Mar 22, 2023

Texas lawmakers want to erase abortion from the internet

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, state legislators across the country have introduced laws implicating the doctors who perform the procedure, reproductive health clinics, pharmacies that dispense abortion medication and people who seek out abortions at a rapid clip. But some are going even further by seeking to eliminate any information about how and where one can get an abortion or access abortion medication.

Last month, lawmakers in Texas introduced a bill that targets websites, people and companies that facilitate the dissemination of abortion-related information online with fines and other penalties. This is among a handful of bills that show how abortion battle lines are being drawn around peoples’ virtual lives, with opponents moving to censor information about the procedure and deploy digital surveillance tools in order to enforce state-level bans. The Texas statute shares some similarities with a now-withdrawn Iowa bill that would have required internet service providers to block websites that publish resources about accessing abortion care, as well as a proposed South Carolina measure that would prohibit websites from publishing abortion-related information.