Hackers in a Post Roe v. Wade World
1:58AM Jul 30, 2020
All right, welcome back to hope 2020. I'm so glad in the whole volunteers and attendees here are very happy to welcome, Maggie mayhem with her session on hacking hackers in a post Roe versus Wade Roe vs. Wade world. Thank you, Maggie Thank you for coming in being with us today.
All right. Thank you so much for having me. I am so pleased to be here at hope 2020. I was at hope 2018, and it was a very important time in my life because right after I got off stage I found out that I was going to become a parent. There was no way I was going to miss her 2020 come hell or high water or play egg had to be here. And it's so funny to be a new parent and to be talking about abortion but that's how it's gonna work and that's what we're going to do today. into my slides. So this is a talk that will be very frank about abortion and all kinds of contexts. So if you are squeamish about medical content or something that can be a little bit more graphic or Frank please understand that this may not be a great talk for you to be in and take care of yourself. I want everyone to get the most out of this that they can. So I asked my audience to please know themselves. And additionally, abortion is a non gendered issue. People of all genders have abortions and people of all genders can know about abortion. There may be some slides that do have some gendered language that may use terms like mother or woman. They do represent part of the population or the demographic of people who have abortions, but not the totality. So if you see that. And it doesn't reflect this statement please know that I'm quoting people and I'm using news articles, to the best of my ability. But I do consider abortion to affect people of all different kinds of bodies and backgrounds. Who am I and why am I talking about this, I'm probably a little bit more well known for my work in harm reduction or sex worker rights, but I have been a full spectrum doula and a doula trainer for many years now. I have worked at county hospitals I have worked with induction termination collectives at the county hospital, providing emotional and practical support to people who are having even up to third trimester abortions. I have helped people who are having that occasion abortion I have provided companionship to people who are having in clinic abortions, as well as birth, or any possible outcome of a pregnancy. and it does not go without saying that as a doula I am a very strong vaccine evangelist, and my birth education is about providing options for people without any particular all natural agenda. And I'm talking about this subject today because I believe that abortion is, information technology. It is a set of tools and skills that affect the conditions of human lives and it is very relevant to hackers. Lauren roffman is one of the CO creators of the DLM she and Carol downer invented an improvised abortion device when abortion was still illegal, they built it in the Los Angeles area of California. They were raided. There's a fantastic. You know the court case was known as the Great yogurt conspiracy, because the police conducted the raid at basically the worst time possible. It was when Carol downer was trying to explain how to treat yeast infections, with Greek yogurt. And so all of the police documents are pretty zany and wacky the court proceedings were pretty wacky. These two activists made the Los Angeles PD look pretty ridiculous. And they would go on to share their experiences. Carol is someone who has definitely influenced my work, and as part of why I'm here. But in general, what I've learned is that pregnancy is an infosec and appsec nightmare, and this is why it's so important for hackers to take a look at what's happening in reproductive rights. And we're going to go into a little bit about why these issues concern. Hackers in general. For one, we know that we have already a dragnet in place to identify people who are pregnant. We know that companies are looking for this kind of data. There is a famous talk by someone who tried to conceal their pregnancy by using Tor and all kinds of other privacy types of things and it made them look like a criminal it just kind of got over the top.
