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Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has received requests from its staff to follow suit and provide abortion coverage to thousands of its employees and contractors. Following the announcement of updated coverage of their health care benefits in a post-Roe country by businesses like Apple, Target, and most recently, Walmart, Google’s employees also clamored for the same.
The Roe v. Wade landmark case, which legalized abortion in most US states, was overturned, which has been a source of contention for many. Since 1973, federal laws have guaranteed the right to an abortion. But in a shocking Supreme Court decision last June, the right was abolished after nearly 50 years.
The union representing Google employees created a petition to bring the issue to the company’s attention. The document, which was signed by over 650 Google employees, urged the company to refrain from collecting information on abortion seekers and give the information to law enforcement authorities.
The petition asks Google to fix the search results that directs people looking for clinics that still operate legal abortions to anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers. The employees wrote their manifestation to Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
Since the Roe v. Wade decision was overturned by the Supreme Court, Google has been targeted for how it has dealt crucial data and the results of abortion clinic searches using its algorithm. The unionizers used the letter to the benefit of pro-abortion employees.
Sites may not be protecting their users to the fullest extent
After Nebraskan police gained access to a conversation between a mother and a daughter that is allegedly about a prohibited self-administered abortion, Facebook also dealt with public pressure. Following the incident, many questioned the security precautions taken by the applications to safeguard confidential conversations and expressed concern over social media users’ rights to privacy.
“Recently I read about Facebook handing over information that was used to arrest a user seeking abortion access and it became clear that tech companies are not going far enough to protect workers and users in a post-Roe America. If tech companies … truly want to be an ally to those looking to get an abortion, they need to refuse to share [users’] information regarding abortion searches and do their due diligence to make sure false information that could make users unsafe isn’t circulating the site,” said a data center technician at Google.
The petitioners assert that Google needs to extend its abortion benefits to all of its full-time employees, including its contractors. Employees who relocate to another state that still permit legal abortion procedures should also be given relocation assistance. Google responded that once Roe v. Wade was declared illegal by the most recent court ruling, it would begin to provide these upsides.
Roe v. Wade now overturned
The Roe v. Wade provisions, which upheld the right to an abortion in the majority of US states, were declared invalid by the US Supreme Court last June. Justice Alito, the main dissident, stated that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
The four page opinion of Alito read, “What sharply distinguishes the abortion right from the rights recognized in the cases on which Roe and Casey rely is something that both those decisions acknowledged: Abortion destroys what those decisions call ‘potential life’ and what the law at issue in this case regards as the life of an ‘unborn human being.'”
He added, “The dissent is very candid that it cannot show that a constitutional right to abortion has any foundation, let alone a ‘deeply rooted’ one, ‘in this Nation’s history and tradition.’ The dissent does not identify any pre-Roe authority that supports such a right — no state constitutional provision or statute, no federal or state judicial precedent, not even a scholarly treatise.”
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