back to article Facebook hands over chats to cops in abortion case

Private Facebook chats between a Nebraska mother and her daughter has been used by law enforcement to build a criminal case against the teen for getting an illegal abortion in her home state. Jessica Burgess, 41, pleaded not guilty to five criminal charges including felonies for administering abortion pills to her then-17-year …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    49 years pass an ammendment specifically enshrining the right to an abortion, while the 'pro-life' crowd threatened to do what they just did. This would have put it beyond the reach of any supreme court or state legislator. Instead, they rested upon the laurels of a weak legal decision and a temporary fix became a (semi, as it turned out) permanent one.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: 49 years

      An amendment guaranteeing equal rights for women has been waiting for enough states to approve since about the time of the Roe v Wade decision. If you can't guarantee basic equality for women, what do you think the chances were for getting them to guarantee abortion rights? It takes 3/4 of states, or 38 of them. There was never a chance of this. One of the arguments against the equal rights amendment, by the way, is "they already have equal rights so this is unnecessary". They would have said the same thing about a constitutional amendment to guarantee abortion rights.

      They could have passed a law that preempted state laws, though this activist court would probably have declared that unconstitutional at the same time they reversed Roe.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Duncan Macdonald

      Re: 49 years

      Unfortunately it takes 38 states to ratify an amendment and there are more than 12 states with hidebound Republican leadership that would never ratify such an amendment.

      1. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: 49 years

        I find the American system that requires States to ratify changes to the Constitution, and not the People, to be utterly insane.

        The Constitution is for the Protection of the People, yet the People dont get a say in changing it. Crazy!

        And yes, you can argue that people vote for their State Parliaments, but it's not same thing. If it was, you wouldnt have, as you do at the moment, a majority of states having Republican led state governments, whilst also having a Democrat federal president. People vote differently between local, state and federal levels. Some might see their foreign policy goals aligns with one party, but their plans for local housing development aligns with a different party. Naturally then your not going to vote for your foreign policy party in your local elections, and vice versa.

        The People should be the ones with the vote on Constitutional Amendments, without that you will now never get a new Amendment due to the hyper partisan nature of American politics. This is backed up by the fact that there hasnt been a ratified constitutional amendment for 30 years! Not since 1992 and that Amendment apparently took 202 YEARS to ratify!! It also basically just says politicians can only change there salaries after an election, and for some reason that took 200 years to pass? Insanity.

        The previous Amendment before that was 50 years ago!

        Since you will never under this system be able to modify your constitution, you will rely on more and more legal decisions produced by your now political Supreme Court. Good luck with that...

      2. Jedit Silver badge

        "Unfortunately it takes 38 states to ratify an amendment"

        It didn't need a constitutional amendment. It just needed to be passed into federal law, which doesn't require ratification by 38 states - just a Senate vote. In five Democratic presidential terms, nobody ever did that. They also haven't removed the filibuster clause that has been endlessly exploited by Republicans to block legislation.

        Don't get me wrong; the theocratic fascists are to blame for doing this. But the Democrats just let it happen.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 49 years

      Not many Americans actually agree with aborting a baby 8 weeks before birth for other than genuinely compelling medical reasons or rape.

      There is for most people a time in the pregnancy where "It's a woman's choice and nobody else has any say" becomes just a shrill demand for more of "Muh Freedums"

      The insistence by feminists on an absolutely unrestricted abortion "right" on the grounds of no more than personal whim and convenience is a big factor in the failure to get a workable (and acceptable to a majority) minimum national law. American feminism still has an abortion fetish, and still regards an abortion as some kind of victory. It's sad, and a bit sick.

      1. Philippides

        Re: 49 years

        The point nobody is talking about is that this women could have gotten an abortion for any reason she wanted up to 5 months, but she didn't for whatever reason. She waited until the fetus was allegedly at 6 months to induce labor, then they tried to burn the fetus, and when that failed, they buried it.

        I agree with a women's right to choose, but she had 5 months to do so. At the point where she decided to abort this fetus, I would only agree that it is moral to save the women's life. If this fetus was delivered in a hospital it would have had a 67% chance of surviving.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 49 years

          No pregnant person should be forced to use their body to support the life of a ball of cells. How would you like it if you were held down and had your blood sucked out to keep it alive? That's just a fraction of what this poor girl was being forced to endure.