A big data knows that you're pregnant another article about this that I life is an open book target found out that someone was pregnant before their father did. Um, and we have to take into account that Google is doing a lot of deliberately, I don't know if everyone has necessarily heard about how Google was trying to prevent food poisoning for all of us by observing when people were typing in food poisoning symptoms. Google would track that it would find their location, oftentimes even had enough data to see which restaurants people may have gone to, or if they use their mapping location. There was a lot of comprehensive data, and none of us want food poisoning you can see why something like this might look like a really good idea, but what Google did is they went on and they notified local food departments and health inspections so there were a lot of less than random inspections that took place, simply because of what people were typing into Google about the symptoms they were having. So if we know that there's already commercial incentive for all kinds of free software to identify people who are pregnant. Um, as quickly as possible, oftentimes before someone might even know that they're pregnant just based on what they're reporting. And we know that some of these companies will collaborate with law enforcement, there is something of a problem here. And in fact it's a growing problem because the more and more we talk about abortion in the news, the more and more people are searching it. And all of these trends are just popping up abortion and self managed abortion, all of these related search terms are growing in popularity. And when some researchers studied them they looked at it very closely to see what are these trends mean what do people need, what are they lacking what can be done. They found a very interesting trend and that is that the communities that had the least sexual and reproductive health resources produced, the highest number of searches for contraceptive and abortion information. In other words, if you came from a community where you knew where your nearest abortion clinic was you never needed to search for it in the first place. If you knew how to access contraception. You don't have to look for it. And the people who had these resources are ambiently in their community or discussed by teachers or trusted adults and community members don't have to actually type something into Google that can be documented or tracked. They. You just you're at. You're at an advantage if your community has this resources and this information. If you are far away from a nearby abortion clinic, if you did not get sex ed. If you don't know where to begin and you're just trying to figure out what to do with your body as it is right now. You are the one who's most likely basically to to implicate yourself. More than that, let's say you're not even looking for information, let's say, you know, you're just kind of using some software that's popular for instance we have a lot of fertility trackers and period trackers. Well, as it turns out all of these period trackers are spying on you, whether you enter anything into Google by yourself or not. menstrual apps are definitely selling data, a lot of different people have been doing talks and research and essays about this. All of these types of things that are in our phone are potentially vulnerable, they're vulnerable because it's a bunch of data that can be hacked or leaked, they're vulnerable because it can be packaged and sold to somebody. But moreover, a lot of these apps are taking a lot of very personal and unique, identifying information, some of them are linked immediately to thermometers, which can track when somebody is are the oscillating, which means that there is there is potentially a window into someone's fertility and someone's conception. And if someone is already using an app like this they may already be documenting when they became pregnant. And they may not realize that that information can be viewed by other people. So as I said before, you may already be implicating yourself and others, long before you've committed a crime. But abortion is legal, how can this possibly be a crime we have Roe v Wade Roe v Wade is still standing. And, there shouldn't be a crime in place here that's, that's not why we had this kind of court ruling, or so it would seem, it has always been part of the agenda to ultimately overturn Roe v Wade and to have legal penalties for people who obtained illegal abortions. This was what vice president george bush said in 1988 and we are seeing it come to fruition.
If you want to find out how many people are experiencing criminalization for self induced abortion, you can just get right on Google right now. There are a lot of people who are being incarcerated, because they have ordered abortion drugs because they did try to perform an abortion. And they were found out, and we're going to look at some of those stories, how an online search for abortion pills landed this moment in jail. charged with murder. After taking an abortion pill remember abortion is already legal so if you take a pill to have an abortion but you don't do it in the proper clinical context. Now we could suddenly become a murder.
The nation is covered this this goes back to 2015.
