Yes, Section 230 Also Matters In The Fight Over Abortion Rights

from the speak-up dept

We’ve already discussed how the expected overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court may impact the debate on encryption, but it has a likelihood of impacting lots of other important tech debates as well. Senator Ron Wyden has written a thoughtful piece over at Slate, explaining how important Section 230 is in a post-Roe world as well. As he notes, for all the nonsense claims from Republicans about how they’re supporting free speech, their actions show the exact opposite.

Step one in the extremist playbook is making abortion illegal. Step two is preventing pregnant people or health care providers from discussing it online. It is no accident that Republican politicians’ efforts to outlaw abortion and exert state control over women’s bodies have moved in tandem with their crusade to provide the government with control over what people can say, write, or teach. Conservative extremists want to force everything from websites to news to book apps for children to conform with their 1930s version of cultural norms.

And, that tracks, given the efforts by a variety of states, most notably Texas and Florida, to try to control how websites can moderate content. Section 230 was designed to prevent that from happening, which is part of the reason why so many Republican politicians have been trashing 230.

In coming months well-funded anti-choice extremists will launch a coordinated campaign to deluge websites and social media companies with lawsuits over user speech in Republican-led states where just seeking information about an abortion could become illegal. Just as anti-abortion activists worked to attack reproductive rights in statehouses across the nation, these fundamentalists will use the same playbook of coordinated laws and legal actions against the online speech of those they dislike. They’ve already targeted libraries and bookstores over LGBTQ books and classified health care for trans youths as child abuse.

As Wyden notes, even if these lawsuits won’t win, without Section 230 acting as a protective buffer, the threat of liability becomes large enough to pressure websites into blocking discussions about abortion. This isn’t theoretical. We saw it with the last change to Section 230 — FOSTA (ironically, of course, some of the foolish people co-opted into the disingenuous campaign for FOSTA, are now among those speaking out about the overturning of Roe).

They don’t need to win these suits, only overwhelm the smaller companies that lack the resources to fight these claims or intimidate the big tech companies into taking down any posts on the topics of abortion or reproductive health care. The last reform to section 230, a bill called SESTA-FOSTA, resulted in marginalized groups—women, people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, and sex workers—being silenced when tech companies tried to avoid lawsuits. Meta has already banned discussion of abortion on its internal messaging platform. Is there any doubt it would do the same to Facebook and Instagram in the face of conservative pressure?

Wyden’s piece goes on to talk about the other big issue at play here: how our lack of regulations on data brokers may be impacted by the overturning of Roe. As we’ve noted, it’s not difficult for a motivated individual to purchase data from data brokers that can identify those who visited abortion clinics.

The risk of authoritarian power over speech, privacy, and human bodies seems like kind of a big issue.

Unfortunately, for reasons that still don’t make any sense, the attacks on Section 230 remain bipartisan, playing right into the hands of censorial Republicans trying to stifle rights. It’s time that Democrats realized, yet again, how they’re being played, and focus on protecting, rather than undermining Section 230.

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Comments on “Yes, Section 230 Also Matters In The Fight Over Abortion Rights”

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Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Half the country backs the GOP.

More like 1/3 of the country backs the GOP. 1/3 are independents and 1/3 are democrats. However, on most issues, the independents agree with the democrats. It’s just that voter suppression, gerrymandering, and the electoral college play a huge role.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

That’s pregnant women, not pregnant “people”. Only women can be pregnant. Perhaps Wyden should have used “pregnant mammals”. Or, since he’s talking about online discussion, maybe just plain “people”.

Also, as a private company, Meta is totally within its rights to ban abortion talk from its internal employee discussion groups. Why do you see this as a problem worth calling out?

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Since Wyden said “pregnant people” rather than “pregnant women”, he must believe that some people other than women can be pregnant, and therefore his statement is not only about what he perceives to be women.

He is, of course, wrong. Only women can be pregnant, and even women who style themselves as men or non-binary or what-have-you are nevertheless nothing but ordinary women, who are, as all women are, people.

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Cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Ya know, everyone understands the mechanics of reproduction, the requirements of sperm, egg, which sex has which reproductive organs to produce the sperm, egg, and provides the uterus for the resulting embryo to implant and potentially grow. No one is denying this well understood concept.
Some of us are also capable of understanding that biological sex and binary gender according to sex fails to capture representation of the spectrum which people identify themselves. Inclusive language doesn’t confuse anyone except those who choose to be confused.
You have already said you don’t really care about women, so why are you so insistent on policing language that has zero impact or connection in your life? There is nothing cute, informative, funny or insightful in your piping up every time you hear inclusive language with an “actually…” Followed by ignorant attempts to define gender and sex as one in the same, as if you have some sort of authority on language. Take it up with Webster, see if you can make regress there. The narrow & closed minded never win. They always end up on the wrong side of history, looking like idiots, assholes and bigots that everyone wonders how they were tolerated for so long.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

“You have already said you don’t really care about women, so why are you so insistent on policing language that has zero impact or connection in your life?”

Because the bigotry surrounding LGBTQ has always been about control?

At the end of it this is about certain members of the majority – white, cis-gendered heterosexual males, usually – doing their damndest to deny that other they’re so mortally afraid of. The first step of which is to deny that those others have a right to exist, even as a concept.

You know, like the implication that jewish people are lebensunfähig, the poor and ill have only themselves to blame, or that Ukraine shouldn’t be considered a country of its own.

Of course, confronted with that fact these people will fervently deny they’re anything like the examples I mentioned, because after all, “they’re not advocating gas chambers – they just don’t want them around“.

