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Looming abortion law changes prompt digital privacy worries for clinics

Looming abortion law changes prompt digital privacy worries for clinics

Abortion clinics and providers are rushing to strengthen their digital privacy and protect the data of their patients due to the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade.

With the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that enshrined the constitutional right to abortion nearly 50 years ago, some abortion providers are rushing to take precautions to guard their communications and their patients’ data, fearing that the information could be used in future prosecutions.

Others are already a step ahead of them. Mia Raven, the director of policy at Reproductive Health Services, a clinic in Montgomery, Alabama, said her clinic runs almost exclusively on paper. It’s a strategy she said is meant to ensure patient privacy.

“There is literally not a computer in that clinic unless I bring my laptop from home in,” Raven said. 

Senate Democrats concerned tracking data could be used to target abortion careMay 18, 202204:10Other employees at women’s clinics in the U.S. who spoke with NBC News say they are taking a variety of precautions, from using encrypted messaging apps to choosing Zoom meetings and phone calls over emails and texts in an effort to leave less of an electronic paper trail. 

The moves are in part because of uncertainty about the various state laws that could go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned, something that could happen this year when the Supreme Court issues its ruling in a pending Mississippi case. A draft opinion that would overturn Roe leaked early last Month, which the court confirmed as authentic.

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Updated: 2 weeks ago

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