I could go on and on. There is a fantastic organization that I cannot speak more highly about and they are the national advocates for pregnant women. Their slogan is if you're locked up because you're knocked up call. And naturally, you know, I really care about what they're doing and they have compiled numerous cases where people are facing charges, where their digital footprints are being examined, where they are at risk simply because they tried to express their reproductive rights. Moreover, here's another thing that can make this an information or an operational security nightmare is that there are fake clinics that are out there. A growing number of them and they are taking up a lot of taxpayer money. And so what that means is right now our United States government is helping to fund fraudulent clinics. These are places that look like a reproductive health clinic they have a name there in the phonebook they might even be located in the same shopping complex as a real clinic would be, and they are actively trying to deceive people. And some of the things that they will do are a little bit more, perhaps mercenary, in this case we did find a fake clinic that was taking patient information people who thought they were patients were giving up their name, their date of birth, a lot of medical information, and because they were fake clinic, they are not subject to HIPAA or any privacy regulations they do share that information, and they actually started trying to fax and email local abortion clinics with a fake contract that said that someone had been coerced into signing with the hopes that if they went to have an abortion. The clinic would not honor their request for an abortion because this was sent to them. So, a lot of deception. And it can be hard to advertise yourself as a clinic or to try to work around someone who's behaving this way especially when they are so well supported providers are facing an increased amount of violence. The 90s were a very violent time for abortion clinics, there were a lot of bombings there were murders there were assassinations. It really did start to cool down under the Obama years with the election of Donald Trump the amount of violence that clinics were facing started to sharply increase. And some of these numbers are quite scary to see that we can see attempted murders. The vandalism, the bomb threats the picketing. Many abortion providers actually have to move around. Many do not even reside in the state where they practice they will fly in when they go to work. They have to do a lot of operational security just to exist, and this can be very difficult for someone who is trying to access an abortion to have to navigate around. So first and foremost, you have to cover your tracks, you have to make sure that what you're doing is top secret, you have to make sure you're going to a real clinic that they're not going to give your information away, and you might have to run the gauntlet of potential actualized violence abortion clinics, usually have metal detectors outside of their doors, they have escorts. They have people ready they have a lot of security, and they might have to shut down at a moment's notice. There are times when I have done shifts in abortion clinics where when something has become threatening, we simply have to clear the appointments for the day we have to go into a lockdown procedure. So knowing that just accessing health care can get you arrested or get you killed can be a significant deterrent. In terms of expressing your reproductive rights. And so what does this lead to it leads to a lot of people who are looking for different options since right now legal abortion may not be adequate. People might have to look outside of legal and self induced abortions searches are on the rise and people are looking for self managed abortion, but that can be a really scary thing to hear self managed abortion isn't that a back alley abortion isn't that isn't that the wire hanger that we're also afraid of isn't, you know, isn't that what we're trying to avoid. But it just may be that self managed abortion is the solution we need until we can actually secure legal rights, and I'm going to reassure you on why it might be okay. This is a news clipping, and it looks a lot older than it is but it's actually from 1984 and it's it's from Westchester so this is from a case in New York. And in this case in 1984 with legal abortion, probably with more clinics than there are today, there was still someone who is having an illegal abortion and this is a story that I think we think about when we think about self managed abortion in that this young woman was 20 years old. She was quite late into her pregnancy she was about eight and a half months she used an anesthetic from the dental clinic where she worked and she used a scalpel and she basically attempted to Sicilian on herself. We don't want that. We do not want that that's not what we're talking about. We talked about self managed abortion.
And at that trial, the one of the attorneys, read another example of what we're afraid of, of the fear of inserting something into the service to serve X to induce an abortion. We don't want that either. That's not what self managed abortion should look like that's what unsafe abortion looks like abortion itself is one of the safest medical procedures that you can have, whether it's in clinic or out of clinic, actually, it has a very low number of risks. Certainly a fraction of which we would be facing for a full term pregnancy labor and delivery certainly labor and delivery are very risky labor and delivery do claim lives abortion, not so much we're looking really one in 100,000 with serious effects so there is a low, low threshold here, if we have a safe environment and we have knowledgeable people and we have people who have a little bit of an educational background that they are not forced to do things like use dental anesthetic and a scalpel, or use a knitting needle. It's the conditions of criminalization and secrecy that make illegal abortion dangerous, it's not actually the act of terminating a pregnancy. We do have other tools.
What we need to do is prevent unsafe abortions.
