back to article Googlers demand abortion searches ‘never be saved or treated as a crime’

Hundreds of Googlers this week demanded CEO Sundar Pichai do a better job protecting people seeking abortions by refusing to hand over to law enforcement any customer data that could be used to build a criminal case, and extending the health benefits full-time employees enjoy to contract workers. On Monday, the Alphabet …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Just for starters

    Probably shouldn't store searches for musical theatre tickets, halal butchers or Bagels and Lox

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Just for starters

      Probably shouldn't use G00gle.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Just for starters

        Search for abortion options on Google and you'll start getting advertisements for coat-hangers now.

    2. Dinanziame Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Just for starters

      I think I understand the mention of halal butchers and bagels and lox, but why musicals?

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Just for starters

        butchers ... but why musicals?

        It may help if you can work out which of these is the butcher?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just for starters

        > but why musicals?

        Just for the laughs.

    3. unimaginative Bronze badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Just for starters

      Agreed, they are fine with all evil uses of search data (and everything else Google vacuums up) except for one that is a current American culture war issue.

      I would argue that the ruling makes the US the same legally as the EU (states decide) except that the US has states that will take this to extremes.

      The law in most European countries (typically a limit around 13 weeks or so, except where the mother's life is endangered) would not be something either side in the US could live with: state limits (on demand, that is) in the US now range from zero to up to birth, and because its a "the other side are evil and we are definitely right" issue so a reasonable compromise is possible.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just for starters

        > The law in most European countries

        Continental Europe goes beyond the US in more ways than that.

        Do you know what accouchement sous X is, in France and the Czech Republic, for instance?

        https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F3136?lang=en

        > Any pregnant woman may decide to give birth anonymously, i.e. under X, whether in a public or private institution, whether or not it is a conventional¹ one.

        > Pregnant women who wish to give birth under X must notify the medical team of the health care institution of their choice (public or private, conventional or not). No identification can be requested and no investigation can be conducted.

        That's how the French compromised on the issue, about a century ago. No need for that much drama and weakening of an already pretty tenuous democracy.

        ¹ "conventional" above is a translation artefact; it refers to an establishment that is run by or qualifies for reimbursement by the social security administration.

        1. unimaginative Bronze badge
          Happy

          Re: Just for starters

          Wow. That is a clever idea and great law.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just for starters

            And it goes back, in one way or another, to the end of the 18th century.

      2. G.Y.

        negotiations 101 Re: Just for starters

        In 1949 armistice non-negotiations,

        Syrians: we want haifa

        Israel: and we want Damascus

        (check map, see where lines got drawn)

        1. mattaw2001

          Re: negotiations 101 Just for starters

          While in all likelihood correct, this comment feels off topic. I can celebrate France's legal provisions for abortion and birth while condemning their colonial past.

          Heck, I was born in the UK, and I believe my country of birth has carried out military action in over half of the countries in the UN, and e.g. the verging on genocidal treatment of India during their famine to condemn. I emigrated to the USA so now have that legacy to condemn too!

    4. JoeCool
      Big Brother

      What ???

      Did the supreme court recently claw back rights to do those things, leading conservative extremists to criminally prosecute innocent individuals suspected of planning such activities ?

      If your posting is intended to be sarcastic, it went right over my head

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: What ???

        Did the supreme court recently claw back rights to do those things, leading conservative extremists to criminally prosecute innocent individuals suspected of planning such activities?
        Not yet.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " ... refusing to hand over to law enforcement any customer data that could be used to build a criminal case."

    The only sure way is *never to be in possession* of that information.

    It would be a legal crime to be in possession and lie or refuse to hand it over, and the company would eventually hand it over,

    over Sundar's imprisoned body if required.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Depends on jurisdiction, you can be hosted on a server in Boratistan and refuse requests from Alabama all day long

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Not if that server belongs to Google. Thanks CLOUD Act, we couldn't have done it without you!

  3. Snowy Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Laws

    The "law" that threats people who helps other people seeking abortions explicably says the prosecution must be carried out by private citizen who if I am not mistaken can not compel Google to release anything. It was done this way to stop federal government having any over site over the laws.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Laws

      That one was, but that was because the precedent at the time that law was created was that abortion could not be prohibited by states. That precedent has been revoked, so laws allowing the government to go after those who seek the operation directly are now allowed. This is more relevant against that style of law, because police forces can demand data from companies and enforce penalties if the company could comply but chooses not to. In addition, a person can sue on the basis of other evidence and, if the court allows them, extract other information from a company during the discovery phase. That's not guaranteed, but could still be used in the special case.

