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Watch: the controversial abortion ad that Google, YouTube won’t run

Adam Berry/Getty Images

UltraViolet is a nonprofit that advocates for women's reproductive health. And today it released a set of three commercials focused on a subject that doesn't come up much in advertisements: abortion.

Here's one of them:

"Let’s pretend that life is perfect and everything happens exactly as you planned," the 30-second spot begins, running through a flowchart. Get a perfect job? Check. Go on a great date? Check. Condoms never break? Check.

"Let's end the pretending," it continues. "Condoms break. Mistakes are made. Abortion is a part of real life."

UltraViolet has made a $250,00 ad buy across websites, including Comedy Central and Match.com. And it's notable for at least two reasons.

The first is just the fact that the ads deal with abortion, a subject often considered taboo. The best statistics say that by age 45, one in three American women will have terminated a pregnancy. And overall, 21 percent of pregnancies in the United States end in abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Still, we don't talk about abortion that much: only 40 percent of Americans say they’ve talked to someone about their abortion experience or decision. It's easy to see the ads as surprising for someone, say, browsing Match.

Second, a handful of major websites, particularly Google, have refused to run the ads. Nina Liss-Schultz reported on the issue for RH Reality Check earlier this year:

A Google ad representative, in an email to UltraViolet, wrote that abortion is considered a "non-family safe" topic, and that all ads about the procedure are rejected for showing on Google Display Network sites, which includes YouTube.

On its ad policies website, Google says it restricts "the following types of adult-oriented content: offline adult entertainment, adult merchandise, dating services, international bride services, sexually suggestive content, images containing exposed skin and nudity."

Neither abortion care nor any other common medical procedure is listed.

Hulu also declined to run the ads, on similar grounds, Liss-Schultz also reported.