Now the most simple way that this is happening right now the way most underground abortion in America is operating is with medication abortion it's with nifa Chris stone and misoprostol. These are two very very very safe medications Tylenol is infinitely riskier than either of these a myth of Chris stone. It was originally known as ru 486. If there's anyone who's kind of old like me, you might remember when are you 486 hit the market and it was a very big deal. What it does is it blocks progesterone and that will stop the development of a pregnancy, it will not be able to, to develop any more, and then misoprostol is a medication that will start contractions and cause the uterus to expel its contents misoprostol is for ulcers, and it's for abortions and that is all it does in fact misoprostol is so good with all Sirs, for all mammals that it is a 100% legitimate veterinarian purpose to have if your horse gets ulcers if you had 100 boxes and misoprostol in your backpack, and someone stopped you and they said what are you doing with all of this isn't that an illegal drug. You could say I've all my horses have ulcers, and that would be true probably hamsters too. That is all it does, and its use was discovered by low income, mostly rural Brazilian women. This was not discovered by doctors, this was not found out by nurses or anyone in the professional community, or even anyone in the United States or Europe. It was people who were working with animals quite a bit and having to take care of them and eventually noticing that the label on the box made it very clear, not to take it during pregnancy under any circumstances because it will cause a pregnancy to end. And for a lot of those individuals that side effect was a feature and not a bug. So eventually was discovered by a lot of the medical professionals in Brazil it's spread from Brazil outwards and now it's becoming a commonplace way for safe abortion to occur. So, when we take away the scare stories when we take away the scalpels when we take away the knitting needles. What are we really talking about in terms of risk. Well, we know that a small percentage of medication abortion will require a surgical follow up because it's incomplete. There may be some complications but again they are very rare. We're looking at more like one and 100,000 for really severe side effects or complications. We're worried about the digital footprint somebody might have if they are trying to obtain misoprostol online. We have to worry about the vendors are these vendors going to have good information security practices are they going to be easily hackable Are there going to be databases of customers that are at risk, or will these vendors even be legitimate at all, there is going to be fake misoprostol there's just going to be cheap, cheap varieties that aren't going to be very effective or the dosing is going to be inadequate. So we need to make sure we have quality, quality drugs that are available. Someone can buy something online but it doesn't mean they know how to use it. How much should you take How do you know when you've taken enough what is the timing online vendors don't always have 24 seven drugs support. So that could be a problem. It might also be a little bit difficult to do that emotionally if you're keeping a big secret like this if you've kept a pregnancy a secret and now you're getting an illegal abortion secretly and now you're going to go through the process of a medication abortion by yourself that could be that could be hard to do alone. But we do know that if a pristine and it's a hostile are 99% effective when taken together and we know that Misa process alone is 85 to 90% effective. Those are very good numbers. They're certainly worth having a structure around this but we know that 99 is not 100. And we know that 85 to 90 is certainly not 100. So there may be people who have incomplete abortions who need to get medical care after they have tried this. In the event there is an incomplete abortion it's very key to remember that there is no diagnostic test whatsoever that can differentiate a unintentionally induced abortion from a spontaneous one or a miscarriage. The only way that someone can actually be
charged, or found guilty of this is if they they confess at a hospital if they tell a doctor, that they ordered medication from the internet illegally and this is what happens if a doctor is concerned that it was an illegal abortion, such as in the case of pervy Battelle they can call the police. When pervy Patel, went to get help after a self induced abortion, the hospital was very worried they did send police to Kirby's house. They searched the house they empty the trash cans to get any type of rapper or anything they could to pursue a criminal trial, and that case is definitely worth looking at it was a very complicated one that would have set a very bad precedent. Luckily that resolved itself, but it does indicate the situation that we have with law enforcement in hospitals. Nevertheless, for whoever this may help today, there is no test that can determine this all that anyone needs to say if they get any help at a hospital after they have taken medication for an abortion is that they believe they're experiencing a miscarriage, because the treatment will be the exact same whether it's for an induced abortion or for a spontaneous miscarriage. The way the doctors will respond to it will be the same, it doesn't it doesn't matter which way, so people can take care of themselves if they can remember that fact. This medication should be pretty easy to get out. We're in the middle of a pandemic. A lot of people are using telemedicine and all kinds of ways but unfortunately we cannot have telemedicine for abortion medication. We you, it's just, it's not possible right now for a doctor to prescribe this over the phone or over video chat if it was the appropriate option for somebody. We still require that these medications be dispensed at doctors offices and that there be registration with a distributor so we can know who has it and how much they have, which is another form of surveillance that focuses only on reproductive health care providers. But it is happening there is an underground network. There has always been a network of underground abortion. If you want to look at some more that these are two very good books that I recommend checking out the story of Jane, and the abortionist which both make a very compelling case that even in the absence of something as safe