Meta’s Facebook and Instagram Takes Down Posts Offering Abortion Pills to Women

Following a Supreme Court case that removed legal protections for abortion, Meta‘s Facebook and Instagram have reportedly started to take down posts that offer abortion pills to women who may be unable to acquire them, according to AP’s report.

(Photo : KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)
This photograph taken on October 28, 2021 shows the META logo on a laptop screen in Moscow as Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg announced the parent company’s name is being changed to “Meta” to represent a future beyond just its troubled social network.

Posts Offering Abortion Pills

Those social media posts were purportedly meant to aid women in states with existing anti-abortion laws that suddenly went into effect on Friday. At that time, the Supreme Court reversed its 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, a landmark court decision recognizing abortion as a constitutional right. 

Social media sites were flooded with posts outlining how women may legally order abortion pills by mail. Several users even volunteered to send the medications to women in states where the procedure is currently outlawed. 

As millions of Americans looked for clarification over abortion access, Facebook and Instagram started deleting some of these posts.

An investigation by the media intelligence company Zignal Labs found a sudden increase in mentions of abortion pills on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and several news outlets.

Minutes after, the court decided to eliminate the legal right to an abortion. The AP found a lady offering to buy or send abortion prescriptions through the mail in an Instagram post on Friday, June 24. However, Instagram immediately removed the post. According to Vice Media, content about abortion medication was taken down by Meta’s Facebook and Instagram on Monday. 

Read also: Roe v. Wade: US Supreme Court Ruling to Potentially Affect Tech and Your Online Privacy, Here’s How

AP’s Test

AP also tested whether Meta will remove its post after writing a status update on Facebook offering abortion pills to whoever sends their address.

The post was immediately taken down, and the account was given a “warning status,” citing that it violated standards on guns, regulated items, etc.

AP then tried to write the same post but replaced “abortion pills” with “a gun,” and yet the post was not removed. They also offered “weed” on another status, but it wasn’t taken down as well.

But AP noted that abortion medication could be legally acquired with an online consultation with a certified doctor. Meta told the news outfit that their policies forbid selling items such as guns, drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement on Friday that mifepristone, the drug used to induce abortions, should not be outlawed by individual states. 

Garland argued that states cannot outlaw the drug mifepristone because they disagree with the FDA’s assessment of its “efficacy and safety.” 

Republicans, however, have already made attempts to prevent their constituents from receiving abortion pills through the mail. States such as Tennessee and West Virginia forbid doctors from providing the drug via telemedicine consultation, according to AP. 

Related Article: Roe v. Wade Overturn Has Women Health Tracking Tech Pushing for More Privacy 

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Written by Joaquin Victor Tacla

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