      1. Snowy Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Laws

        American law on reproductive rights are very odd and it was only relatively recently that it was not illegal for a doctor to give contraption advice due to state law and they where overturned due to supreme court ruling. They could in theory even stop that as it was not mentioned in the Bill of rights.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUQXo1N-OA8 cover many of the issue but that was before Roe v Wade) and set aside.

        It also covers other reproductive rights.

        1. cmdrklarg
          Joke

          Re: Laws

          * give contraption advice

          I know that I like to be able to get advice on my contraptions.

          (I'm going to assume you meant to type "contraception". AutoIncorrect strikes again!)

  4. sreynolds Silver badge

    Since when does big tech have the luxury to make moral desicions?

    Sorry but just because big tech doesn't like the law does that mean that they are allowed to circumvent it?

    How long before a statute appears about obstructing justice etc etc. It's a slippery slope. Surely if you want to to change the law you should speak to the politicians. I am sure the shareholders won't be happy being on the hook should government decide that it can fine alphabet?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Since when does big tech have the luxury to make moral desicions?

      We all have the luxury to make moral decisions at several levels. We can choose to accept consequences if we simply disobey laws we don't like. However, the proposed actions wouldn't involve doing that. Instead, they're suggesting that Google not store the data that law enforcement would request, thus not having to decide whether to break the law or not. Anyone can do that entirely legally: you have the choice to store data that police could want and decide when they ask whether you'll give it to them or break that law, but you can avoid having to make that decision by not storing it so the police cannot get it from you. Not collecting data is allowed at all levels, even if it makes it harder for police to find it when they want it.

      At another level, though, we all have the ability to make moral decisions about laws. Which will we accept, which will we protest but follow, which will we avoid (when possible), which will we disobey at our own risk? People have been making moral decisions about which laws they consider just for a long time. When there has been injustice severe enough, there have been people who peacefully disobeyed the unjust laws, even when doing so caused problems for them. You can do that too if you want.

      1. Snowy Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Since when does big tech have the luxury to make moral desicions?

        True but it is only a law away from requiring them to keep the data.

    2. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Since when does big tech have the luxury to make moral desicions?

      Err, how about just not recording & storing the stuff they are collecting?

      That solves the problem.

    3. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Since when does big tech have the luxury to make moral desicions?

      They aren't allowed to break the law, but choosing not to store some data is not against the law, and neither is being unable to provide law enforcement with data you don't have.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Since when does big tech have the luxury to make moral desicions?

      > Since when does big tech have the luxury to make moral desicions?

      Firstly, it's spelled decisions.

      Secondly, it's pretty fucking far from being what I'd call a luxury.

      I have made moral decisions, such as refusing to release information on employee nationalities (information that I don't have access to anyway) to protect us all from discrimination.

      I have also made the moral decision to stand up for the weak and against discrimination of national minorities. The price I paid was unnecessarily high alright (though nothing compared to others) but it's still not my idea of a luxury.

    5. Swarthy Silver badge

      Re: Since when does big tech have the luxury to make moral desicions?

      I mean, this is the US - they have the money to ignore laws, break them, or have them re-written.

      How many times has Google been put on the naughty step for monopoly violations? How many times has Meta flagrantly disregarded hate speech laws?

      This would be a case of Big Tech using their power for good, not just to make more money.

  5. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Law enforcement?

    But what if law enforcement poses as medical/pharmaceutical suppliers and purchases prospective customer information from Google. Or any other man and his dog who are getting into the on line ad business? Worse yet, the Texas anti abortion laws allow citizens to act as bounty hunters. So this gets around prohobitions against providing data to "law enforcement".

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Law enforcement?

      Don't store it at all.

      Simples.

      1. Snake Silver badge

        Re: Don't store

        There's a marketing opportunity here for DDG to grab, question is if they have the backbone to actually pull it off (answer: probably not).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Law enforcement?

      purchases prospective customer information from Google

      I know it's hard to believe, but Google doesn't actually sell customer information like that - it's far more valuable to hoard it like a dragon, and remain the only entity who knows which users are most likely to click on which ads.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Law enforcement?

        But officer, I was just watching Youtube surely looking up something fun when I was 18 isn't a crime?