as medication abortion illegal abortions were performed safely. Some of the things that would go wrong, would be providers who were trying to exchange sexual favors for access to abortion, or extortion, or blackmail. That was definitely a set of conditions that were difficult. Doctors were afraid of their own patients so in order to obtain an illegal abortion in the 60s, it may have been necessary to be blindfolded and never actually get to meet your doctor. But we do know that there were probably upwards to 1.2. million illegal abortions per year in the United States prior to Roe v Wade, and very, very few of them actually had the shock capacity of the back alley abortion, those that was the that was fewer. That was fewer cases. It was really necessary to talk about those. We had to create a fear of back alley and illegal abortion in order to pursue Roe v Wade, but it wasn't always necessarily as honest as it was politically advantageous to talk about it the way we did the way that they did that prior to medication abortion, was to build what they called the Dell am. I'm not going to show you the, the Dell am is an improvised abortion device. And it was based completely off of what doctors at the time would have been using, which would have been either a manual vacuum aspiration device, or an electric vacuum aspiration device as a people who were helping the underground network were watching them they eventually realized that abortion itself wasn't maybe as complicated as they thought it had to be, it looks like a pretty simple procedure the equipment looks simple, and they improvised it that's what Carol downer and Lorraine did is they found a way to improvise it and get that technology and skills into the hands of pretty inexperienced people who are able to do this safely. And there are still people who are using Dell EMS right now in the United States. You can find this you if you, you can find activists who are providing care using these.
They're cool people. However, the DLM as an improvised device is really only actually more efficient in the hands of minimally trained people who are working together in a group. And I find that to be a very interesting thing because the actual manual vacuum aspiration device is very strong it's very quick in the hands of a skilled provider. This will be just as effective as an electric pump. It can be used in a low resource area, and it takes maybe five minutes to complete an abortion with it. This is gonna take you probably more like 30 minutes. It's going to take a lot longer. It's going to go slower, it doesn't have the same amount of section. It's probably being used by people who don't have the same kind of familiarity to do 10 tasks at once. In order to use the full equipment, you'd have to know how to open a cervix to dilate it to get a kanila into the right place to get the canula, supported by the right kind of equipment in the right place, create the suction and actually create the uterine evacuation. By making Adele AM. Instead of having a single skilled operator, you could break this down into three semi skilled operators. There could be one person whose sole job was to learn about how to get a canula into a cervix properly and safely. There would be one person who could actually learn and operate the suction necessary. There could be somebody who was there to comfort the person who was having the abortion. They made it a team effort. And it's less efficient. But on the other hand it's more efficient because you don't need people who have had four years of medical training to do it you can have a group of people who are each exceptionally skilled at one very simple task. And that's how things were happening for a while. Nevertheless, there's still people who are teaching low resource people how to use these iPads itself the manufacturer of this abortion device, we'll send you a guide on how to use it. And they'll teach people how to use it, making the basic assumption that there is some amount of medical training as a whole, even if there has not been specific abortion training. But in general, it's still being taught to people who may not have a full range of expertise, the way we would expect for other medical procedures. And as medication becomes more more available though it's probably going to be the default. We have a smaller number of abortions per year. Although, pretty much on close to what it would be in the United States if abortion were illegal more of them are medication, still having a lot of hostile circumstances. More hostility. But we're teaching people how to do this with lower qualifications in California right now, it no longer requires a medical doctor to perform an abortion, nurse practitioners physician's assistants and other people who don't have that full MD are legally able to provide abortions and that's a necessary way to meet need. We also have ambassadors, people who are training and learning how to talk about medication abortion, who are not necessarily doctors but know how to talk someone through it. If you wanted to be involved with this you could get in touch with Plan C, and they would teach you how medication abortion works how the dosing works and how to be a good source of information for people in your community and to dispel misinformation about medication, women on waves, is an organization that is dealing with the hostile abortion climate around the globe by getting abortion pills to people anywhere they are. They have done this in all kinds of ways either having boats in international waters where people could come out and therefore they would not be subject to any kind of laws. They had abortion drones that would fly overhead and drop medication down to people. And one of my favorites is they did an abortion robot that could go out and get medication to people as necessary. And then anyone who got those pills could get in touch with somebody who could tell them how to use it and walk them through the process. And this big long run of what's going on in terms of surveillance and what's going on in terms of access doesn't really have anything to do with hackers and I would say it absolutely does because we need to continue to promote encryption digital privacy and information security, and we need to understand that there are certain groups of people who need this really really desperately. They don't even know they need it yet, they don't even need to know they need to start protecting what they're talking about online.
