Abortion and reproductive health rights for individuals who are able to get pregnant are under attack on a national scope. That’s nothing new. Those wanting to limit and outright strip these individuals of their bodily autonomy began mobilizing nearly immediately after the Roe v. Wade decision was logged nearly 50 years ago.
But Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft summary signaling that the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to reverse the Roe decision put new, heightened focus on the cause in recent weeks. It is vital to remember that abortion is still legal across the nation currently, which means that resources for those seeking one are still available.
Digital and online resources for those seeking to end a pregnancy are important tools due to the varying state-by-state restrictions on the procedure and continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Until the official Supreme Court decision is rendered, these aids are making sure that accessibility remains as open as possible and are prepping for what comes next.
At the forefront of providing access to abortion services are abortion funds that cover single states all the way up to the entire U.S. The National Network of Abortion Funds’ website collects a large amount of these funds from across the nation and streamlines the ability to find one that can help cover the cost no matter where you live. It also lays out simple tools to help users donate to these funds. The site was so popular in the hours after Alito’s draft leaked that it crashed under a flood of user engagement. It recovered shortly thereafter, continuing its mission of breaking down socioeconomic barriers preventing pregnant individuals from accessing care.
Ineedana is one of the best resources not just for finding abortion clinics within close proximity but also for navigating the maze of differences in abortion laws across states. The site collects no personally identifiable data, only asking for age, zip code and time since your last period. With that information, the site offers information on clinics, parental consent laws for minors seeking an abortion and the availability of telemedicine services for any user.
According to a survey by the Guttmacher Institute, more than 50% of abortions in the U.S. are done using oral medication. As those stats have grown, Aid Access emerged as an online resource connecting those seeking the medications to medical providers. The site provides a detailed online consultation for pregnant individuals and additional resources on the efficacy of oral abortion medications.
Plan C is another wide-reaching option for those trying to procure a medication abortion. Its online database lists options in every U.S. state and territory and provides information on how to navigate the legalities involved in certain states. The site also provides a list of vetted online pharmacies and telehealth services available in their area.
The fears surrounding the selling of data collected from apps that help people who menstruate track their reproductive health are completely warranted. The reality of that personally identifiable information from these apps being sold grows even more concerning in a post-Roe world. There are a multitude of apps in the field, so it is very important that users review the data privacy provisions of the app they use and delete any that appear too porous for their taste. There are some apps such as Euki that offer multiple options for protecting user data.
Smartphones themselves also pose risks for data collection, so the Electronic Frontier Foundation suggests anyone seeking to end a pregnancy leave their phone behind or turn off location services when traveling to abortion providers.
Concerns over data privacy extend to any internet activity, especially if researching topics surrounding abortion. The Repro Legal Helpline provides resources to help users protect themselves while doing so, including information on VPNs and end-to-end encryption messaging apps such as Signal (and enable disappearing messages). They also suggest using private browsers such as Tor and email services such as ProtonMail. Incognito mode just isn’t enough.
Crisis pregnancy centers have grown as a tool to prevent and trick those seeking an abortion during the fight to erode reproductive health rights for those who can get pregnant. These fake clinics vastly outnumber the amount of actual abortion providers, doing their best to influence pregnant individuals’ decisions with misinformation. Expose Fake Clinics is a leading online resource that helps those wanting to end a pregnancy distinguish between the real deal and the anti-abortion masquerade. Its database identifies CPCs across the nation and provides tools for users to report ones that are yet to be identified.