Prosecutions against abortion providers could utilize 'mass surveillance,' experts warn

jim bell jdb10987 at
Mon Jun 27 10:54:40 PDT 2022

As the U.S. enters an era of diminished reproductive rights following the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, a path has been cleared for at least 13 states — those with “trigger laws” — to begin penalizing and prosecuting people who violate abortion bans.

Bans are already in effect in Kentucky, Louisiana, South Dakota and Missouri, with at least nine other states expected to follow suit in days.

While penalties vary, those states all now have laws that would charge abortion providers with some class of felony, with punishments that include fines, prison time and revocation of medical licenses.

Some legal experts fear that prosecutors will use intimate pieces of evidence, such as text messages, internet search history and period tracking apps to build their cases, as well as, perhaps, information gathered from medical professionals.

And, though states with abortion bans have focused punishment on the providers and not those seeking or self-managing an abortion, women will still be in the line of fire, said Farah Diaz-Tello, senior counsel and legal director of If/When/How, a reproductive justice group.
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