          1. ChoHag Silver badge

            Re: 49 years

            I think you're forgetting how rational 17 year olds can be.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: 49 years

          >I agree with a women's right to choose, but she had 5 months to do so.

          Wouldn't be surprised if boyfriend had something to do with it...

          Seen this: boyfriend initially okay and says he will standby his girlfriend, but then naturally parents get involved and its "think about your future" etc. ie. not exactly supportive. Result - boy gets cold feet and walks away leaving girl pregnant and wishing she had never met the boy... Boy gets to "put it down to experience" and is able to "get on with his life"...

      2. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

        Re: 49 years

        Until you've actually had to sit with someone seeking an abortion, and sought to understand their situation, the circumstances that led to them making that decision, and the emotions that that decision make them feel, and then to help them decide whether it is in fact the right decision, and then make it happen, it's so easy to frame the decision as a political act. Especially if you're a man.

        But if you've ever done those things, you never will judge the decision that way again.

        These things are intense. They are emotional. They go to the very heart of someone's personal identity. They are private, something that Roe v. Wade was landmark in recognising and treating justly, if you've ever read it. What 5 privileged SC justices, who have the luxury of never actually being personally confronted with the reality did, was to say "This is a freedom we don't understand. We hate it, and we can erase it, so we will."

        If that sounds like a victory, it's sad, and a bit sick.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: 49 years

          "What 5 privileged SC justices," who are blatant liars.

      3. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: 49 years

        Whilst I'm very much in the "if you're not a woman, you don't get a say in abortion" camp, I do think that any discussion about abortion laws needs to take into account time-limits and reasons. I personally think that the law in England, Wales and Scotland has it just about right (ironically, given my open statement, proposed, written and passed largely by men!)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 49 years

          I feel that this argument rings hollow. I'm in favour of abortion rights but I've yet to see a man who supports access to abortions being told to pipe down due to their sex.

          1. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: 49 years

            Fallacious point.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 49 years

              Why? "Listen to women" in my experience, translates to 'listen to *these* women', given that there's plenty of women with opinions across the spectrum. I want to reach a point that restores the rights that, I feel, women deserve so I'll criticise weak arguments that undermine this cause.

              1. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

                Re: 49 years

                There are anti-abortion women, obviously.

                The debate is not about whether abortion is right or wrong. The debate is about what right the state has to put itself in between the decision a woman makes about her body and its implementation.

                Even if a majority of women were anti abortion, they still have to make a very compelling case to justify their moral outrage overriding the considered choice of a stranger who doesn't share their view of morality.

                The will of a vocal minority compelling other people to live the way they like is usually called tyranny. The people of Kansas don't seem to like tyranny, for all that they're a "red", and "pro-life" state.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: 49 years

                  @Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch

                  "The debate is about what right the state has to put itself in between the decision a woman makes about her body and its implementation."

                  Rule of law such as murder. A US state is pretty much a country in European terms and each have their own set of rules under a federal group (that is increasingly intrusive). Medical experts cant define a point in which a clump of cells becomes a human which is why there are so many versions of when it is treated as such.

                  So what right does the federal rule have to put itself between the decision of what is murder and its implementations?

                  "Even if a majority of women were anti abortion, they still have to make a very compelling case to justify their moral outrage overriding the considered choice of a stranger who doesn't share their view of morality."

                  That is a very good argument for the roe v wade being overturned (misapplying the constitution) and not allowing the federal government from overriding the considered choice of people in the states.

                  "The will of a vocal minority compelling other people to live the way they like is usually called tyranny. The people of Kansas don't seem to like tyranny, for all that they're a "red", and "pro-life" state."

                  Isnt it tyranny that a minority twisted the constitution to enforce a view that cannot pass legally due to lack of support? Just as if the pro life view was enforced from the federal level imposing it on all states.

                  1. DS999 Silver badge

                    Re: 49 years

                    Just as if the pro life view was enforced from the federal level imposing it on all states

                    Except plenty of republicans have already said that's EXACTLY what they plan to do if they take back control of the government. And I don't think anyone on either side doubts judges appointed with the specific qualification that they would overturn Roe would block that law from taking effect nationwide.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: 49 years


                      "Except plenty of republicans have already said that's EXACTLY what they plan to do if they take back control of the government."