And they don’t grok that still makes them the exact same as those nazis who decided they didn’t want to share living space with semites.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

The “inclusive language” attempts to forcibly redefine words so that people using the old definitions must give way in repugnant ways. The terms “man” and “woman” are, and have always been, about biological sex, and single-sex spaces labeled for men and women have restricted entry to people based on biological sex. “Self-identification” and “inclusion” and other such language is being used to demand that people in those single-sex spaces admit people who are the wrong sex. “Identifying” as a woman does not make a man a woman, and does not grant him entry into women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, sports teams, or prisons. People with religious, social, and cultural taboos about single-sex spaces care about biology, not about what goes on inside heads.

Furthermore, because this is a lie and does not correspond to physical reality, people must be coerced into believing it and must be silenced if they demur. When lies are being forcibly affirmed as truth, it is everyone’s business to resist, not just those who are personally Affected by the lies.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5

The “inclusive language” attempts to forcibly redefine words so that people using the old definitions must give way in repugnant ways.

You don’t have to use inclusive language. You can use ableist slurs and unnecessarily gendered language all you want. But other people have the right to note your lack of personal consideration⁠—with all the consequences that implies.

The terms “man” and “woman” are, and have always been, about biological sex

No, “male” and “female” have always been about biological sex. “Man” and “woman” are about gender roles. To wit: Clothing has no inherent biological sex but is separated into “men’s” and “women’s” categories.

single-sex spaces labeled for men and women have restricted entry to people based on biological sex

Such restrictions are typically social instead of legal.

“Self-identification” and “inclusion” and other such language is being used to demand that people in those single-sex spaces admit people who are the wrong sex.

The only people worried about that are exterminationist TERFs like you.

People with religious, social, and cultural taboos about single-sex spaces care about biology

You mean they (and you) care about dicks.

When lies are being forcibly affirmed as truth, it is everyone’s business to resist, not just those who are personally Affected by the lies.

Trans people don’t want and can’t force your acceptance. All they want is for people like you to acknowledge their gender identity and their inherent humanity, then leave them the hell alone. You can keep on hating them afterwards⁠—that’s your right.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

When Lisa Thomas wins competitions against women, he is not asking to be left alone.

When Diamond Blount raped a woman he was imprisoned with in Rikers Island, he was not asking to be left alone.

When Pamela Ricard is forced by her school to lie to parents about the gender delusions of her students, that is not asking to be left alone.

If trans rights were only about being left alone, it would be like same-sex marriage. Some people might find it squicky, but would generally be willing to let people do their own thing. But it’s not. It is about forcing everyone to affirm the lie, not being left alone to live as one chooses.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7

It is about forcing everyone to affirm the lie, not being left alone to live as one chooses.

Correct. Just like same sex marriage isn’t about being left alone to live as one chooses, but forcing everyone to affirm the lie that being homosexual is not a pathological state. /s

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7

“Only through the individual can you attack the class.” (from “The Capital of the World” by Ernest Hemingway)

You bring up trans women like Lia Thomas so you can attack the “class”. You paint those individual examples as representative of all trans women. In doing so, you smear trans women as cheaters, sex offenders, and generally evil people. I never see you making the same leaps with all cis men based on the actions of individual cis men (like, say, convicted rapist Brock Turner).

You would continue to hate trans people for existing even if they played by your rules only to make you comfortable. You would continue to find fault with trans people no matter what. I can see only one solution to the “transgender question” that would make you happy: the complete extermination of transgender people.

But people like you always have to hate. You can’t feel good about yourself unless you have someone to look down on. Once trans people are “dealt with”, other queer people will be queering up society with their Pride parades and and their drag shows and their insistence on being treated like everyone else. They’ll be your next targets⁠—that much is inevitable. And then you’ll find someone else to hate once queer people are “dealt with”. The cycle will continue until you either free yourself from hatred or die.

I won’t pretend to have all the answers about how we treat trans people in society. I’m not an expert in any field and I’ll never understand what it means to be transgender. But I bet any solutions I might have for such issues would be better than the only solution you’d be happy with.

You are an exterminationist TERF. Admit to that. I would at least respect that level of honesty.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

All men are pigs, or at least have “pig potential”. I have said so in comments here before. It is the piggishness of men that led to the severity of the AIDS epidemic and will probably lead to a severe monkeypox epidemic. And it’s not because gay men are worse than straight men, it’s because piggish gay men are less constrained in finding partners than similarly piggish straight men.

Transgenderism can’t be eliminated short of some breakthrough medical discoveries because it’s a mental disorder that arises within people. We so far have been unable to eliminate schizophrenia, anorexia, paranoia, depression, or any of the myriad disorders that plague human minds.

Woke gender ideologues have a weird notion, no doubt assumed for rhetorical purposes, that they can accuse opponents of wanting to kill trans people because of refusal to affirm their delusional beliefs. That Jesus doesn’t exist doesn’t mean that Christians should be killed. As long as woke gender ideologues try to force people to affirm their false beliefs, they will be opposed. Not killed, just opposed.

I have come to believe that woke ideologues, with their talk of “demographic change”, harbor secret fantasies just like The Turner Diaries or The Iron Dream where their side will rise up to finally kill off (cis het male) whitey. Or not even so secret any more: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/manhunt-gretchen-felker-martin/1139211795

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:9

I have come to believe that woke ideologues, with their talk of “demographic change”, harbor secret fantasies just like The Turner Diaries or The Iron Dream where their side will rise up to finally kill off (cis het male) whitey.

Your use of “woke ideologues” is the same as “things I don’t like” so it’s a useless term for anyone not sharing your very unique worldview. It’s a term you use to “other” people so you can look down on them while disregarding anything they say as worthless while being angry that anyone have the temerity of asking for being treated as a human being. It’s your way of dealing with something you can’t actually deal with because you lack empathy. You’ll continue to be angry that you can’t express your anger as you wish until the day you die angry.

