By: Sophia Wang
Following the overturning of Roe v Wade, women across the nation have begun to searcj for ways to get an abortion. Many of those searches occur on the internet, where data and search history can be easily tracked and pose a potential danger of prosecution.
Latice Fisher was charged with second-degree murder when she was rushed to the hospital after her newborn baby died. Police searched her phone and found out that just 10 days earlier, Fisher searched up “how to buy Misopristol Abortion Pill Online”. She was sentenced to several weeks in jail. However, there is no proof that Fisher took those pills.
“Lots of people Google about abortion and then choose to carry out their pregnancies,” said Laurie Bertram Roberts, a spokeswoman for Fisher. “Thought crimes are not the thing. You’re not supposed to be able to be indicted on a charge of what you thought about.”
In another case in 2019 with Brooke Skylar Richardson, where authorities argued that Richardson “murdered” her baby due to her search history for “How to get rid of baby”. Although her defense attorneys say that the baby was stillborn.
Many other cases like Richardson’s and Fisher’s have occurred where the internet history of the woman is used against her to accuse her of “manslaughter” and “murder”.
“Privacy is a team sport — when you take steps to protect your own privacy, you also take steps to protect the community,” said Corynne McSherry, the legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.