                      And how would they do it? Legally. They would have to achieve it legally. Not by abusing the constitution but by having to meet the legal requirements to make a federal law. If there was sufficient support they could amend the constitution which then the supreme court should try to protect.

                      "And I don't think anyone on either side doubts judges appointed with the specific qualification that they would overturn Roe would block that law from taking effect nationwide."

                      Starts to become obvious why the whole point of the US systems design was to limit the overreach of a central government and to limit its people. The reason people were taught to fear and distrust their government not to pander to it and become reliant on them.

                      1. DS999 Silver badge

                        Re: 49 years

                        If by "legally" you mean using sleazy tactics to steal Supreme Court seats and having nominees outright lie about their views to senators both in private as well as in public during their confirmation hearings, sure, "legally".

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 49 years

                  Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch "The people of Kansas don't seem to like tyranny, for all that they're a "red", and "pro-life" state."

                  Maybe they're just a red state. Just not a red-pilled state?

        2. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: 49 years

          " the law in England, Wales and Scotland has it just about right"Hmmmm?

          risk to the life of the pregnant woman;

          preventing grave permanent injury to her physical or mental health;

          risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family (up to a term limit of 24 weeks of gestation); or

          substantial risk that, if the child were born, he or she would "suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped".

          That is far from right.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: 49 years

            >" the law in England, Wales and Scotland has it just about right"Hmmmm?

            I think the UK has it right in that: Firstly, it enshrines the right to an abortion (okay under some strict conditions) in statute law, so requires Parliament to change - so we have a chance for a reasonable public debate if they decide to change the status quo. Secondly, it doesn't compel medical professionals to participate in abortions.

        3. Jamesit

          Re: 49 years

          "Whilst I'm very much in the "if you're not a woman, you don't get a say in abortion" camp,"

          What about trans-men? They aren't women and can get pregnant do they get a say in abortion?

          1. Jeremy Puddleduck

            Re: 49 years

            Trans-identifying females are females, that's the only reason that pregnancy is even on the cards.

            Abortion is very much an issue that predominantly impacts females. Trying to bring gender identity into a discussion on sex is really daft.

      4. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: 49 years

        Talking of sick, someone doesn't understand hypocrisy and irony.

      5. ICL1900-G3

        Re: 49 years

        Bravely anonymous, I see.

  2. Khaptain Silver badge

    Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

    Social Media : The shark in wolves clothes.

    1. Gerard Krupa

      Re: Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

      It's hilarious that anyone thinks social media companies want to protect users. Advertisers are their customers and users are just the products being sold.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

        But, and this is very important:

        The users are the customers of the advertisers.

        No users, or no users who buy the advertised products means no business.

        Or, put it another way, this is like saying that we are not Intel's customers because Intel don't sell direct to consumer, they sell via distributors and PC Manufacturers.

        1. Korev Silver badge

          Re: Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

          No, the users are the customers, ie the ones who pay to have their adverts thrust in front of the people the social networks have worked out are most likely to respond

  3. wolfetone Silver badge


    The country where firearms have more rights than women.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      What they did was illegal everywhere in the UK afaik.

      UK: The country where firearms have the same shocking lack of rights as women.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: UK

        Because the UK is that little bit more progressive and not restricted by silly ideology of a book no one in America has read, we provide healthcare that's free at the point of use. Cases like this are astonishingly rare (if they happen at all) in the UK - because we allow the women the choice to have an abortion.

        You don't. You'd rather the child was born then shot dead in a school.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: UK

          >Cases like this are astonishingly rare (if they happen at all) in the UK

          This is probably a rare case even by US standards, hence why we are reading about it.

          Reading the documents and reports, it is clear for whatever reason both the girl and her mother felt huge amounts of shame (and possibly social stigma) about the pregnancy and it would seem this provided much of the motivation for the actions they took to try and cover things up.

          A troubling aspect of this case is the abortion debate and SC judgement seem to reinforce the stigma associated with pregnancy outside of marriage. I suspect there will be many more such cases in the coming years...

    2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: America

      Pro-abortionists - people who think admitted mass murderers deserve a fair trial and compassion, but an innocent child deserves to die for convenience.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: America

        There are two key features of religion that most fanatical nut jobs like you, conveniently, forget.

        The first of those features is that, ultimately, Jesus said "don't be a dick". Be nice to each other. Love one another. If someone pisses you off, you don't hit them back. You forgive them. You move on. You try and become a better person. You try to become the best version of yourself.

