The ban on abortion has just found an additional and unexpected ally: the postal services.
The recent repeal of Executive Order Roe v. Wade has had the effect of an earthquake in the United States. By withdrawing the wholesale voluntary termination of basic American rights, the Supreme Court has generated violent protests all over the world. However, resistance is already being organized: Google has announced that it will automatically remove any mention of an abortion clinic from search histories, including its geolocation data. For their part, several menstrual tracking applications have also strengthened their data protection policies.
This time, it’s the turn of an unexpected organization to play a role in the fight for the right to abortion. The United States Postal Service, the American equivalent of the French Post Office, could indeed be particularly monitored in states hostile to abortion. And there’s a good reason for that.
Prohibit drug shipments
In the United States, more than half of abortions are currently performed by medication, the Guttmacher Institute reported recently. Thanks to the democratization of teleconsultation during the Covid-19 period, a large number of women could thus consult a health professional remotely, and be mail an abortion pill. An alternative that was valid, including in states hostile to abortion, such as Texas, Georgia and Missouri.
With the recent Supreme Court decision, things will officially change. It will no longer be legal to send this type of medicine to a patient residing in a state prohibiting abortion. However, there are many alternatives: a simple VPN would logically make it possible to carry out a remote consultation, in order to have the pill in question sent by post to an authorized address, in a post office box or with a trusted person, for example. Everything will then only have to be sent back discreetly.
It is therefore a major problem at stake for the States concerned: closing abortion centers is one thing, monitoring all the mail sent from neighboring federations is another. USPS controls could therefore be drastically tightened in the weeks to come, but it is difficult (and worrying) to imagine that systematic surveillance will be put in place. According to the American media Quartzthe authorities are already struggling to prevent the shipment of fentanyl, a powerful painkiller that is more deadly than heroin.
However, the Conservatives do not intend to be fooled so easily. Texas already has prohibits teleconsultation as part of an abortion request. Not enough to discourage certain pro-choice associations, which are already organizing to set up abortion centers at certain strategic border points. For its part, the Aid Access association, which delivers abortion pills remotely, indicates that since the Supreme Court’s decision, orders from Texas have increased 12 times, at a rate of 138 per day (against 11 a few months ago)/