  6. ITS Retired

    Women are people too.

    It's past time they are treated with the proper respect as such.

    Abortion is a medical procedure that is of no use to any man. Why is it being outlawed by those men who can't get pregnant?

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Women are people too.

      Because Bible, apparently. However, as none of them read their deity's holy word they don't realise the Bible differentiates between a foetus/embryo and a living person.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Women are people too.

        Because control.

        They can't stand the idea that someone might have control over their own body.

        That said, now the dog has caught the car. The anti-choice stance is wildly unpopular within almost all communities in the US, to the point where even the most virulent Republican forced-birthers are doing mental somersaults trying to deny the words in laws they wrote mean what they say - even while giving evidence under oath, some of them are claiming some types of abortion aren't abortion (eg in cases of ectopic pregnancy)

        It is utterly terrifying to watch.

        It remains to be seen whether the vote rigging and gerrymandering in several Republican controlled states will end the US experiment in representative democracy.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Women are people too.

          The thing is that you need just over 25% of the the vote in even the most gerrymandered system - 50% + 1 vote in 50% + 1 of the seats. If support falls below that level, then you are going to lose no matter what.

        2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Women are people too.

          It's silly to suggest many of the anti-abortionists are being fooled or led by the minority of nutcases who are interested in control. The reality, which failing to acknowledge seems to be the standard in the 'culture war' nonsense, is that reasonable people can disagree on how much of a bad thing abortions are, and where we should draw the lines on what is permitted, how much more we could do to offer women other options, and so-on.

          The simple fact is that abortion is never a good thing. It is only ever the least-worst thing. Acting as if people are mad or bad to be concerned about that may make you feel good, but it isn't helping.

          1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: Women are people too.

            "The simple fact is that abortion is never a good thing."

            The word "fact" is doing some heavy lifting in that sentence. There's a lot of social messaging to the effect that abortion is bad ("But you'll be murdering your BAYYYYBEEEE!"), but the reality is that it saves lives for some and improves quality of life for many others. Asserting that it's "never good" is a simplistic argument, and, messaging aside, every woman I know who has gotten an abortion is intensely grateful that she was able to do so, for whatever reason is relevant to her.

            1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

              Re: Women are people too.

              And there you go.

              Yes, it's a fact. Least worst != good. Ask your female friends, not that you sound like you have any given the misogyny you're displaying there.

              "every woman I know who has gotten an abortion is intensely grateful that she was able to do so"

              Yes, you're such a superman they all discuss these things with you, right?

              I know two women who feel they were railroaded into abortions when younger, and are not at all sure they were the right choices. Both of them I know very well, which is why I've talked to them about it.

              1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
                Alert

                Re: Women are people too.

                "misogyny you're displaying there"

                What the actual fuck are you on about? I defy you to point out any misogyny in my post.

                In any case, I'm sorry that your female friends felt railroaded. Mine felt like they were being leaned on to not have abortions. I agree with you that "least worst != good," but that definition implies that abortion is inherently bad, and you haven't indicated what "bad" means in this case. Is it bad because it's unpleasant, bad because it's morally wrong, or something else? If you mean it's mildly unpleasant, then I suppose you're right, but you can say the same thing about lots of necessary or elective procedures. I haven't enjoyed my root canals, but they're significantly preferable to leaving tooth infections untreated, and the fact that they're unenjoyable is not the same thing as "bad" when the net outcome is good. If you mean abortion is morally bad, then we'll have to agree to disagree.

                1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

                  Re: Women are people too.

                  "I defy you to point out any misogyny in my post."

                  OK, boomer. Take your 'keep them barefoot chained to the cooker' nonsense and shove it up your arse. You don't get to control women's bodies the way you demand the right to.

                  "I haven't enjoyed my root canals, but they're significantly preferable to leaving tooth infections untreated"

                  Yes, that is also least worst, not good.

                  Apparently you don't even know the difference between good and bad, which explains your revolting attitudes towards women's independence.

                  Just revolting. Go back to whatever rock you crawled out from under, misogynist boomer.

                  1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
                    Facepalm

                    Re: Women are people too.

                    "Go back to whatever rock you crawled out from under, misogynist boomer."

                    Hoo boy. My wife will sure be surprised to find that a) I'm a misogynist and b) I'm a boomer. In the meantime, why don't you go be wrong somewhere else?