        The second feature is that, ultimately, only God can judge you here. So if there is a girl who has made the mistake of becoming pregnant and chooses to have an abortion then that's up to her. That's what she has to live with. It's not for reptiles like you to take that choice away from her, to vilify her, to then pretend you give a fucking damn about the child's life when you will also sit back and allow guns to be brought in to schools and start foaming at the mouth when accessible universal healthcare is mentioned for that child to grow up healthy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: America

          > if there is a girl who has made the mistake of becoming pregnant and chooses to have an abortion then that's up to her. That's what she has to live with. It's not for reptiles like you to take that choice away from her

          Yet if a girl regrets getting a puppy, and smashes its skull with a hammer, she could be prosecuted and sent to prison?

          Confirmed: Dogs > children

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: America

            >Yet if a girl regrets getting a puppy, and smashes its skull with a hammer, she could be prosecuted and sent to prison?

            Yes, because the option, without time limit or justification, to take it to a vet and have it either adopted or put down, is available.

            Part of this case is about such irregularities. If the baby was still born ie. the girl had a miscarriage, we have to ask why she (seemingly) wasn't taken to the doctor/hospital for a check-over - if only to ensure her womb had fully evacuated the placenta etc. and for the dead baby to be recorded.

            Remember giving birth isn't without risk to the mothers health, hence why in the UK there are searches and public announcements for the mother to come forward when newborn babies are discovered left in shop doorways.

        2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

          Re: America

          "There are two key features of religion that most fanatical nut jobs like you, conveniently, forget."

          Right off the bat, you made an incorrect assumption. I am not a religious nutjob. You shouldn't assume that only religious people object to killing little kids. Some of us are simply speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

          Your next incorrect assumption - that it's still 1950. Girls are no longer outcasts for becoming pregnant out of wedlock, but as much sex ed as there is these days there's no reason for a girl to be pregnant if she doesn't want to be. A little self control one week a month and birth control every time and she should be good.

          Not interested in addressing the rest of your incorrect assumptions.

      2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: America

        Thank you for at least posting using a named account, unlike the many ACs here unwilling to own up to their opinions.

        The point is that reasonable people can disagree as to when a foetus should become "an innocent child" with rights separate from their mother's whim. Personally my view is "at birth", as that seems the most logical and consistent position for society to use.

        I understand the many people who would declare an earlier date based on likelihood of survival outside the mother. Although that is not my own opinion I think it is probably the majority opinion here in the UK, where the current UK laws seem to be regarded as a reasonable compromise.

        I also accept that as I am male my opinions should count for little in this debate.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: America

          >Personally my view is "at birth", as that seems the most logical and consistent position for society to use.

          It also fully recognises a woman's right to her own body.

          The medical dates and rationale for viability, when you think about it are quite daft and assume we have rights over a woman body that take precedence over the woman's rights. What the viability date is effectively saying before this date the pregnancy can be terminated, after this date you must carry it to term, because if you were to go into labour (natural or induced) or have a C-section we would put that baby into an incubator etc. where it stands a good chance of surviving; but we are not going to give you the option of a C-section or induction...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: America

            > we have rights over a woman body that take precedence over the woman's rights.

            That's the wrong way to look at it. It's not about "we have rights over a woman's body", it's about "children have the right to life". Because a child (inside the womb or not) cannot advocate for or defend its own rights, the state steps in on their behalf.

            The disagreement is primarily about what constitutes a "child".

            1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

              Re: America

              Please repost with a real account, not AC. Then we will read your post and discuss it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: America

                Why does it matter to you if something is posted anonymously or not? The message will be the same, no?

                Frequently, the primary consequence of identifying oneself while discussing controversial topics is to open oneself up to pointless ad-hominems, stalking, and harassment.

                I have exclusively posted AC on El Reg for near a decade, even for the most mundane topics. It allows one to speak more freely, without concern of egotism and judgement, and I'm not about to stop without good reason.

            2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

              Re: America

              Yup. Nobody cares if a woman wants to get plastic surgery for whatever stupid reason she feels she needs it for, because it just affect her. It's when someone else's life is involved when something needs to be said and, like it or not, the female's job is to be an incubator for the next generation. Got a problem with that fact, take it up with MOTHER Nature. I know I didn't want more kids so I was snipped (and had to get signed permission from the wife as apparently sperm is community property) and if I were a woman who didn't want more kids I'd get a tubal ligation.

