The abortion provider that Republicans are struggling to stop

But Silicon Valley could.

May 07, 2022

In 2018, more than two decades after Dutch physician Rebecca Gomperts first became an activist to deliver abortion pills around the world, she turned to the United States. For years she had dedicated her life to working in countries where the procedure was illegal, and was firm in her refusal to avoid the US, where safe, legalized access was still available. “I think this is a problem the US has to solve itself,” she explained in 2014...

So what’s the catch?

For now, the biggest one may be the big tech platforms. Aid Access needs to spread awareness about its services, and quickly. The pills, when shipped from overseas, can take two to three weeks to arrive, and Aid Access prescribes the two medications up to the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. But because it operates outside the formal US health care system, Aid Access says it has been penalized by search engines and social media giants that have tried to tackle the spread of Covid-19 misinformation...

The algorithmic battles playing out reflect broader challenges faced by tech companies, which are under pressure to crack down on misinformation and propaganda and to take clearer stands on polarized political issues that users may be researching. The last few years have also brought greater attention to the ways in which machine learning and AI more broadly can reflect bias and discrimination, even while purporting to be objective and neutral.

“We have to be careful not to frame questions as one of adapting to technology,” said David Broniatowski, a professor at George Washington University who has studied anti-vaccination communities online. “The technology is out in the world, so we should ask how to remake technology so we can achieve goals that are of best benefit to society.”

Read more