Texas is trying new methods to limit access to abortion pills online.

Texas is trying to crack down on Internet service providers and credit card processing companies over access to abortion pills. These methods are post-RoThe Internet is an important channel for people seeking information about abortion or trying to purchase the pill to end a pregnancy—especially in states where physical pharmacies or medical centers cannot find these items.

Texas has long been a laboratory for anti-abortion political tactics, and in On March 15, a US district judge heard arguments in a case seeking to overturn the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, which can be used to terminate early pregnancies. The case has ramifications even in states that restrict online abortions and don’t attempt to restrict abortions.

Earlier this month, Republicans in the Texas state legislature introduced two bills to restrict abortion pills. The first bill, HB 2690, would require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block websites that offer the pills or provide information about their purchase. Companies such as AT&T and Spectrum must make “all reasonable and technologically feasible efforts to block information or materials intended to facilitate or facilitate the acquisition of abortion or abortion-inducing drugs.” The law prohibits both publishers and the public from providing information about abortion-inducing drugs.

The second bill, SB 1440, would make it a crime for credit card companies to process transactions for abortion pills and make them liable for lawsuits from the public.

Blair Wallace, a policy and advocacy strategist at the ACLU of Texas, a nonprofit that advocates for civil liberties and reproductive choice, said the latest developments “mark a new frontier for ways to come.” [abortion access]”It’s scary,” he added.

Wallace sees it as a continuation of a strategy that seeks to criminalize entire networks of abortion care with the aim of identifying people seeking abortions. More broadly, this strategy of information and language censorship has become a popular tactic in the US culture wars over the past several years, and the proposed bill could encourage forums to forcefully remove abortion information because of concerns about legal risk. Some websites such as Meta Instagram and Facebook have reportedly removed information about abortion pills in the past.

So what will be the outcome of all the Texas action? Both the bill targeting ISPs and this week’s debacle are unprecedented, meaning neither is likely to succeed. That said, the strategies can be maintained. Will we see him again next session? Are we going to see some parts of this bill being ripped out and reformed? There are like a million ways this could be accomplished,” says Wallace. Anti-abortion political strategy is coordinated at the national level, although the battles are taking place at the state level, and other states may be targeting online spaces in the future.

Online abortion resources can pose risks to privacy. But there are many ways to access them more safely. Here are some resources I recommend.

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