        2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

          Re: America

          My opinion is life begins at conception, because we all were conceived. Conception and gestation is all part of the human life cycle. Trying to say an embryo is not human is just an excuse to make killing then palatable. Dehumanize them, then you can get support to kill them. Worked for pro-abortionists against fetuses, worked for Hitler against Jews.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I feel really sorry for the family

    I really do, this situation should not arise in a civilised society.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I feel really sorry for the family

      Why are you considering the U.S. of A. a civilized country?


      America is “the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.”

    2. PhilipN Silver badge

      Re: I feel really sorry for the family

      Agreed.. Legalities - and opinions - aside, this was, and is, horrific for both.

  5. JDPower666

    How is this a "post Roe" case if it started before Roe was overturned and was being investigated under a different law? Also, taking (questionably sourced) abortion pills and burying the fetus is not quite the same as attending an abortion clinic and having it done with appropriate medical care.

    I get the point the article writer is TRYING to make, but they're really reaching in trying to make this case fit the desired narrative.

    (and for the hard of thinking, I'm criticising the article, not the principle, before anyone has me down as some sort of god fearing anti-abortionist fruit loop)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I was under the impression that Roe V Wade allowed abortions across the country up to 24 weeks? Please correct me if I am wrong about this.

      If this is the case, and the abortion happened before Roe v Wade was overturned then how can she be prosecuted for an abortion at 23 weeks?

      1. Philippides

        Roe allowed abortion in the first trimester, in most states where the limit was set based on Roe, this was 15 weeks. The Dobbs case, the one in which Roe was overturned, was a suit brought by abortion activists (Jackson Women's Health Organization v Dobbs, Georgia), where they were objecting to the 15 week limit and trying to extend Roe until 24 weeks. It backfired and Roe was overturned.

        At 24 weeks a fetus has a 67% chance of surviving outside of the women and is considered viable in most states. The state in where this occurred allows abortion up to 20 weeks.

        1. tiggity Silver badge


          Your 67% chance is very much on the extreme high end of survival possibility

          In the UK abortions can occur up to 23 weeks (ignoring edge case issues such as foetus removal at a later stage to save the mothers life)

          Reason for this is 24 weeks is regarded as threshold for *reasonable* survival chance... Some premature babies at 22 / 23 weeks do survive, but not many.

          .. But survival chance varies a lot on where a premature birth happens - huge difference in survival rate between home birth and hospital birth where hospital has a good neo natal facility (in the UK not all hospitals do)

          And premature birth survival is not necessarily equivalent to child surviving in good health: Many premature babies have long term health issues of varying degrees of severity

          Disclosure: Had a daughter that had to spend many weeks in a neo natal unit, its not a fun experience.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Because it is a Supreme Court Judgement, and that means that the current law now applies retrospectively since the beginning of time, and the Roe vs Wade judgement was never valid.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Logically, that would mean that all Supreme Court judgements are provisional and everyone lives in a permanent legal limbo. I doubt that is how the justices see it.

  6. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    Bloody hell, this has literally nothing to do with a "post Roe abortion case"!

    Dobbs, that overturned Roe, was decided on June 24th 2022. Because of linear time, a subpoena dated June 7th 2022 can't be a result of the Dobbs decision.

    And the Nebraska law that this is and was in play here criminalized abortion after 20 weeks, which is somewhere between Sweden's limit (18 weeks) and the UK's (24 weeks, the same as the Netherlands).

    Now, the circumstances were inevitably tragic for the people involved, but this would, I suggest, be an appropriate set of facts for an investigation to happen, although I'd hope that a lot more discretion about whether or not to bring charges would be applied than is likely to be the case in Nebraska. But given that an investigation seems warranted (again, an investigation but not necessarily a prosecution), a subpoena to Meta would seem to be a reasonable thing to do.

    Of course, the legitimate concern here is that this is a harbinger of cases where one state (let's call it Xetas) prosecutes someone for an entirely legal procedure in another state (say, Olocardo) and forces tech companies to provide evidence. And the moral of that concern is to use a lot of discretion when talking about such things, as you need a channel that does not automatically record all your traffic!

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      The 'leaked ruling' happened well before June -- the Dobbs decision was cut and dried at that time with just maybe a bit of polish added for the final publication (timed for the end of term to give time for the resulting firestorm to die down).