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JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10

Your use of “woke ideologues” is the same as “things I don’t like” so it’s a useless term for anyone not sharing your very unique worldview.

It is literally all he has, so he repeats it over and over ad nauseam. This is not an intelligent or thoughtful position, it’s one of ignorance and dogmatism.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9

Transgenderism can’t be eliminated short of some breakthrough medical discoveries because it’s a mental disorder that arises within people.

And that’s where laws against transgender medical treatment and the exterminationist rhetoric of you and your fascist TERF brethren come into play: When trans people can’t be medically treated and all they hear in the news is the kind of genocidal rhetoric you and your allies spout off at every possible second⁠—when trans people are made to feel like third-class citizens who don’t deserve to have a life⁠—can you guess what happens then?

(Hint: When a queer person kills themselves during the process of “conversion ‘therapy’ ”, the “therapists” consider that a success because that means one less queer person in the world.)

You don’t need to directly kill trans people. You simply take away all of their options and make them feel like shit⁠—all day, every day, forever⁠—for daring to try to exist as they are instead of as you want them to be. “Nature will take its course”, as you might want to say. And if that means 1% of the population ends up dead, I’m guessing that would be an “acceptable loss” to you if it means getting rid of transgenderism for good.

Of course, then you’ve got all the other f⸺ts to worry about. But the pissed-off cockroach motherfuckers that didn’t die at the hands of bastards like you won’t go down as easily as you hope trans people will. After all, you and your fascist allies seem to forget an important fact: the first Pride was a riot.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10

That the truth hurts is not just an empty platitude. Trans people are mentally ill, just as are anorexics, schizophrenics, paranoiacs, people with OCD, bipolar disorder, on and on. They should not expect everyone to lie to them that they’re really OK, to assuage their feelings. People with mental disorders are going to have a more difficult time navigating through life. But the notion that they’re being helped by having their bodies mutilated into a Frankenstinian semblance of what they think they should be is horrific nonsense, promulgated by an ideology that is wedded to false theory regardless of how much real pain it causes.

They should nevertheless be able to get those alterations if that’s what they want, and if there are doctors who will perform them. They should never be forced into therapy of any sort (unless they are children under guardianship) against their will, although they would certainly benefit from therapy that would help them live their lives comfortably in the only bodies they will ever have instead of futilely seeking to change them.

But they will never be permitted to force other people to affirm their lies about themselves, no matter how fiercely they believe those lies, not even if they claim that they will die without such affirmation.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11

People with mental disorders are going to have a more difficult time navigating through life.

You’re actively working to make life harder for those people because someone taught you to hate trans people and you never thought about why trans people deserve hate other than “they’re all liars”.

The notion that they’re being helped by having their bodies mutilated into a Frankenstinian semblance of what they think they should be is horrific nonsense

Every major medical organization agrees that the best treatment for gender dysphoria is affirming the patient’s gender. If that includes surgeries and HRT and whatnot, so be it. Who the fuck are you to tell anyone their choice on how to live their life⁠—a choice that in no way personally affects you, by the way!⁠—makes them a worthless piece of shit fit only for shunning into the closet (or the grave)?

They should nevertheless be able to get those alterations if that’s what they want, and if there are doctors who will perform them.

You and your ilk are making such a fuss about trans people being pedos and rapists and thieves stealing women’s spots in competitive sports (despite only a handful of trans athletes even existing in that realm) that lawmakers are now trying to pass laws that would outlaw medical treatment for trans people⁠—children or adult. You can say you’re in favor of them getting that treatment if they want it, if you think that earns you some brownie points somewhere. But the genocidal rhetoric from you and your allies only helps to demonize (and criminalize) the same care you think should be available to the people you want to exterminate.

They should never be forced into therapy of any sort

I’d wager that you’re fine with trans people being shoved into the physical and psychological torture that is “conversion ‘therapy’ ” if you think that shit is “necessary” to “save” (or end…) the lives of trans people.

they would certainly benefit from therapy that would help them live their lives comfortably in the only bodies they will ever have

…aaaaaaaaaaand bet won. You owe me ten bux, fascist.

they will never be permitted to force other people to affirm their lies

“Only I have the right to force people into living the way I want them to live!” — you, probably

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Naughty Autie says:

Re: Re: Re:9

And it’s not because gay men are worse than straight men, it’s because piggish gay men are less constrained in finding partners than similarly piggish straight men.

So in your view, gay men are worse than straight men. Thanks for that, homophobe. BTW, neurological (sexuality, gender) isn’t the same as psychological (mental illness), although I can understand why an under-used brain like yours doesn’t automatically get that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8

I can see only one solution to the “transgender question” that would make you happy: the complete extermination of transgender people.

There is one other. After all, Hyman won’t have to live in the same community as “men pretending to be women” if he’s dead. 😜

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9

“There is one other. After all, Hyman won’t have to live in the same community as “men pretending to be women” if he’s dead. 😜”

Ah, the “You can have my penis when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” argument?

I’d be OK with that. I think everyone would be OK to leave Hyman to stew in whatever misery he feels compelled to boil up for himself. That’s not the issue.

The issue is that he feels compelled and entitled to decide for other people.

His whole premise is that of a man stating he’s all in favor of black people having the same rights as everyone else as long as he won’t have to put up with black people actually being treated like everybody else.

Bluntly put, he’s one streak of honesty away from a Unite The Right marcher.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10

You feel righteous about proclaiming a millennia-old religion as “ridiculous horseshit” while having no problem proclaiming men to be women.

