Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills

https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-politics-health-016eb3efd65dafc2b568af1495f5bac5

FILE - The drug misoprostol sits on a gynecological table at Casa Fusa, a health center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Facebook and Instagram have begun promptly removing posts that offer abortion pills to women who may not be able to access them following a Supreme Court decision that stripped away constitutional protections for the procedure. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano, File)
FILE - Boxes of the drug mifepristone line a shelf at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Facebook and Instagram have begun promptly removing posts that offer abortion pills to women who may not be able to access them following a Supreme Court decision that stripped away constitutional protections for the procedure. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)
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FILE – The drug misoprostol sits on a gynecological table at Casa Fusa, a health center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Facebook and Instagram have begun promptly removing posts that offer abortion pills to women who may not be able to access them following a Supreme Court decision that stripped away constitutional protections for the procedure. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano, File)
FILE - Boxes of the drug mifepristone line a shelf at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Facebook and Instagram have begun promptly removing posts that offer abortion pills to women who may not be able to access them following a Supreme Court decision that stripped away constitutional protections for the procedure. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)
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FILE – Boxes of the drug mifepristone line a shelf at the West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Facebook and Instagram have begun promptly removing posts that offer abortion pills to women who may not be able to access them following a Supreme Court decision that stripped away constitutional protections for the procedure. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)
 

Facebook and Instagram have begun promptly removing posts that offer abortion pills to women who may not be able to access them following a Supreme Court decision that stripped away constitutional protections for the procedure.

Such social media posts ostensibly aimed to help women living in states where preexisting laws banning abortion suddenly snapped into effect on Friday. That’s when the high court overruled Roe v. Wade, its 1973 decision that declared access to abortion a constitutional right.

Memes and status updates explaining how women could legally obtain abortion pills in the mail exploded across social platforms. Some 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 U.S. 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.

The 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. Vice Media first reported on Monday that Meta, the parent of both Facebook and Instagram, was taking down posts about abortion pills.

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.”

Yet, when the AP reporter made the same exact post but swapped out the words “abortion pills” for “a gun,” the post remained untouched. A post with the same exact offer to mail “weed” was also left up and not considered a violation.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law and it is illegal to send it through the mail.

Abortion pills, however, 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.

“We’ve discovered some instances of incorrect enforcement and are correcting these,” Stone said in the tweet.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday that states should not ban mifepristone, the medication used to induce an abortion.

“States may not ban mifepristone based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy,” Garland said in a Friday statement.

But some Republicans have already tried to stop their residents from obtaining abortion pills through the mail, with some states like West Virginia and Tennessee prohibiting providers from prescribing the medication through telemedicine consultation.

7 thoughts on “Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills

    1. Hello Ali. Thank you for the link. Sadly the US is headed back to those bad days where the LGBTQ+ can be attacked with no consequences. This illegitimate Supreme Court is gaslighting the entire country to enforce their bigoted religious beliefs. Oh have fast and how far we as a nation have fallen. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah; the other side knows they’re the minority as to what they want, so they work as quickly as possible to do as much damage as possible before they may have to give up for a bit. It is unfortunate that the recent McConnell court-packing action is paying off bigtime, now, so they may not have to give up for a while at all. They seem to have a firm grip on elections, on top of everything else.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hello Ali. I agree, but it is made even worse by the top Democrats age and timidity. I just heard on TYT that Biden made a deal with McConnell to put an anti-choice hard right judge on a federal court for a lifetime appointment if McConnell will stop delaying Biden’s administration nominees. How stupid do these people get? Biden needs to understand the Republicans are not honorable. They will keep trying to fuck him over. It is two years into Biden’s term and he still doesn’t have his full staff, and he still wants to deal with McConnell. The Republicans did not deal with the Democrats during tRump’s time in office, they steam rolled them. Why doesn’t Schumer play hard ball? Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi have battered spouse syndrome from back in W’s admin; I’d say Biden does, too, though to me, Schumer is worst. It’s so frustrating.

            Like

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