Three Senators and one House Democrat have the foresight to anticipate an increased value and danger of information, especially to law enforcement or the type that would like to assist law enforcement, in a post-abortion-rights age.

According to Ars Technica, Sens. Ron Wyden, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Rep. Sara Jacobs wrote:

Four Democratic US senators today asked the Federal Trade Commission to “investigate Apple and Google for engaging in unfair and deceptive practices by enabling the collection and sale of hundreds of millions of mobile phone users’ personal data.”

The letter cited the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, saying that women “seeking abortions and other reproductive healthcare will become particularly vulnerable to privacy harms, including through the collection and sharing of their location data.”

“Data brokers are already selling, licensing, and sharing the location information of people that visit abortion providers to anyone with a credit card. Prosecutors in states where abortion becomes illegal will soon be able to obtain warrants for location information about anyone who has visited an abortion provider.”

The seriousness is warranted because the full ramification of the Dodds ruling has yet to be absorbed, never mind understood. Alito’s opinion emphasized that no part of the ruling impacted the criminalization of gay sex, nor gay marriage because abortion involved “another life.”

That word, recognizing a fetus as “a life,” as a matter of law, could be read as an open door to some states to vastly expand their investigative power over those women who may travel to seek an abortion, may seek medications within a state in which the medications are outlawed, or even attempt to obtain an abortion in a state where they are outlawed so that the state can prosecute the women themselves. As if that were not enough, anyone helping such a woman is a conspirator. This is the new world and more than a few states may feel called to do everything possible to “save lives.”

As a small reminder, the “E” in “email” stands for evidence, and a “Text” is a “tip” to law enforcement. When women discuss possible plans to travel, order medication (never do so with one’s personal card, buy a burner card), do so over the phone in discussion or even better, in person. Additionally, never hand a device over to law enforcement unless they have a warrant. If asked questions that “feel” in any way related to abortion, invoke your right to remain silent and blame an uncle that doesn’t exist so as not to tip off the cop. Say something like, “My lawyer uncle made everyone promise to never have discussions with law enforcement without calling him or my lawyer, or I’d probably just answer your questions.” Never ever believe that you can earn goodwill by cooperating with the police. By blaming a pretend uncle, it makes it appear that you’d talk, you have nothing to hide, but you’d promised. The cop may lessen his or her suspicions. A little.

It is a new world and Democratic members of Congress are just starting to get involved to prevent the sale of information that could be used against women or even those attempting to help them. One can expect to see other concerns explored with equal seriousness and sense of urgency.

 



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