You need to know that maybe you should not Google your pregnancy symptoms, until you're really certain what you might do if that, if you were to find out that you were pregnant. We need these communities to get this information we need abortion providers to have people to continue to help them with their encryption and their digital security because they are constantly subject to any number of attacks, they are very vulnerable.
We need to continue learning about how
how this material creates a precedent for surveillance of any type of medical doctor. There's a lot to say about that I'm going to move on with that to the next point, we need to continue to build coalition with people who facilitate access to abortion, right now we have a lot of people who work in abortion we have a lot of people who work in infosec, and not necessarily as much crossover as there should be to communicate about what needs to be done to protect people providing underground abortion. It's important to learn about the history of abortion beyond legislation. We have a narrative that abortion was made illegal, and that was bad. It happened in the 1800s, and then it got worse because there was no legal abortion and so everybody died, constantly. They were always dying. It was very bad and then lawyers came and they made Roe v Wade happen. And, and then abortion was legal and everything was fine until Trump and that's really not the whole story. There were people who were facilitating illegal under illegal and underground abortion who were medical doctors, there were people who were facilitating underground abortion who were lay people who knew nothing about it. Both were able to do so safely predatory people were very predatory in the context of illegal abortion. The more illegal it is the more predatory people we will see come out. When abortion is under attack we need to recognize that it's a form of information technology that is under attack and all forms of information technology should be protected and they should be accessible to people as much as possible. If we have doctors who are being surveilled, they are not going to learn how to provide abortion, if they're under that risk of being watched. They're simply not going to provide this form of health care. And it's also simply unfair if people who are accessing reproductive health care in this one form, take a legal risk that people who are accessing any other form of health care would not face. I will be doing a workshop later this evening. If you would like to learn how to build dlm, please stay tuned I have a workshop that will be coming up I'm going to walk you through how to do this yourself. That will be a whole lot of fun. And beyond that, thank you so much for listening I hope I can answer any questions that you might have right now I love talking to people, let's let's open it up.
Thank you very much, Maggie that was a great talk about all the different things going on for women to be careful about protecting their privacy and information so thank you for sharing that with us.
Can you hear me.
I can hear you. I'm looking for some chat.
Okay, so actually I have a couple of questions I'll read to you that came from the chat. The first one was couldn't your blood be tested for rU 486 to determine whether or not you self induced an abortion.
Because what we're working with many times are synthetic
hormones and prostaglandins they are not necessarily going to come up. In a similar way, you may not be able to determine if insulin came from a synthetic form or if it was being made by the body.
Right, exactly. Okay, thank you. And then, um, there was a question about your earrings and IUDs I don't know if you saw that. That was a funny, funny question. Right. Oh, I wish. Yes. Next question I have for you. Would you agree that all religious anti abortion arguments are actually control arguments.