Sure do. And it is ridiculous horseshit. Not just jews, but any idiot who’s stupid enough to believe in an adult version of Santa Claus, and all the culty bullshit that comes with it.

I have zero problem with transgender folks. They’re certainly not the ones trying to ram their religious bullshit down everybody’s throat. No, that’s all you god people – using what doesn’t exist as a shield to hate as you please. You hypocritical self-righteous douchebags ALWAYS seem to forget ‘love they neighbor as thyself’ don’t you?

Work with that the next time you want to criticize transgender people. And think about if your ‘loving’ god would approve of you being the asshole you are.

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Naughty Autie says:

Re: Re: Re:13

From verses 1-2 of the same book and chapter:

The Lord said to Moses, “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”

Context is everything, douchebag, but nice cherry-picking from the Old Testament. I guess you’ll be telling us next that God’s punishment of Sodom was simply because the men of that city wanted to have sex with Lot and not because they wanted to rape him and his family.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11

Um, OK? I don’t care about what the Bible condemns. I was just pointing out that the Bible has plenty of nasty stuff alongside “love your neighbor”. Just today, I read for the congregation in synagogue the part where God sends birds to the Israelites in the desert because they were complaining that manna is boring, then kills them while they’re eating the meat. Then he gives Moses’s sister Miriam zombie leprosy because she made nasty comments about Moses’s Black wife. (The Bible says she looked like a baby born dead with half its flesh eaten away.)

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13

Because people are primed to believe things their tribe believes. I imagine that people who said “prove that there’s a lion there” tended to get weeded out.

Given how people here can look at men and believe that they’re women, it’s not hard to understand how people might have come to think that there were intelligent entities controlling the operation of the universe that could be entreated for intercession. The latter requires much less suspension of disbelief than the former, where you must ignore the evidence of your own eyes in favor of magical thinking.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:14

it’s not hard to understand how people might have come to think that there were intelligent entities controlling the operation of the universe that could be entreated for intercession.

Except no one is fighting over transgender folks. But religion has been a leading cause of death throughout history.

To try and equate the two is a far fucking stretch.

Naughty Autie says:

Re: Re: Re:12

Yes, the Old Testament does have the nasty stuff you describe just like theTorah does. The Tprah doesn’t have the message about caring about others as much as yourself, though, because that’s in the New Testament. Way to fail to make a point. Hot tip: troll harder. BTW, what the hell is ‘zombie’ leprosy? I scanned my Bible back and forth, and the word ‘zombie’ comes up nowhere. In fact, the only mention of raising the dead is the story of Lazarus in the New Testament. Additionally, the actual quote in Numbers is “Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half-eaten away,” and it’s talking about Miriam after she contracts the skin disease (which seems more like psoriasis from the description given). So that stuff about Miriam describing Moses’ Cushite wife that way is actually from your racist imagination and not from either the Torah or the Bible.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10

“You feel righteous about proclaiming a millennia-old religion as “ridiculous horseshit” while having no problem proclaiming men to be women.”

Sure do.

That millennia old religious horseshit insists you classify and judge others by tenets passed on in a millennia old game of chinese whispers.

Us recognizing that the social construct which is a person’s gender is determined only by that person in question, on the other hand, just us recognizing that the only person who gets to determine who and what they are is that person themselves.

You being a raging bigot is your own problem. Kindly just stop inflicting it on the rest of us.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

It is a religious belief that tells observant Jews, Muslims, and Hindus not to eat bacon cheeseburgers, but that does not erase the physicality of the bacon cheeseburger. It is a religious belief for many not to be naked where they can be seen by members of the opposite sex, but that does not erase the physicality of biological sex.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7

It is a religious belief that tells observant Jews, Muslims, and Hindus not to eat bacon cheeseburgers, but that does not erase the physicality of the bacon cheeseburger.

A religious belief doesn’t change the fact that it’s biologically not necessary. Got anything else?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9

It is also not a biological necessity for men to dress up as women.

And there it is: You’re trying to lump crossdressers/drag queens in with trans women. When I said you’d move on to hating queer people in general after you “dealt with“ trans people in particular, this is what I meant.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11

I could point you at a trans discussing what its like to be a trans, but you are so aggressive towards trans people that i will not set an rabid dog on their case. Suffice to say that they have has enough problems in their life that gives lie to the idea that being a woman is a simple choice. Rather remaining in the closet would have been an even worse choice.

Your absolutism about trans people is a far worse ideology then the live and let live ideology that you label as woke.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11

You know why people keep saying you’re obsessed with trans people’s dicks? Because you say shit like that but you don’t flip the genders around⁠—i.e., you’re not worried about trans men being hurt by cis women if trans men are forced into women’s restrooms. You also don’t talk about how trans women might be assaulted (sexually or otherwise) if they’re forced to use men’s restrooms. (Maybe you think those trans women “have it coming” for being gender nonconforming.)

This is why I call you an exterminationist and a fascist: You don’t have a single goddamn bit of sympathy for trans people. You only want them to behave according to rigid gender roles and identities so you can feel comfortable with their existence. (You’re the one defining gender by behavior, not them.) And if a trans person is murdered for being trans? Well, you may not be celebrating, but you’re damn sure not expressing any sympathy.

Trans people make choices you disagree with⁠—but so does everyone else. So long as nobody is being harmed or hurt, your discomfort with those choices is your problem. Thinking you’re the arbiter of acceptability is you having a superiority complex. Deal with your discomfort on your own terms; let people⁠—including trans people⁠—live their lives.

