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Facebook and Google Are Still Helping Police Investigate & Prosecute Abortions

Anti-abortion and abortion rights activists protest during the 50th annual March for Life rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on January 20, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Facebook has been giving your private data to the police for decades. American authorities have been utilizing social media to conduct investigations and prosecute lawbreakers for as long as some of these sites have existed. In theory, using social media as an investigative tool makes sense, but what if your country establishes laws that infringe on the rights of its citizens? Laws like, for instance, criminalizing abortions. Well, folks, you guessed it—the cops are using Facebook to prosecute those seeking abortions. 

So what now?

The post-Roe v Wade world

Roe v Wade has been reversed, allowing states to decide whether or not to make abortions illegal regardless of individual situations and circumstances. Many American citizens with uteruses have found themselves in a clandestine dystopia. 

You might not think this could happen to you, but in August 2022, a mother was charged with several misdemeanors and felonies for helping her 17-year-old daughter get an abortion. The mother was charged with performing/attempting abortion at >20 weeks, and performing abortion by non-licensed doctor, while the teen was charged with removing/concealing/abandoning a dead human body. The police and judges are twisting the definition of a “dead human body” and “personhood” for their own political agendas, completely ignoring the personhood and agency of American citizens. 

What are they looking for?

Police are requesting warrants to look through chat logs, direct messages, and search data for anything abortion-related. I’m sure if you follow The Mary Sue and click on this article, it could be a potential flag for the authorities if you live in a state that has outlawed abortions.

Cops are also watching those looking up where to buy abortion pills online. Searches for Abortion Ease,, PrivacyPillRX, PillsOnlineRX, Secure Abortion Pills, AbortionRx, Generic Abortion Pills, Abortion Privacy, and Online Abortion Pill Rx are being provided by search engines like Google. 

These requests from the police to various online corporations have been conducted since June 2022. According to the Transparency Center, 200,000 requests have been made and 76% have been approved. 

How to protect yourself

If you live in a state where abortion is now or may become illegal, it’s important to be careful with how you’re using your phone and computer. Have any conversations pertaining to reproductive rights in person, with people you trust. If you have ovulation tracker apps, get rid of them now. Anything that has a digital trace of your reproductive organs needs to go, especially if you’re in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

(featured image: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

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Nava was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, they edit economic textbooks by day and write geeky articles for the internet in the evenings. They currently exist on unceded Lenape land aka Brooklyn. (Filipine/a Mexican American)