Yes, I would agree that they are and it's interest because I'm talking about surveillance and surveillance is the real reason why we have the abortion climate that we do right now. And prior to the invention of the sonogram. There were very few religious prohibitions against abortion in the Catholic faith, the fetus of the infant was not considered to even possess a soul until the first movement could be felt. And in my own pregnancy I did not feel the first movement of my baby until I was 18 weeks along. So as a good Catholic technically, I would not be a sinner, if I had had an abortion prior to feeling that movement, um, in the Protestant faith, there was a very similar ideas about that. So there really wasn't a lot of religious objections to abortion, partly due to the fact that it wasn't visible without a sonogram you really can't see a pregnancy until it's much further along, and in general spontaneous miscarriage is so common, it's such a frequent experience that I think there was also just a general sense that until something is further along are actually in your arms, you don't want to count your chickens before they're hatched, and so knowing that nature can be cruel, there really just wasn't the kind of the objection to it. When we start to get the sonogram and we can see and we can visualize the fetus as basically an individual inside the body that's just stating it. That changed things quite a bit. And there was a very concerted political effort to use anti abortion sentiment to help pursue other agendas, but I don't think we would be where we were if people couldn't look and see it. And that's where the control really starts, and that's where we divided the idea that there is there's like two people who have competing interests there's a very very bad pregnant person or a mother, who has to be watched because they are not necessarily trustworthy, taking care of the separate individual that maybe we as society or a religion or a culture would do.
Understood. Thank you. Later next question is, is the Dell m a medical device or Can anyone buy it.
The Dell M is not actually a medical device Adel M is an improvised device, but a manual vacuum aspirator is a medical device, and you can buy it. I actually bought mine on Amazon. You can't buy them on Amazon anymore. Unfortunately, if you go on Alibaba. If you go on eBay you can absolutely buy a 100% legit manual vacuum aspirator just like the one I have right here. There is no need to really build anything like this, unless you were doing self help circles, or you wanted to understand it, or you didn't want understand just the nature of the simplicity of this technology, the fact that we have thousands of laws we have thousands of laws governing who can use basically a jar with tubes or a vacuum device that is this simple and it simply just proportionate to the level of technology and skill necessary. So I think it's a cool thing to build it because you can see how simple it is. And then when you look at the laws and you look at the political reaction. They just don't square up. They just don't square up there's. It's a, you want a higher risk of complications from piercing somebody's ears in your bathroom, quite frankly, because you really are kind of crossing some more blood barriers and anyways. So, it's a it's, I would say it's like you know if you have an understanding of basic safety. It's really possible.
Thank you. Next question is, do states have any different laws that might address del m and are you 46, just like access to abortion varies in different state.
Yes. If I used to say if you're using this. And you put this in someone's body you're committing a crime and all the states, this is this is a completely illegal device for anything other than making it. If you are making it for fun for decoration, totally legal. If you put this in someone's body you are now practicing medicine without a license.
In all the states if you are not
a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant or a doctor who is actually legally hired to provide it. You can't do it on your, you know, off hours. It would be illegal but different states will regulate when and how you could use it. And as far as medication. There are a lot of different laws about how long into a pregnancy they might be legal or what the procedure is for accessing them some might require the same 72 hour waiting period, some might just have a one day like drop into the clinic and go pretty quickly. Some states might require more or less invasive testing prior to taking medication abortion. So they do all have a very different set of laws and facts. I think the one. Yeah, it's another slide that's gone. I had another slide about the relative hostility, but I would say if you could go back in the talk to look at where you can see how our country has shifted, and we used to have kind of just murky similar kind of homogenous laws. And here we are 2020, and now it's very postally different. The majority of abortion providers in the country right now are in California and New York. If you're in California, you have the most progressive abortion laws in the entire country. The last legal abortion will probably be performed at like SF general or UCSF or UC Davis. Those they they are going to be doing this until they can't anymore. If you're in Texas, if you're in Georgia if you're in Alabama, you're in trouble. We have some states that only have a few clinics or a few providers at all. So it's, it's a rapidly changing landscape and very different depending on where you are.
It's true, very challenging for people that need that service for sure. All right, next question is abortion is a very difficult subject for many people. Do you have any advice on how to make opening up on this subject, easier to talk about.