Or, you know, keep hating trans people and watch as that hate spreads beyond what you might have intended. Queer people will be next on the hit list⁠—whether you like it or not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7

It is a religious belief for many not to be naked where they can be seen by members of the opposite sex…

Really? I thought it was a societal rule not to be naked where you can be seen by anybody except a sexual partner once you’re over a certain age. And before you bring up nudists and streakers, they’re the exceptions that prove the rule.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

That’s certainly not true for Orthodox Judaism. Men and women undergo periodic ritual immersion in the nude in a water bath (a mikvah), and other people of the same sex can be there. Women sometimes complain about nasty “mikvah ladies” who are there to make sure that they have immersed properly. There are also “kosher” gyms and pools that offer single-sex sessions for both men and women, with the usual level of undress in locker rooms.

Cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5

So pregnant person, menstruating person, chest feeding, these phrases simply leave the gender designation ambiguous, using person instead of woman. What about”pregnant person” is a lie? What word has been redefined? Am I less a woman or mother because someone referred to me as a pregnant person, or I referred to nursing as chest feeding? I certainly don’t feel like those words have had any effect on me, let alone a negative one. I don’t feel confused or lied to.
Being trans is more than the state of mind. It is very much about self expression, which is outward. And even though you apparently don’t mind whipping out your genitals to access a single sex space, confidence that is no doubt unearned, you represent an insignificant portion of a fraction of the rest of the population. In other words, no one else is cool with that kind of personal invasion of privacy, especially considering the fact that none of those single sex spaces provide so little individual privacy that there’s even a tiny likelihood of exposing one’s body unintentionally, let alone to any degree where genitals could be freely looked upon by others within that space to determine if they fit expectations of a proper penis or vulva.
You want to control and force people to behave based on one genetic characteristic (well I’m pretty sure there are several genetic characteristics you’d like to use to determine rules and privileges), not me. You are the one with rigid demands, trying to reverse more accurate vocabulary and inclusive terms to fit a time that has passed. You are the gender ideologue, I’m just normal.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

Oh, he never will. If there’s one thing you can say about the transphobes it’s that they’re predictable.

He’s simply scared that at some point some trans woman will come on to him and a judging crowd of “woke” people will all be standing around ready to condemn him if he doesn’t immediately shag her.

Which is on the face of it as ridiculous as that of homophobes harboring that deep-set fear that at some point a gay man may…oh, horror…approach them with a pickup line.

As a cis-gendered strictly heterosexual caucasian male who actually has been hit on by gay men and politely managed to turn them down I completely fail to see where the problem is.

But then again that may be because I have sexual preferences not phobias.

It would be nice if the people who have those would just seek professional help rather than try to invent justification for their mental illness.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7

Not for nothin’, but referring to homosexuality as a “sexual preference” is about the same as saying “being gay is a choice”. As a bisexual person, I may have a preference for which gender I prefer, but my sexual orientation in and of itself isn’t a “preference”.

Seriously, I get where you’re coming from and I sincerely appreciate the sentiment, but the wording is problematic.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

I think your over simplifying it.
Sexual preference and attraction aren’t static.

Look at the semi-cross-over of the so called, often self identity, “trap”.
And how many men are targeted in that marketplace.
To some degree the idea that “everyone is bi” isn’t true but contains truth.
Many who would be bi are locked by society.

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Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 clarification

Are you saying that pregnant cis women aren’t people?

In a post-Roe nation, I think this would be a fair assessment.

People can get medical treatment and decide what they wish to carry in their own bodies. They can what they might have removed. In some cases this right extends beyond death: you are not supposed to harvest organs from a dead person without their permission.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5

First off, stop playing semantic games.

You didn’t “deny” COVID, you acknowledged it was a thing and took the precautionary measures. That MEANS you acknowledge that COVID was a thing.

Secondly, I’m even LESS wishful than you, NeoNazi. I acknowledge that much work has been done in the field of gender dysphoria and also acknowledge that psychology is a fuzzy science, at best.

I’m not the ideological brownshirt who would ignore all that work just to murder a small portion of humanity.

And let me tell you this, drop all fucking pretense already. You hate us, you want us gone, and preferably dead.

And I’m not just talking transgender folk. When the transgendered are in mass graves, you’ll come for the homosexuals, then the blacks, then the Native Americans, then the Asians, then the Jews.

Show yourself to the door before you start murdering the room.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

Given that woke ideologues now say that Jews are privileged white people, and how they hate us because Israel refuses to succumb to their version of diplomatic suicide, we Jews would be first on that list if woke ideologues would have sufficient power.

Equating speech to violence is a trick that woke ideologues like to pull out in order to try to silence their opponents. Woke ideology is a lie in every aspect, including claims that people who loudly call out those lies want to murder the liars.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7

we Jews would be first on that list if woke ideologues would have sufficient power.

And you’re worried about that from ‘woke idealogues’ instead of torch-carrying people saying ‘you will not replace them?’

That’s some high-level dumbfuckery you’re playing with, Chet.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

Yes. Because the virulent American anti-semites of the left are located in the places where most Jews are – universities, big cities, liberal organizations. Like the leaders of the Women’s March, for example: https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/12/21/18145176/feminism-womens-march-2018-2019-farrakhan-intersectionality

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10

The ones who support the pig Farrakhan are a menace to Jews. If the Movement for Black Lives wants to include a plank in their platform saying that Israel commits genocide, they don’t get a freebie off of us because we also think Black lives matter. Jews are not going to volunteer to be the whipping boy for the Left.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

The real irony here is that he’s literally quoting Mein Kampf doctrine, the nazi belief that insidious jewry would by necessity result in right-thinking steel-eyed teutons being forced into subjugation.

