A Christian group in Britain is suing Google over the search engine's alleged refusal to place an ad related to abortion.

According to the Christian Institute, the text ad would have popped up on the right side of a user's screen whenever the word "abortion" was searched for or prominently appeared.

It would have read: "UK abortion law: Key views and news on abortion law from The Christian Institute. www.christian.org.uk".

The Christian Institute, Britain's leading conservative Christian nonprofit organization, has been criticized for being overtly political. It has taken stands against gay marriage, euthanasia and abortion.

Google rejected the ad with the statement, "Google policy does not permit the advertisement of websites that contain 'abortion and religion-related content,'" according to the Christian Institute's press release.

The Christian Institute counters that "Google is happy to allow adverts for non-religious sites with views on abortion," and is taking the Internet giant to court on grounds of religious discrimination.

"It does seem to me to be the most appalling and blatant case of religious discrimination," Conservative Party politician Ann Widdecombe said, according to the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph.

Neither newspaper appeared to have contacted Google for comment.

Searches for "abortion" on both the American and British Google Web sites bring up ads for abortion providers, but none to political, advocacy or religious groups on either side of the issue.

Both Google sites, however, include an ad for StandUpGirl.com, a Web site aimed at talking teenage girls out of having abortions.

• Click here for the Christian Institute's press release, here for the Daily Mail story and here for the Daily Telegraph's write-up.