Silicon Valley firms are about to be at the center of the storm around abortion access and reproductive rights. They need to prepare.
The digital revolution came of age when legal abortion was the default. As a result, Silicon Valley companies have never had to seriously grapple with the criminalization of abortion access in the United States. But tech companies are about to be at the center of the storm surrounding abortion access and reproductive rights. An overnight criminalization of abortion in 23 states, as is now expected, would leave them struggling with issues ranging from services that could expose users to criminal liability for aiding and abetting abortion access to employees demanding relocation to other states.
Tech companies will wake up on the day the Dobbs v. Jackson opinion is issued to immense challenges moderating their products and services, while competing demands from the public, employees, and legislators create an unwinnable situation. The mortal threat to Roe was not taken seriously by many in corporate America, and that apathy will now come back to haunt them in the form of a hellscape of legal and policy challenges unlike any they have faced before. They are not ready, but there is time to prepare.
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