It really isn’t a good look for a self-professed jew to quote Adolf Hitler.

So much so that I’m starting to suspect what we’ve got here may just be an anti-semitic troll trying to false flag a minority sympathy card.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7

You’re the one perpetuating the lie.

I’m the one calling you out on it.

Even if you’re a Jew, you clearly side with Hitler. And I don’t give a rat’s ass about your fucking race.

Door, out, now. You’re a menance to the human race.

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ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: would rather be woke

Then Asleep.
I would rather be paying attention, then Being Asleep.

There are FEW reasons for Not allowing abortion.

The thought that your Own nationality MIGHT be waning. You are scared.
Then there is another, Worse thought. WAR. Without men today, its harder to wage war later. And in a nation that has had about 8 years of Peace Since it inception, This WAR MACHINE has to find a way to keep going.

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JMT (profile) says:

Re:

That’s pregnant women, not pregnant “people”. Only women can be pregnant.

You’re a bigoted, hateful old man who wastes an enormous amount of energy shitting on others. I would guess that trans people have little to no actual impact on your life, so your expressions of hatred are not for any benefit other than your enjoyment and to massage your sense of (over-)entitlement. Get a better life.

Also, as a private company, Meta is totally within its rights to ban abortion talk from its internal employee discussion groups. Why do you see this as a problem worth calling out?

They’re totally within their rights to do a shitty thing and everyone else is totally within their rights to criticize them for doing a shitty thing. You’re the last person who should be telling others to shut up and stop complaining.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re:

When I point out that Facebook and Twitter are engaging in viewpoint-based censorship, the woke ideologues here tell me that this is OK because private companies have a 1st Amendment right to moderate as they wish (which they do). Naturally, woke ideologues speak out of the other side of their mouth when the viewpoint-based censorship censors their views.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

And then we point out that Twitter and Facebook PROMOTE Republican speech due to how much money the Republicans and their backers pay said companies.

And Hyman clearly ignores that Twitter bonks bullshit from both sides and has, at least in Singapore, appends the government’s “opinions” on political issues.

Then again, it’s par for the course for someone who believes in COVID denial, white supremacy, and terrorism (of the white supremacist kind, of course).

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

They should not have the right to enter single-sex spaces for which their bodies disqualify them.

They should have the right to get whatever surgeries or treatments they want, provided they are of age or have permission from a guardian, and can find a doctor who wants to perform them. Such doctors are both in violation of their Hippocratic oath to “first do no harm”, and, sadly, not in short supply.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5

They should not have the right to enter single-sex spaces for which their bodies disqualify them.

You, and your attitudes are one reason a trans women is not safe in a mans space. Deny them the ability to use women’s spaces and you deny them the ability to dress for their gender and go out in public.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

Believing in delusions and falsehoods does constrict one’s ability to function in the real world. Observant Jews are severely constrained (by themselves) as to where and what they can eat. That does not oblige restaurants to serve kosher food.

Trans people may indeed feel uncomfortable about using the facilities correct for their sex, and may indeed be refused entry to facilities wrong for their sex. That is a part of the lifestyle they have chosen to assume. Fortunately for them, many places are now providing all-gender or single-person facilities, so that both they and people with single-sex taboos can be comfortable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7

Most observant Jews are more than happy to leave the rest of us alone, actually. And in turn, we let them live out their beliefs, provided they don’t try to support even stupider shit.

Meanwhile, guess what Republican NeoNazis like you are doing? Not what the observant Jews are doing.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7

Believing in delusions and falsehoods does constrict one’s ability to function in the real world.

No shit. Let me tell you about this religion thing, that’s both delusional and made up to boot…fuckers are walking around talking about an imaginary man in the sky, who apparently needs money all the time.

You better believe it constricts one’s ability to function in the real world. These people are fucking nuts with their crap.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

No. Because people have religious, social, and cultural taboos related to single-sex spaces, especially where nudity might be involved, and because women only want to compete against other women in women’s sports. Woke gender ideologues do not get to override those taboos in favor of people who are delusional about what sex they are.

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JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

When I point out that Facebook and Twitter are engaging in viewpoint-based censorship…

They’re not, they’re engaging in shareholder-based maximization of profits by kicking off the people whose behavior dissuades others from participating, i.e. assholes.

…the woke ideologues here tell me that this is OK because private companies have a 1st Amendment right to moderate as they wish (which they do).

So what’s your point? We know they’re allowed to do that and we would criticise them for it if they did.

Naturally, woke ideologues speak out of the other side of their mouth when the viewpoint-based censorship censors their views.

Your strawman argument isn’t nearly as clever as you think.

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Naughty Autie says:

Re: Re: Re:

Even if that were not the case, you don’t get to control which issues other people take up.

And you don’t get to force companies to let you use their private property as a soapbox for you to air those views if doing so is going to cost them money. Hell, it’s only because your comments are very often hidden on this site that some commenters feel safe to come here at all.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

“Safety” has been redefined by woke ideologues as a way to control the speech of others. No one is entitled to silence opposition just because their opponents refuse to affirm their beliefs, regardless of how such opposition makes them feel.

I get to criticize private companies for their censorship policies, and get to hope that they will change their ways.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

No one is entitled to silence opposition

Good. Now tell that to the TERFs and anti-queer bigots you ally yourself with. They’re the ones stealing books from library displays, rolling up on Pride events with the intent to riot, passing laws that target individual trans children as a means of targeting all trans children (now and in the future), passing laws that make illegal any mention of gender identity (but only for trans people), and…well, basically doing everything they can to make trans people⁠—and queer people in general, really⁠—seem like they’re the absolute evil enemies of God and country (in that specific order of importance).