      Companies like Meta are unreliable when it comes to private data. Basically, you don't have any privacy -- everything you say, do or even imply is their property and as its their property its open to be taken by the state for whatever purposes it feels fit. (Handing over a convenient gag order in the process, of course.)

      As for the cross border prosecution, that won't happen, at least not openly because that's how Civil Wars are caused. What it means in reality is that if you're offered a job in one of those freedom loving Red States and you're of childbearing age.......forget about it, you might think that you're OK, you've got options, but seriously?

      1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

        The leaked opinion (not a ruling) had absolutely no force of law, so is irrelevant. And anyway, had that been a factor, why didn't the Nebraska cops just wait until the decision of the court was handed down on June 24th? We now know that the most likely reason for the leak was to try to force Robert's hand: he was apparently trying to get Gorsuch on board with a simple response to the actual matter at hand in Dobbs, thereby avoiding the wholesale nonsense that Alioto's opinion has created (i.e. the elimination of stare decisis). It succeeded, but it wasn't certain that it would... and indeed the draft differs from the ruling in a few areas, one of which has to do with Robert's Concurrence.

        Second, the issue is not whether or not the data in Meta (et al's) control belongs to them or to you, but that they have it. You seem to have mixed up situations where companies provide data voluntarily and those where they respond to a subpoena (specifically, a Subpoena Duces Tecum) for the production of evidence in their control, regardless of who owns it. There are a few valid ways to object to such subpoenas (e.g. because the evidence is covered by some form of privilege), but in general ownership of the data is irrelevant and it must be handed over. This is the underlying reason why end-to-end encryption is necessary but not sufficient: the encryption keys must also stored somewhere safe.

        Lastly, I'm glad you're so optimistic that no-one will get prosecuted for travelling out of state for a procedure prohibited in that state. I am far less sanguine, in no small part because prosecution is not the same as conviction: even if the prosecution was unsuccessful, the goal of groups like the NRLC is satisfied by the creation of fear of the consequences, rather than the consequences themselves. For example, the South Carolina prohibition against publishing information that someone could use to get an abortion is on its face a violation of the First Amendment, but do you really want to be the guinea pig that proves that?

        And that's without the issue of things like the Texas SB8 Private Right of Action, which doesn't care about where the procedure occurs, as long as the defendant and plaintiff in a lawsuit under that Right of Action are both located within Texas; if there's diversity, the case gets yanked to Federal Court, which is less likely to enforce Texas state law!

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      >>>a channel that does not automatically record all your traffic!<<<<

      That would be face to face verbal communications, out of earshot of any 'social media' owned devices.

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Maybe this will give other FB users cause to think about just what it is that they're using.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Facebook doesn't really enter into it.

      Stupid people have been putting in writing the intention to, or that they did commit crimes as long as they have been allowed to write (a most unwise privilege obviously)

      Don't plan your crime in writing, and definitely don't tell that to a policeman.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge

        As long as you remember

        a "crime" is only what the government say it is ....

    2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      No matter what side of the abortion question you are on, I think this is something we can all agree on.

  8. Auntie Dix
    Big Brother

    Fecesbook: Zuckerberg Informs on You. Surprised?

    The U.S. Supreme Court has too few members, too long memberships, and too partisan appointments. Worse, it has been stocked with some absolute psychos — such as pompous, pedantic, and obsessive (and finally dead) intellectual phony Antonin Scalia — who have made some astoundingly bad decisions and thereby stifled America's progress for decades.

    Democrats under Obama were suckers when they finally had the numbers to appoint Court justices, falling for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's (an old, corrupt Southern b@stard) BS argument that lame-duck appointments are improper. The Dems blinked, so Trump subsequently went on a justice shopping spree at asylums that stock lunatics fond of backward, controlling, religious cultures reminiscent of The Stone Age. The damaging repercussions include the Court's fanatics throwing a bone to their crazies by overturning Roe vs. Wade.

    By rehashing abortion, the U.S. will create misery, ruin lives, and waste enormous amounts of money, time, and energy better spent elsewhere. "The People" essentially decided this issue decades ago (and the Court followed), but by doing it half-a$$ed (relying on the Court to let sleeping dogs lie), The (Lazy) People are left to endure — likely, for decades — the struggle to rally States to pass an amendment to The Constitution.

