back to article Tech companies ready public stances on Roe v. Wade

Several US tech companies have taken a stance or issued statements promising healthcare-related support for employees following the Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v Wade last Friday. A Supreme Court draft opinion that was leaked in February provided advanced warning of the legal eventuality, giving companies plenty of …

  1. jmch Silver badge

    Privacy??

    "A May report from news non-profit The Markup concluded that Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but claimed that behind the scenes the companies have worked to weaken or kill US privacy legislation. "

    While Big Tech companies may be supportive of abortion rights for their employees, they might be happier to support that to be enacted by law rather than have Roe v Wade still stand, given that Roe v Wade essentially expands the borders of what 'privacy' is normally considered to include.

    It's completely unlikely that any of them will limit their data collection golden geese to protect their users' privacy, whatever weasel words they will come up with in public to pretend otherwise. And they all typically already comply with legal/judicial data requests, so if a Texas court subpoenas a dataset from them, I don't see them refusing if the warrant is legit and the data is available.

    Incidentally, I don't know how the warrant details work, but if a judge issues a warrant for the location data of Mrs Jane Doe over a specific time period, would Google etc even know if it was in relation to an investigation on abortion vs say grand theft auto?

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Privacy??

      "would Google etc even know if it was in relation to an investigation on abortion vs say grand theft auto?"

      Well, if GPS data is included, and it shows a person parked in the carpark (or the vicinity of) a place known to carry out said procedure, it could be used to incriminate that the person was at that location. Better yet if the GPS works indoors and, oh look, we can tell within a five to twenty metre range what part of the building you went to.

      So, protip ladies: learn to read a map and leave the tech at home. Don't simply switch it off, but don't take it, period. If you think you might need access to a phone in case of emergency (a single woman making a journey like that...) then pick up one of those cheap little voice&text only phones, and leave the battery out until and unless you actually need it. Remember when a bunch of delusional men screamed Witches! and murdered innocent women? Well, it's the same old tired story, only this time they'll be screaming Babies!. So do not take with you anything that could provide location information to unknown third parties. No smartphone, no GPS, and keep any dumbphone unpowered until needed (otherwise it will ping cells to keep an active service and this could be used to locate you).

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Privacy??

        and keep any dumbphone unpowered until needed (otherwise it will ping cells to keep an active service and this could be used to locate you).

        And power it off again after use until needed again. And get rid of it when you no longer need it (if you can manage, sell it to an anti-abortion activist to muddle the tracks).

        1. heyrick Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Privacy??

          "sell it to an anti-abortion activist to muddle the tracks"

          So lucky I'm wandering around in the garden, else you'd owe me a new keyboard, monitor, and desk.

          I love that idea, seems somehow poetic.

      2. First Light Silver badge

        Re: Privacy??

        Your car can also reveal your movements.

  2. VoiceOfTruth

    "reproductive rights are human rights"

    Very well. Don't do business in those states that are against human rights. Consign them to the dustbin of history.

    1. SUDO-SU

      Re: "reproductive rights are human rights"

      Exactly, all of the states that allow abortion and kill children, right into the dustbin.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: "reproductive rights are human rights"

        I wrote an article on my blog (before this was overturned). It was interesting to compare those states that would either outright or extremely likely to ban abortions.... with those states that had enacted capital punishment in the past ten years.

        Either life is important, or it isn't. To "think of the tadpole-like-prehumans" while killing criminals with some incredibly vile methods (such as electric chair) makes them all a bunch of fucking hypocrites and also makes it clear to me that this is about fear of femininity and controlling women than anything to do with saving any life.

        So, a big +1 for consigning the states that are going along with this nonsense to the universe's built in /dev/null device.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "reproductive rights are human rights"

          While abortion will always be a hot-button topic, I think it's unfair to paint everything with the "fear of femininity" brush. Plenty of pro-lifers specifically take the religious angle where every soul is precious or whatever, but would also be so deluded to think "just kill 'em and let God sort 'em out" as the saying goes. Bringing logic to the table doesn't always work when proponents of some argument may not be using logic themselves.

          For context, I support abortion, capital punishment, and legally assisted suicide.

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: "reproductive rights are human rights"

          Belief in god, especially a particular god like Christian, Muslim, etc. is not based on logic. You can't deduce the existence of god or prove it, faith is required.

          If you have already moved beyond logic to accept religious belief, you don't require logic to believe that no embryo should be killed but killing fully grown people is fine. Especially when you feel not only killing murderers is fine, but killing of "the enemy" in war - because religious people always believe god is on the side of their country in war. That's about as illogical as you can get when both sides are worshipping the same god as was the case in pretty much all of Europe's wars, but like I said this is where it is all based on faith.

      2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: "reproductive rights are human rights"

        Exactly, all of the states that allow abortion and kill children, right into the dustbin.

        That is about all states, those that forbid abortion allow school shootings.

      3. cmdrklarg

        Re: "reproductive rights are human rights"

        Exactly! Only ammosexuals should have the God-given right to kill children. /s

  3. Cederic Silver badge

    Google hypocrisy

    So control over your body is a human right. Unless you want to work for Google.

    https://www.theregister.com/2021/12/15/google_vaccinations/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Google hypocrisy

      You were not paying attention in SexEd if you think you can catch pregnancy.