If a cisgender athlete has a stroke of luck in genetics and manages to be an inherently better athlete in a given sport, should that athlete be barred from competing against other cis athletes because of their genetics, or is being barred from competition due to genetics something only reserved for transgender athletes?

If a cisgender person wears a dress, does that make them transgender, transsexual, or just someone who likes wearing clothes they’re comfortable in? (Remember that clothes are inert pieces of cloth with no genetics/inherent sexual or gender identity.)

If a transgender person moves to a new city and nobody knows said person is trans, do you think that trans person should be forced to out themselves (and possibly deadname themselves) to co-workers/neighbors⁠—even if doing so could make them the victim of violence?

You talk about “silencing opposition” and goddamn, did I wish it worked. Genocidal fuckheads like you never shut the fuck up.

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

If a cisgender person wears a dress, does that make them transgender, transsexual, or just someone who likes wearing clothes they’re comfortable in? (Remember that clothes are inert pieces of cloth with no genetics/inherent sexual or gender identity.)

Also, what’s considered “masculine” and “feminine” changes all the time. Bellbottom pants and platform shoes were considered gender-neutral in the 70’s and late 60’s, but now they’re considered “feminine”.

Don’t police other people, please.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

Rules about who can compete in sports are up to the organizing bodies. Most have separate men’s and women’s divisions, some also have weight classes, some divide by national origin.

Clothing is clothing. People can wear whatever they want. People should not enter single-sex spaces for which their bodies disqualify them.

Most of the right-wing censorship and restriction efforts are wrong, and many are evil. The ones that are correct are those aimed at stopping schools from lying to parents about the gender delusions of their children.

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Naughty Autie says:

Re: Re: Re:5

Rules about who can compete in sports are up to the organizing bodies, but decisions about whether to compete are up to the individual sportsperson. As someone else has already pointed out, no one’s forcing them to compete against any particular individual.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

No one is forcing the deluded men to compete either. That isn’t stopping them from replacing women on women’s sports teams.

But go ahead – have woke gender ideologues make that argument in public about women’s sports. Everything that contributes to the self-immolation of wokeness is to be encouraged.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

“Safety” has been redefined by woke ideologues as a way to control the speech of others.

Transwomen are demonstrably less safe using the men’s rooms than they are in any other restrooms. By “safe”, I mean “not in danger of being made a victim of physical violence or sexual crimes”. Same goes for locker rooms and such, and the same is true for transmen in women’s rooms.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

'I'm sure that rabid dog will stop biting fingers off eventually...'

Unfortunately, for reasons that still don’t make any sense, the attacks on Section 230 remain bipartisan, playing right into the hands of censorial Republicans trying to stifle rights. It’s time that Democrats realized, yet again, how they’re being played, and focus on protecting, rather than undermining Section 230.

‘Trust us’ said the foxes to the chickens, ‘those extra doors into the coops that we’d have control over, and the locks on the main doors that we would also have control over are entirely favorable to you, and anyone suggesting that it benefits us are just lying to you.’

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Naughty Autie says:

Re: Re: Re:2

But the former is often presented as transphobia, so if the AC was confused, I can understand why. A one-liner that offered no clarity as to who was being addressed, a lot of the comments standing up for trans people and their rights… You can see where I’m coming from, I’m sure.

Anonymous Coward says:

We have seen this with fosta, tech social media stopped showing legal dating ads, or comments from sex workers. If section 230 is weakened they, ll probably block discussions about abortion or even medical contraception if they are ar risk of getting sued . Websites operate across the USA, even if abortion is legal in some states it won’t help them to defend legal action in Texas or states that ban abortion
It’s sad that Democrats don’t realize that the attack on section 230 or messaging apps using encryption is part of the republicans culture war on women and minoritys and people who vote democrat expect the party to strongly
defend human rights and the right to online privacy

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

150+ comments

Abortion is quite the shite magnet, isn’t it?!!?

Keep in mind that in reality the SC dis charging (overturning) the ruling on RvW does NOT make abortion illegal!
It allows states to make their own laws.

That would have little impact on the majority who consider abortion as a positive right. As the VAST majority of those people live in states unlikely to abolish or bar abortion.
And honestly, I don’t care either way for this discussion.

Let’s look at forced hosting.
In some views it could be seen as opposed to free speech as there’s some degrees-of-separation aspect of if you host it you believe it. A falsehood, but believed regardless.

The irony here is that most Republicans are NOT looking to remove speech but force it. It’s continually democrats looking at ways to remove speech.
The opposite of the premise of this article.
Which makes me wonder, if all speech is forced to stay up, how would they (Republicans) back themselves up to ban abortion info? Especially when it would not be illegal at the federal level.
So if states make state laws about abortion they have no control over another state.
Nebraska can’t stop a site in California from posting legal material in the first place, even if that material is illegal in Nebraska!
See, we have laws guiding mandated interstate transport. That’s all transport as it has legally been declared for telephone and mail beyond ground and air transportation. If it is legal in the source and the destination it must be allowed through a state.
It is this set of laws and statutes that allow the movement of physical fireworks, marijuana, and firearms. Physical and digital pornography.
And News and entertainment in whole.
It is this that makes the Texas abortion law illegal.

It is this that makes the Florida and Texas and New York content laws pointless.

Now there are other things of concern. Laws about sex tourism could be applied to a Utah resident getting an abortion in California or a Montana resident smoking pot in Colorado. And that is what’s problematic about the few laws of that type that punish legal activity in legal spaces by people from a local where it is illegal.

