- Instagram and Facebook have begun removing posts providing info about abortion pills.
- Such posts were made by users to help women access abortion.
- The posts explained how women could legally obtain abortion pills.
Following US Supreme Court's historic judgement overturning the 1973 Roe vs Wade ruling, Instagram and Facebook have begun removing posts providing information about access to abortion pills. Such posts were made by users to help women who may not be able to access them following the Supreme Court's decision. Memes and status updates explaining how women could legally obtain abortion pills in the mail exploded across social platforms after the US Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, its 1973 decision that declared access to abortion a constitutional right.
Some posts even offered to mail the prescriptions to women living in states that now ban the procedure. Almost immediately, Facebook and Instagram began removing some of these posts, just as millions across the US were searching for clarity around abortion access.
General mentions of abortion pills, as well as posts mentioning specific versions such as mifepristone and misoprostol, suddenly spiked Friday morning across Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and TV broadcasts, according to an analysis by the media intelligence firm Zignal Labs. By Sunday, Zignal had counted more than 250,000 such mentions.
News agency AP obtained a screenshot on Friday of one Instagram post from a woman who offered to purchase or forward abortion pills through the mail, minutes after the court ruled to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion. "DM me if you want to order abortion pills, but want them sent to my address instead of yours," the post on Instagram read. Instagram took it down within moments.
On Monday, an AP reporter tested how the company would respond to a similar post on Facebook, writing: "If you send me your address, I will mail you abortion pills." The post was removed within one minute. The Facebook account was immediately put on a "warning" status for the post, which Facebook said violated its standards on "guns, animals and other regulated goods."
Abortion pills can legally be obtained through the mail after an online consultation from prescribers who have undergone certification and training. In an email, a Meta spokesperson pointed to company policies that prohibit the sale of certain items, including guns, alcohol, drugs and pharmaceuticals. The company did not explain the apparent discrepancies in its enforcement of that policy.
Meta spokesperson Andy Stone confirmed in a tweet Monday that the company will not allow individuals to gift or sell pharmaceuticals on its platform, but will allow content that shares information on how to access pills. Stone acknowledged some problems with enforcing that policy across its platforms, which include Facebook and Instagram.
(With AP Inputs)