India, where female fetuses are aborted at an alarming rate. The author of the petition says by running the ads, Google is "breaking the law and making money. Every time you click on that ad, Google is making money." He went on to say, "What we are dealing with is a genocide."
To see how the company has been getting around the law,
The kits, manufactured by a US company, sell for between $275 and $400 and promise to determine a baby's sex with 98 percent accuracy. The company has acknowledged the kits are illegal and said they would stop the advertisements and shipments of kits immediately. Given that they already had a circuitous shipping method in place — kits have to be shipped from the company, to another US address, and then on to India — isn't it only a matter of time before curious would-be parents get their hands on them, Google or no?