      1. sev.monster Bronze badge

        Re: Google hypocrisy

        Johnny breathed on me, now I have cooties, pregnants and the clap!

      2. Steve Button Silver badge

        Re: Google hypocrisy

        So by your logic you should only have control of your body over things you can catch? So, presumably you are anti-trans, as that's not something you can catch, so the state gets to decide? Or perhaps you feel that Jehovas Witnesses should be forced to have blood transfusions, because it's for their own good? Clearly you were not paying attention when you looked up bodily autonomy.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Google hypocrisy

          The issue with vaccination is a little more complicated than that. It is partly about the risk of you catching it (and thus being a potential burden to an already overstretched medical system), but also the risks of you, having caught the virus, passing it on to others. The purpose of widespread vaccination is to support "the greater good", and while many countries initially screwed up because Covid was an Outside Context problem for everybody, you can certainly see differences between those who took it seriously and those...that did not.

          6.3 million people have died of Covid. Over a million (or around 16.5%) have been in the United States. Because people would rather go to court to affirm their ability to walk around as active maskless virus factories than, you know, give a shit about anybody else.

          The idea was to quell the illness, by everybody making an effort to do useful things (get vaccinated, wear a mask, no hugging, wash hands a lot more...). And yes, there were issues with the vaccines. But, remind me, how many people did the vaccinations kill, because I'm looking at a really big number of how many Covid took out, and for me it's a no brainer.

          1. Steve Button Silver badge

            Re: Google hypocrisy

            Your argument might carry some weight if vaccinated people wearing masks aren't also walking vaccine factories. Unfortunately they still are, and therefore the state (or Google) have no business telling you what you put into your body*. It seems that after a few months you might even be MORE likely to catch or transmit it, due to original antigenic sin (OAS) possibly because you have immunity to the original pre-Alpha strain, but the one being passed around is now Omicron. The figures do seem to bear this out, although they stopped publishing them soon after this became apparent. And don't get me started on mask mandates, that's a different argument.

            * Personally I'd argue that even with the Polio vaccine which is sterilising AND long lasting, the state still has no business mandating it. However, with something like the Covid-19 vaccine, which is not sterilising and is extremely short lived there's just no argument. I know this is not a popular opinion, but I'm arrogant enough to know that I'm right about this and people will eventually wake up and realise how wrong they have all been. Please convince me I'm wrong, without using the argument "but the BBC told me..."

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Google hypocrisy

          Since you mention JWs, they (as adults) can choose to refuse a life saving treatment. They're big enough and old enough to understand the choice they are making.

          What about when they make the same choices for their children based upon what they (the parents) believe?

          Sometimes the courts can intervene, sometimes they don't. It's a quagmire. https://adc.bmj.com/content/90/7/715

          As you can see, these are subjects that can get real messy real quickly.

          1. Steve Button Silver badge

            Re: Google hypocrisy

            Yes totally agree it's a messy area. It was just an example that I plucked out of the air, and I wasn't including their children.

  4. andy 103
    WTF?

    we will always have your back

    Re - Salesforce will move employees

    How about this instead. Salesforce could create a policy banning the use of its own product in the USA until somebody reverses this terrible prehistoric decision.

    But they won't do that, because that would severely hurt their income.

    Instead they make gestures such as - we'll move you elsewhere if this is a problem for you - almost like this is some kind of great solution. Relocating people (away from their families, friends.... lives) isn't without downsides!

    I can't really take these "we will always have your back" posts seriously because if they genuinely did have their employees back, they'd be doing something a lot bigger than that. But not if it would hurt them financially, it seems.

    Russia waged war on Ukraine and companies have pulled products/services from there. So why is it when Uncle Sam wages a war on women nobody does anything equivalent in the US?

    1. heyrick Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: we will always have your back

      Wait for the world's reaction the next time somebody leftpondian talks about how terrible the {somewhere that probably speaks Arabic} treat women, girl's access to education, or whatever.

      With this single act, for much the same reasoning behind it (a twisted and narrow interpretation of cherry-picked and likely willfully misinterpreted religious tracts) they have demonstrated that they aren't so different. And have completely lost legitimacy in trying to tell the rest of the world how to behave towards women.

      I'd give the SCOTUS a slow handclap, but it's all too bloody depressing. Welcome to The Dark Ages 2.0.

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    What when helping a women get an abortion is criminalised ?

    This is what will happen in some states. Helping pay for a flight or even driving someone to an airport to go get an abortion will open you to criminal proceedings. Will these nice sounding policies survive an onslaught like that ? I hope so, but ...

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: What when helping a women get an abortion is criminalised ?

      Yeah good luck with backward states like Texas trying to fight Apple, Google, etc. over company policies that pay for employee travel for abortions. They will lose and look stupid, or cause them to move all operations out of the state. If all big tech left red states as a result, it would be a tremendous own goal.

  6. Uncle Slacky
    Childcatcher

    Cheaper than the alternative?

    As someone pointed out on Twitter, paying for your staff to have abortions works out cheaper than maternity leave.

    1. dvd

      Re: Cheaper than the alternative?

      It's be even cheaper to give out rubber johnnies.

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