Facebook, Google Share Data With Law Enforcement To Prosecute Women Seeking Abortions

Facebook, Google Share Data With Law Enforcement To Prosecute Women Seeking Abortions

Abortion tracking has reached a new low thanks to Facebook and Google.

A report from Business Insider finds police have received data collected by online pharmacies, social media posts, and other user data requests to build cases against women seeking abortion services.

Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, nine online pharmacies that sell abortion medication—Abortion Ease, BestAbortionPill.com, PrivacyPillRX, PillsOnlineRX, Secure Abortion Pills AbortionRx, Generic Abortion Pills, Abortion Privacy, and Online Abortion Pill Rx—have shared personal users’ information to Google.

However, experts say this is nothing new.

Jessica Burgess is accused of helping her daughter perform an illegal abortion in their home state of Nebraska. Prosecutors claim the key evidence came from Meta, the parent company of Facebook. Authorities claim Burgess helped her daughter find and take pills that would induce an abortion. Chat logs indicating the pair had discussed their plan to find the medication through the app were given to authorities. Burgess’ daughter could face charges for illegally disposing the fetal remains. The elder Burgess’ trial is set for spring.l

Latice Fisher was charged with second-degree murder after she delivered a stillborn baby in Mississippi in 2018. The charges came thanks to her Google search history, including one for “buy Misopristol Abortion Pill Online” 10 days earlier.

According to Mashable, Meta claims to have received over 200,000 requests for information as of June 2022. Social media companies are often legally required to comply with law enforcement. Meta said it complies about 75% percent of the time. Santa Clara University School of Law professor Eric Goldman said social media platforms are being used as a “pawn” to prosecute women.

Meta says it is just doing its job.

“We comply with government requests for user information only where we have a good-faith belief that the law requires us to do so,” one Meta spokesperson said. “In addition, we assess whether a request is consistent with internationally recognized standards on human rights, including due process, privacy, free expression and the rule of law. We do not provide governments with ‘back doors’ to people’s information.”