                  2. Swarthy Silver badge

                    Re: Women are people too.

                    Wow. Twitter found The Register? That is honestly the most bad-faith reading I have ever seen on these pages. Tumblr users would have a hard time making those leaps.

                    Just... wow.

              2. katrinab Silver badge
                Megaphone

                Re: Women are people too.

                It is worth pointing out that regret rates for abortion, while not zero, are lower than for any other medical procedure you can get, and regret rates for not going ahead with the abortion are far higher.

                Of course nobody should be forced into an abortion they don't want. That is also wrong.

          2. Richard 12 Silver badge
            Big Brother

            I'm taking your kidney then

            Oh? You didn't consent?

            Do you think it is acceptable for the state to force you to risk your health and life.

            If the answer is yes, I'm having that kidney. You'll probably survive, most donors do.

            If the answer is no, but you want abortions banned then please explain exactly why you think it is acceptable for the state to force someone with a uterus to risk their health and life?

            Either bodily autonomy is a universal right, or I'm having your kidney.

            1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

              Re: I'm taking your kidney then

              Eh? Did you reply to the wrong post? Or do you have something wrong with you?

              "Pregnancy is literally the ONLY situation in US law where someone can be forced by law to risk their health and life. The ONLY one."

              Obviously that's complete and utter nonsense. There are endless examples of nation states doing exactly that, including the US. It's pretty standard. Vaccinations, for example. Benefits outweigh costs, done.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I'm taking your kidney then

                > Pregnancy is literally the ONLY situation in US law where someone can be forced by law to risk their health and life.

                You sure?

                I'm not a septic, thank God, but both when I was in the emergency services and later in the military I bloody well agreed that I was going to risk my life if the mission called for it. Even later, as a commercial pilot, it was pointed out to me that, should there be an accident, my Captain and I would be the first to arrive at the scene. I did choose those career paths, mind.

                1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                  Re: I'm taking your kidney then

                  Did someone force you into either of those roles?

                  I bloody well agreed that I was going to risk my life if the mission called for it.

                  Nope, you agreed, knowing up-front that was what it meant.

                  And you could change your mind without penalty for the first several months, if not years. Many people do start a career in the US military and leave before being asked to put their lives on the line.

                  You were not forced to risk your life. You chose to. I'm glad people do make that choice and grateful to them, but it must be a free choice.

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: I'm taking your kidney then

                    "but it must be a free choice."

                    No comment.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: I'm taking your kidney then

                    > I did choose those career paths, mind.

                2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

                  Re: I'm taking your kidney then

                  "You sure?"

                  No, I was quoting a post to highlight the idiocy of that statement by presenting counterexamples. Apparently you missed that bit...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I'm taking your kidney then

              > Do you think it is acceptable for the state to force you to risk your health and life.

              That's not what he said mate. That's either a straw man or you didn't bother to read his post.

              As I interpret it, he's not taking a stand against abortion but merely pointing out that it's not a good thing in the sense that it would have been better not to have found yourself in that position (but hey, shit happens).

              At the same time, I think he probably missed the point in the sense that, as is clear to most of us, the issue is some people trying to impose their own ideological beliefs on others by force of subverting liberal democracy (political scientists call this "lawfare" nowadays). I don't think there's anyone advocating that people (well, women) should have abortions just for the fun of it (of which there bloody well isn't any).

              1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                Re: I'm taking your kidney then

                Dave's comment was either a straw man or a wilful misrepresentation.

                It seems unlikely that they have absolutely no idea what's going on in the US, and so any claims about the forced-birthers* must be read in the light of reality.

                Being concerned that abortion has side effects, or that people might be being coerced into having an abortion they don't want is a reasonable position.

                However it is not relevant, it is a straw man.

                The argument in question is very simply "Do women have bodily autonomy, or does the state control their uterus?"

                * They are not pro-life. They are causing women and girls to die, and do not appear to care what happens after birth, if that lucky outcome occurs.

          3. Swarthy Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: Women are people too.

            So, we should have a discussion about if people should be allowed to hoard their blood, as there are life-threatening emergencies that need more blood donors? Or we can disagree on how much of a bad thing it is to keep both of your kidneys when Mr. Doe over there needs one to save his life?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Women are people too.

          > the US experiment in representative democracy.

          It's not very representative though, when your only choice is between the right and the far right.

