Forced extremists are born unhappy with the closure of abortion clinics. They also want to check for accurate information about accessing abortion from the internet. In a post-Roe world, protect online speech about abortion — and the ability of abortion advocates and providers to fund and organize online — is a matter of life or death. Democrats are wrongly attacking Section 230 of the Disinformation Act that needs to wake up now. If they don’t start listening against the warning of human rights experts, sex workerLGBTQ + folks, and reproductive rights groups, Democrats can help right-wing advocates achieve their goal: mass censorship of online content about abortion.
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe on June 24, frontline reproductive equity groups have fight back—On the ground, in court, and online. Abortion funds across the country have seen a torrential flow Donate through crowdfunding platforms. Special groups have grow up on places like Reddit and Facebook, where people are sharing resources and facilitating housing and transportation for those in need. But all of this is fragile.
Texas enacted a law, called SB 8, which allows any individual to sue an individual or entity to facilitate access to abortion care. That includes sharing information online about managing an abortion, getting the abortion pill, or finding an abortion clinic. The National Commission on the Right to Life has released a model state law criminalize the provision or storage of information or assistance about medical abortion. It specifically says that anti-choice laws must be written to prevent residents of the state from seeking abortions in states where it is legal. This law is likely to be passed in several states.
Section 230 is the last line of defense for reproductive health support, information and online fundraising. Under Section 230, internet platforms that host and moderate user-generated content generally cannot be sued over it. Section 230 is not absolute. It does not provide immunity if the platform develops or creates content, and it does not provide immunity from federal criminal law enforcement. But, crucially, it protects from criminal liability from state law.
This means that when Section 230 exists today, a lawsuit from an anti-abortion group involving reproductive health speech or criminal proceedings brought by the state attorney general for forced childbirth offer will be promptly rejected. If Section 230 were to be weakened, online platforms like GoFundMe and Twitter, web hosting services, and payment processors like PayPal and Venmo would face a fierce and costly onslaught of real actions. state law enforcement and civil lawsuits claiming that they violated state law. Even if these lawsuits ultimately fail, without Section 230 as a safeguard to get them dismissed quickly, they would become extremely expensive, even for the largest platforms. .
Forced extremists are born religiously affiliated, well-resourced, and ideologically motivated. Tech companies care about making money. Instead of spending tens of millions fighting in court, many online platforms will instead “race to the bottom” and comply with the most restrictive state laws. They will change their own rules about what they allow, greatly restricting access to information about abortion. As a result, countless groups, sites, online communities, nonprofits, and healthcare outreach funds may be shut down and removed from the internet — from r / AuntieNetwork for donation options and educational content on Planned Parenthood website. We will live in a country where legislators in Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas can set rules for online speech across the country.