Where things get dicey is if a resident consumes non-physical content that is locally illegal from a location where it is legal. The viewer is committing an illegal act but the transmitter is not.
And here we could discuss state based dead addressing. A California company may wish to simply black hole Florida rather than deal with their laws. I’m not sure if that is right or wrong. At any aspect of it.

But let’s not pretend that the people attempting to force content to remain visible are considering using forced hosting to somehow block hosting.

Cattress (profile) says:

Re:

There are pro-life groups that have been chattering about laws that block access to information about abortion online, in particular regarding medication abortion. At the moment they only have the ears of the more fringe “conservatives”, but that could change with midterm and various state elections in the next few years. Considering how southern states already have essentially blocked accurate and inclusive sex education, have signed various versions of the “don’t say gay” laws, banned Trans healthcare for those under 21, and have a bunch of jackasses screaming about drag queens while children get blown away by legally obtained guns, I really don’t put anything past what the republican party has become. It’s really not a stretch of the imagination to see these bans pop up in insidious ways, all under the guise of protecting the children. It will likely start with school libraries and classroom/take home devices, followed by public libraries. Bans on abortion information will be included with bans to access information on sexual orientation and gender, and they won’t have any trouble passing into law. And just like we have heard ridiculous proposals to put blocks on computers and devices before sale for porn, these same unconstitutional ideas will be promoted for those same hot button issues, including abortion. I think when you consider the opposing values of uncompromising 2A rights with opposition to abortion, it tracks with Republican thinking that platforms must host what they demand, while also forcing them to remove what they feel is objectionable. (This isn’t solely a Republican thing, dems think similarly but take the progressive path that aligns with modern thinking rather than the regressive one. Unfortunately, this leaves room for consensus, especially in purple states where election winners can wield their political whims)
Make no mistake, this is not about states rights, this is about control of women and white supremacy, and it always has been. Voting with your feet is simply not a realistic option for all but the upper middle class and rich. Not only is it beyond our financial means, but an out of state move would mean the loss of established support networks, like family and co-parents (the majority of women seeking abortion already have children. How are they supposed to make a choice between bodily autonomy and a relatively stable living situation?). If any of these states banning abortion actually had an interest in the fetus, or the mother’s safety,they would have significantly less racial disparity across the board, but in particular infant mortality and maternal mortality. These states would have significantly lower rates of infant and maternal mortality in total, with robust healthcare and social safety nets. Instead, they focus on criminalizing poverty and using it to strip parental rights through a morally repugnant system of so-called child protection. These same states and a number of “conservative” prosecutors criminalize adverse pregnancy outcomes and pregnant women with drug abuse problems, even if they are actively treating an addiction. I live in a very progressive state and both me and my baby were screened for drugs without any meaningful consent or assessment of whether that was necessary because I am on Medicaid. Though I’m aging out of having more kids (I’m 41) I do want another, and I’ve had 2 miscarriages after my daughter. Im even more aware of how dangerous these laws that criminalize abortion are to me, and my family (my husband is pro-life and we have some heated discussions. He is principled in that he is against death penalty, euthanasia, and war. He also understands how birth control & Plan B work and agrees it all should be freely available, well not exactly free. He also understands that an ectopic cannot be moved to the uterus, and miscarriage is treated if necessary with abortion, medication or surgery. I don’t know what he would want to do if we faced a pregnancy that was incompatible with life or life beyond a few years, or that endangered my life whether it was otherwise progressing fine or not. Considering my age, that’s a real possibility. I imagine he would be feeling rather powerless and morally conflicted, in addition to the sadness, anguish and fear that would be absolutely devastating. I’d like to think that he would appreciate that we could decide what to do, even in an impossible situation like this, which might not be holding on for a miracle that I think would be his inclination. But he might resent the ability to make a choice, feeling as though it makes him more morally responsible for inevitable unfortunate outcome. Even though I understand the conflicting feelings and beliefs, I know that no one should be making those decisions but the people directly involved.) Even though these bans carve out certain exceptions, they are written ambiguously, leaving it up to the provider to determine where the law meets ethical obligation to provide care. Skilled doctors who already pay exorbitant malpractice insurance rates, will exit roles providing triage and emergency care, where they are desperately needed. I don’t think the lawmakers and pro-life advocates have even considered the dire lack of capacity for maternity and neonatal care as it currently exists, let alone how much strain thousands of additional patients will put on these inadequate systems. They have been pissing away millions of tax dollars on those pregnancy crisis centers that don’t actually help anyone, while systematically defunding clinics that actually provide contraceptives,STI screening and treatment, cancer screening, and information that they prohibit schools from teaching. I think when we consider the Republicans general behavior, it’s a legit concern that not just abortion information could be walled off in some states, but most 1A protections could be subverted.

Lostinlodos (profile) says:

And it’s been done

Well now watch as states make their own laws and permissions. Watch how this changes almost nothing beyond Texas.

As a believer in states’ rights and states first, this is a good thing. If you want national abortion rights you need to codify it in a constitutional amendment. Not a court ruling. Until then the state is in charge.

Texas is a fluke it’s large enough that the wide-spread republican population is high enough to counter the tiny congregation of a city. Or three.
And…! Texas has a state abortion law that violates due process by criminalising indirect action AND non action.

glenn says:

Ah well, you know what they say: out of social media, out of mind (hmmm, “out of mind” …certainly makes me think of “sleepy” conservatives). More like “if thine eyes offend thee, cut them out” only the “them” for these people is what they see and not what they see with. It’s also amazing that they can be anti-vax and anti-abortion and base their position on an opposing “my body, my choice” stance (“your body, my choice” for one but not the other way ’round).

Luckily, the more people they violate, the sooner their efforts will be wiped away by the backlash. They’re sowing the seeds of their own destruction.

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