If, as anticipated, the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, how the unraveling of reproductive choice ripples through American life will turn not just on state legislators and activists — but also on Big Tech.
In some 26 states, some or all abortion procedures will become illegal. Some of those states will likely criminalize the seeking of an abortion (in addition to the provision of it). More states will also follow Texas’s lead in offering bounties to people who identify those who have helped women obtain abortions, creating a private market in information. But the power of an antiabortion state to pierce the intimacy of sexual and reproductive choice hinges on how technology companies — from social media to firms collecting data from Internet-connected gadgets to Internet service providers — respond.
Big Tech could either chose to cooperate with antiabortion states by shutting down the flow of useful information and handing over inculpating data. Or it could shield the flow of health information and carve out new privacy protections to prevent outsiders from inferring early pregnancy or abortion. Firms headquartered in pro-abortion rights states — who generally have younger, left-leaning workforces — have strong internal incentives to defend reproductive choice, but it would be foolish to doubt that they will also experience strong pressure from antiabortion politicians and activists.
Read more at The Washington Post