The cognitive dissonance of watching the end of Roe unfold online

Throughout the day, Weddington and her staff “pumped reporters,” she later wrote in her 2013 book. A question of choice. She found a lawyer friend who could go to the Supreme Court to get a copy of the opinion and read her “the important parts,” but Weddington had to interview before she could speak for herself. read it. They used the telephone to bring news to those who had joined the effort; they were unable to reach the woman called Jane Roe to speak to her privately. The next morning, Weddington woke up early to pick up all the big papers and read about her own case. She received a telegram from the Supreme Court. “Judgment Roe against Wade today partly asserted and partly reversed,” it read. “The comments were sent via airmail.” Paper copies arrive a few days later.

On June 24, 2022, there was no telegram announcing the decision in Dobbs—They barely exist anymore. Reproductive Rights Center tweeted comment at 10:11 a.m. The phone may still be the way you know the decisions of the six judges, but now it can also give an instant voice to the millions of people whose rights have been withdrawn following their ruling. Twitter accounts like @AbortionStories, run by the We Testify team, compiles the personal accounts of people who have had abortions. In general, according to a report from a Tufts University research initiative, there were 1.8 million negative mentions on Twitter about the decision. The disenfranchised did not wait for media coverage, with their professional legal commentators choosing what they called “A very dark day in America“To put a face on their future.

The following weeks Dobbs only makes it clearer that the war on abortion is also a war on information.

The phone where we got the message was a similar device that could allow us to help someone we’ve never met before travel to a state where abortion is still legal. On the day of the ruling, the National Network for Abortion Fund report $3 million in new donations across 97 member funds, from 33,000 new donors, though its website briefly crashed that morning. Phones are our way of knowing where we can still have an abortion, through services like INeedAnA.comand passed OLD planwhere information about self-administered medical abortions — one mifepristone and four misoprostol — can still be ordered online.

However, if anything, the following weeks Dobbs just makes it clearer that the fight against abortion is also a information war. Because of the phone, groups like the Digital Defense Fund have advisebring it security threats: reveals our browser history, private messages, our location data, to platforms and law enforcement agencies. This is what can make abortion more dangerous after Roe. The other safe process itself is not more dangerous. But there is not RoeThe tools people use to quickly share information and resources — the ways we keep each other safe — have been put in jeopardy.

Melissa Gira Grant is a journalist, author and filmmaker.

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