          PS: Not my classification. Read it on a French-Swiss academic study.

    2. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Women are people too.

      It's not being outlawed by men. Where the law is changing, it's being changed by people of multiple genders who were elected to represent people of all genders.

      Elect different people if you wish for different laws.

      (Oh, and abortion is exceedingly useful to men - saves them 18 years of unwanted expense)

    3. Col_Panek

      Re: Women are people too.

      Abortion is necessary so that men can use women for sex without responsibilities or consequences.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Women are people too.

      I get it's a difficult topic, but there needs to be a middle ground found, the laws in the UK and EU seem pretty sensible, the US on the other hand seems to swing wildly from one extreme to another.

  7. Winkypop Silver badge
    Mushroom

    If only, then

    Imagine not needing such complicated workarounds and agreements.

    A true democracy would care for ALL of its citizens.

    Abortion is nobody else’s business after the patient and the medical professional.

    Old bible-bashing men should fuck right off.

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: If only, then

      "A true democracy would care for ALL of its citizens."

      That's about the most asinine thing I have ever read.

      1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

        Re: If only, then

        You presumably have a very short reading list?

        Much of what Dorries says is infinitely more asinine.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If only, then

          But Nads thinks she's chosen by God. So could be considered his conduit?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If only, then

            > But Nads thinks she's chosen by God.

            Where did he get that idea? I didn't even know the lad!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is how Google (and others)

    will lose market dominance. Very slowly, but it will happen. Changes in market conditions can off even the biggest of names. Just ask IBM. Or TWA or PanAm

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is how Google (and others)

      If Google put 1/1000th the effort into fixing their shit that they do into running bots to spot people badmouthing them, they wouldn't need to run bots to spot people badmouthing them

  9. Luke Worm

    Don't use Google.

    Simples.

  10. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

    Weird

    What a bizarre country the US is becoming.

    1. Uncle Slacky

      Re: Weird

      Always has been...

  11. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Woke going wrong

    On Monday, the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) sent a petition signed by more than 650 Alphabet workers

    That's a fraction of Google's workforce and can be safely ignored. Some of the demands show how little knowledge or appreciation of the law some of the woke brigade seems to have. Google must comply with the laws of the countries and states in which it operates or it runs the risk of sanctions. In the US it can argue that many cases be held in California, which has already enabled legislation protecting the rights even of those who don't live in the state, but it won't always be able to do so.

    But many of the demands go above and beyond what can be reasonably expected of a private company and employer. Contractors get a worse deal? What else is new?

    I'm all for the right to abortion but the way to ensure that is get legislation passed. I don't necessarily agree with the Supreme Court's decision but it can't be denied that Congress has had multiple opportunities of expressly codifying the right since Row versus Wade.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: Woke going wrong

      "I don't necessarily agree with the Supreme Court's decision but it can't be denied that Congress has had multiple opportunities of expressly codifying the right since Row versus Wade."

      Let's be honest, the SC was completely right in a legal sense, and the US desperately needs to amend the Constitution rather than relying on the judiciary to slowly 'reinterpret' it. Gun rights, abortion rights, etc.; the 18th century document in question clearly doesn't have anything useful to say about them, which is why they're so contentious.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Woke going wrong

        For many things, including abortion, it's not even necessary to amend the constitution.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Woke going wrong

          Did you just not understand anything I wrote there?

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Woke going wrong

            Yes, I understood it. You spoke about amending the constitution, for which there understandably high hurdles. But that's not necessary in many situations: federal laws would suffice.

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Woke going wrong

        Nope, it was totally wrong. And several members of said court would appear to have committed perjury too. It remains to be seen whether anything will happen about that.

        The Supreme Court decision took away the rights to privacy and bodily autonomy, which are both constitutional rights.

        (McFall vs Shimp et al)

        1. .james

          Re: Woke going wrong

          Good luck finding privacy in the constitution. That will probably be next to go.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Woke going wrong

          It's amazing how people in power can convince themselves of a particular position when questioned about it and soon after do the exact opposite "because circumstance changed or new information became available, so I changed my mind. I didn't lie at the time, I have simply changed my position since then,"

        3. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Woke going wrong

          "And several members of said court would appear to have committed perjury too"

          Get a grip. That's not even possible.

          The reality is that the US needs to amend the constitution. It's just that simple. The judiciary is not supposed to have these powers, the legislature is. Just because the legislators won't do their jobs doesn't give the job to the judges.