    The same kind of struggle will happen for every other human right overturned or impeded by the Court's psychos.

    1. Philippides

      Re: Fecesbook: Zuckerberg Informs on You. Surprised?

      Conservatives didn't bring this case to the supreme court, abortion activists did. Every state had abortion in the first trimester and most states had abortion up to 20 or 24 weeks, with 7 states allowing abortion up until birth. This wasn't good enough for them and they wanted to force the conservative states to allow abortion up to 24 weeks.

      The same supreme court that you are deriding was the basis for which women in the US had abortion rights in the first place. What the court did this time is said that is wasn't the right of the court to decide abortion rights and put that right back on the states. The supreme court didn't outlaw abortion, they just undid the work of a previous court who one could argue "had too few members, too long memberships, and too partisan appointments."

      What the court did was literally say they have no business deciding abortion rights and that the elected representatives should do so. You should be happy about that, but it's not the outcome you wanted, so it must be unjust.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fecesbook: Zuckerberg Informs on You. Surprised?

      The SCOTUS is no worse for aged hacks than the house or senate. Term limits for everyone and clear out the ones who are really at the core of the problem as all they care about is lining their own pockets. Doesn't matter what letter is by their name. The inflation increasing act has ended up giving WV a pipeline for fracked gas and hedge funds a way to avoid tax.

      If RBG had retired rather than waiting for Hillary to 'win' then you probably wouldn't be in this mess. But then I believe RBG wasn't particularly pro abortion at any stage.

      Clinton and Obama had the chance to fix Roe V Wade but it is much better for them to leave it hanging so they can continually campaign on how they are going to fix it next time.

  9. deadlockvictim

    I have long thought it crazy that the Supreme Court in the US has so much power.

    Rights should be granted or removed by the people as happens in other countries with constitutions.

    As has been mentioned above, the 3/4 rule effectively prohibits that.

    It should be a first priority for all of ye Americans to wrest control of the constitutional amendment process from the States.

    Ye need to vote in enough politicians to allow for a process similar to that of Switzerland.

    In Switzerland, if 100,000 citizens sign an initiative within 180 days, then it has to come before the people.

    Maybe in the US, one might take 1% of the citizenry as a baseline.

    The citizens of the US should decide what is and isn't in their constitution and it should be become more of an explicit living document.

    It might take 50 years to be able to accomplish this but only ye can really accomplish it.

  10. ecofeco Silver badge

    Maybe not storing so much bleeding useless data?

    Oh wait, what am I thinking?! My bad. It is of course VITALLY important that corporations know which hand I use to wipe my arse on Tuesday at 5pm each August.


    Sorry, don't know what came over me. My commie tendencies come out when I'm not drinking heavily.

  11. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Techbros Do Not Care

    ... about the human cost of their surveillance and data-selling.

    The bottom line is what they care about.

    Who do you work for? Does your work increase human misery?

  12. RDOut

    The Decline of the American empire

    This is yet another sign of the times in America.

    I can’t even begin to understand the radicalization that country faces, but I can certainly see the parallels between other major empires and their decline.

    A religious leaning court, politicians who are not bound by constitutional laws, the subjugation of people in minority groups through gerrymandering, the outright war on reproductive rights, the out of control corporate control, and need I even touch the orange gorilla / cult of (no) personality?

    If America were a movie, it would be a disaster movie.

    I wonder what the sequel will look like?

    1. rcxb Silver badge

      Re: The Decline of the American empire

      What you're seeing are the last gasps of a regressive political party that is no longer viable on a national level due to shifting demographics. Trump was guaranteed to lose the second time around because about a million of his supporters had died of old age in the four years since his first election. So the far right party is trying every dirty trick in the book to somehow subvert the majority and prevent themselves slipping into permanent minority status.

  13. Zebo-the-Fat

    You are now entering America, please set your watches back 50 years

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or, you know, stay home. We've already got more than enough people here, we don't necessarily need more. Canada is nice for visiting, though.

  14. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    20 weeks is pretty much the abortion limit worldwide. At 23 weeks it's days away from being a viable fetus that could survive on its own - a quick search shows me stats of 37% survival rate for babies born at 23 weeks.

    I don't really want to be a killjoy here but this is a case that doesn't really have a lot to do with Roe v Wade - especially as the state in question hasn't actually changed its law in the light of the judgment anyway.