  12. Sam Liddicott

    protection for all

    So this can help all of us -- just add "abortion" to the end of the search times and google won't log the search or hand it over to law enforcement?

    What could go wrong?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: protection for all

      Perhaps the issue of malicious use could be mitigated by only destroying data if a user presents Google with evidence that they are pregnant and seeking an abortion?

  13. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

    This is a wee bit off topic but I never thought I'd ever I'd have a chance to post it here, so please indulge me.

    The often/sometimes fairly funny US comedy programme 'The Daily Show' just led on Scotland being the first nation to provide free period products in schools, hospitals, well, everywhere. I knew that last year but I'm so proud we did it first. Finland will be jealous.

    As an anarchist it's increasingly hard to hate my parliament, and that is my role in life.

    Why is the rest of the world still punishing poor girls just for being girls? Men wouldn't like to charged for toilet paper in public toilets. I assume because 'Big Tampon' is lobbying Westminster and Washington.

    It's terrible what is happening in the USA, it shows up the flaws in their elderly and befuddled constitution which doesn't mention abortion. I guess it doesn't mention tampons in the bill of rights - but it should.

    All people are created equal, not just all men.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

      "Men wouldn't like to charged for toilet paper in public toilets."

      Either you're not clear on what a tampon is used for or you're not clear on the use of toilet paper by men/women (specifically how there's only minor differences).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

        > specifically how there's only minor differences

        I must admit I never tried wiping my arse with a tampon.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

          Minor differences WRT use of toilet paper.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

            Many thanks for sharing your experience with us.

            1. Danny 2 Silver badge

              Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

              The experience is not mine, it's my nation's experience doing the right thing.

              All you other nations should hang your heads in shame - nearly all of you still tax tampons, WTF is that about, it's not a luxury product!

              Put it this way for the guys here, if you bled out your bum once a month then free, or at least untaxed, tampons may seem a better idea.

              Those wee lassies are your daughters, nieces, cousins. Show them some decency.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

                > The experience is not mine,

                I was referring to the fellow AC who shared the findings of his comparative study on the equivalence of diverse hygiene techniques, namely:

                > Minor differences WRT use of toilet paper.

                I'm relieved that I don't have to find out for myself. I have enough trouble as it is with paper getting stuck up there.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

                if you bled out your bum once a month ...

                Youngsters!

                I, like the other greybeards here, am fully onboard with free Preparation H, Metamucil and Senapod tea

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

      > Men wouldn't like to charged for toilet paper in public toilets.

      I see that you have never visited a public convenience at a Czech railway station.

      Five CZK for two sheets of (very thin) toilet paper last time I found myself in that predicament.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

        Yes, and you didn't like it, right?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

          > Yes, and you didn't like it, right?

          Correct the first time, sir!

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

          Yeah, but, unless they have different charging scales in the ladies loos, then there's no discrimination there, is there?

          I do get, and support, you point about womens sanitary products, but I also see the points others have raised about the fallacy of comparing them with bog roll. I'm not sure I can even think of something men need and women don't, on any sort of "regular/frequent need" basis. Not even razors, since many women also use razors and both can choose not to shave whichever bodily hair the do choose to shave.

          I genuinely can't think of a comparison, which makes it all the more galling that VAT is charged on sanitary items, since the definition of VAT is that it's supposed be applied to non-essentials (they used to call it "luxury tax")

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

            > not sure I can even think of something men need and women don't

            Do size-compensation sport cars count?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

              My wife driving a Tesla Model S Plaid to compensate for her 4' 11" stature just doesn't bear thinking about. It would take a proctologist with an economy jar of vaseline to get my sphincter unclenched again.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

                Topic drift warning: are you actually getting one? *Massive* delivery delays at the moment.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

                  Don't need another just now, I only have a one wife garage.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free tampons! Get yer free tampons here!

      > This is a wee bit off topic

      Aye, bit of a stretch mate.

      But yes, it's a helpful measure. In my case, whichever one of us is doing the shopping pays for the female hygiene products.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So that's 0.5% then. An overwhelming groundswell in favor of whatever it is.

    There's probably another 0.5% opposed to abortion.

    The other 99% have read the employment contract and understand that their first born will be taken to Alphabets secret AI centre. You get a bonus for carrying it to term, as it saves on nutrient solution in the growth tanks.

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