    Yes, the provision of private chats is a serious issue, but does anyone really believe that private chats in Facebook (or anywhere else online, for that matter) are really that private?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is simply another bit of hype to keep the thickies all riled up and to stop them from thinking about the real problems.

      Just like the case of the 10 year old who had to travel out of state. In actuality she didn't need to but because her mother didn't want to file a police report stating the truth that it was the mother's boyfriend that had been the cause they had to be all sneaky to keep that key fact quiet.

      Just more half truths to keep the ignorant masses ignorant and fighting each other.

    2. John69

      > a quick search shows me stats of 37% survival rate for babies born at 23 weeks

      The number is very context dependent. For comparison, the WHO says 90% to those born under 28 weeks die within the first few days of life in poorer countries. What the number is for a poor woman in a country with one of the highest maternal mortality in west is certainly a question but I would be surprised if it is that high.

  15. Howard Sway Silver badge
    Big Brother

    If your business model depends on more aggressive surveillance....

    ... then you've just hit the shitty jackpot, once authoritarian government starts to use you as a free private surveillance agency.

    When I was growing up, it was fashionable to dismiss stuff like 1984 as a bit laughable, seeing as governments seemed incompetent at even basic stuff (e.g. see Terry Gillianm's brilliant "Brazil" film), turns out all it needed was an amoral jerk like Zuckerberg who'd convinced himself that all the knowledge gathering was only going to enable beneficial progress due to a combination of greed and cheesy tech bro utopianism.

    It's naive to think he cares about these consequences, I mean his scorecard already stands at 1 provable genocide and much malign interference in democratic elections.... he'll never see or care about the lives he's ruining personally.

  16. VoiceOfTruth

    The USA today

    The USA has an unelected king sitting literally in his court, making a decision that the plebs cannot overturn. The USA supposedly is a democracy (yeah, I know pedants, it's supposed to be a republic), where the minority makes the laws.

    "We don't want a king", said the American subjects with their new king. "The king is right" said all the hahaha Republicans.

    Where are the howls of protest from American politicians to "ignore the law" because it does not fit with American so-called values? If this was China, the noise would be incessant.

    "Your papers", sneered the jackbooted immigration goon. "Have you now or have you ever had or will you ever have an abortion?". The land of the "free"? No.

  17. Winkypop Silver badge


    War On Women.

  18. steviebuk Silver badge

    Oh dear

    Is there religious censorship going on? I mentioned their religious beliefs in a colourful way so the post has been rejected. So the religious bods get their way again.

    Now we know where The Register sits.

    1. Winkypop Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear

      Society has always given religion a free pass.

      And just look at the myriad horrors they commit under the name of their $deity.

      1. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: Oh dear

        Probably all from Texas.

  19. Gordon 10

    Not a Roe vs Wade case (Poor show Reg)

    This is poor journalism.

    The case is under pre-Roe strikedown 20 week maximum termination laws.

    Its functionally no different than a mother in the UK being tried for terminating after the 24 week limit here.

    Utter distasteful actions by the state/police but nothing to do with Roe-Wade.

  20. random boffin

    Old white man apartheid

    Let's be honest, if men were able to get pregnant, there would be abortion clinics on every block like Starbucks! Enough with this electoral college-driven minority rule bs! Time for change. How about 4 more justices on scotus and get rid of electoral college?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Old white man apartheid

      How about no? That would "amplify" the votes of the big cities and mean the US was ruled by New York, LA, Chicago, and Boston. Those are all wonderful utopias, right?

  21. Tron Silver badge

    Escape the coathanger states whilst you can.

    All companies have to obey local laws. Star topology services will hold your data and have no choice but to surrender it when faced with a warrant. Only use distributed services if you want to keep your stuff private.

    If you do not want to be subject to the laws of the coathanger states, move out of them, just as people have escaped from Hong Kong and Afghanistan. Americans do not have to risk their lives to move from one US state to another. They are luckier than many people escaping repressive regimes.

  22. emmawaston79

    First of all, Facebook made the right decision to hand over chats to cops. I appreciate Facebook because they helped a law enforcement agency solve that case. I think in this case, there is no need for an amendment in the constitution. It’s just passing one notification from the federal government and giving a woman the right to an abortion. But in my opinion, abortion is against humanity because, in that case, she killed someone who was innocent.

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