One of the things that made a big difference in getting Roe v Wade passed was the sheer number of people who knew someone in their life who had an abortion. And so I think one of the first ways that we can start a conversation is to be the kind of people that someone would confide in. And, you know, that's like a whole self help kind of lifestyle thing but we all know someone who's had an abortion. And if no one in your life has ever told you that they may not feel safe sharing that kind of information. And so there's maybe not a button or a pin or anything you can do to say tell me about your abortion, but there are a lot of ways that we can be compassionate and empathetic in our conversation. Or consider it in the ways we talk about it when we see it in the news. You know, if you see a news story and you make it very clear that you're someone who believes that access to reproductive health professionals is important and should be protected. You're making it clear that you would support someone who needed to get that kind of health care. So that's, that's like the setting up a foundation. The other way that we can talk about it is, there are groups of people who are trying to do so in, you know, small groups, shout Your abortion is an organization where people who have had an abortion can get together and talk about it. And when they do so in a sympathetic room with other people who are familiar, they can practice what it is to talk about it, to see what it's like to say it out loud. Before you know maybe doing it in mixed company, or among other types of groups. Even though it can be a hard topic though, and I think we can look at the types of restrictions, and the impacts they have on people's life and point to that because that's, that's when we got Roe v Wade, people simply stopped accepting the idea that there should be negative consequences for someone who really needed to access that kind of health care. And it's weird because here it is, this is, I don't think anyone who would get an abortion would say that they are committing an act of civil disobedience, but they are in effect committing an act of civil disobedience, even if abortion is legal because we live in a climate where there is so much misinformation. There is so much hostility there is so much fear that someone who takes those risks and does that is, is committing civil disobedience and we don't think of it that way. But it makes it possible for me to say anyone who gets an abortion is brave. And that kind of bravery, always has my respect. But those stories and that knowledge are why the majority of Americans support access to abortion, we do not live in a country where people think that it should be criminal or illegal we do not live in a country where people think that Roe v Wade should go. We live in a country where people want to see it remain. And so, know that even if it feels scary or edgy, odds are likely that you're talking to someone who agrees that it should remain legal, and that you're talking to someone who agrees that it's a form of healthcare that anyone who needs it should be able to have
understood. Thank you, I, I really feel that Roe vs. vs. Wade is such an ingrained part of our society. I don't feel that there could be a reason to overturn it. Alright, let's go on to the next one. Hope has a lot of makers and people involved in device design and 3d printing. For example, the talk prior to yours was about, people about groups making personal protective equipment during the era of COVID-19. The question is, my therapy a role for makers to help to play in helping making devices like the Dell, em, available,
or the vacuum maybe.
Yeah, I would say probably like the Dell and if this is a catchphrase for, you know, any form of improvised device. This wouldn't necessarily be worth manufacturer mass manufacturing simply because its efficacy is so low, it's good for groups of people who want to learn. Um, I'll be talking a lot more about how it was used for that. But as far as something like an actual manual vacuum aspirator holy cow these things could absolutely be 3d printed, there is nothing about this that is not 3d printable. You know I can completely break this down and show you all these pieces are really easy. And, frankly, they're better off being used. Once there are places and people who are going to use something plastic like this, perhaps multiple times with different canula, um, people are using equipment unnecessarily. Or, you know, they may not necessarily be able to access as many as they have. There may be one very skilled provider in an area if you have one person who really knows what they're doing they're a medical doctor. They know this kind of health care inside and out, they may not be able, they may not be able to get as many of these as they need, or if they buy them they're going to wind up on a watch list, why do you have all of these things like that. So doing any type of manufacturing in a different way that limits that type of liability and gets it into the hands of the right people. And that's, I that's I'm really into that, you know, the DLM is in many ways it's an intellectual exercise it's an act of intellectual solidarity. This gets stuff done, real fast, especially in the hands of a doctor or nurse practitioner or someone who's done it 100 times. But the people who have done it 100 times are sometimes the last people possible who should be doing anything to put them on the radar for doing anything that may not be 100% legal, so they need people who are willing to to be there little helpers, on the side who can take different risks that they can't
use. Thank you very much for that answer. Okay, um, we're almost at a time we have two minutes left. I've got one more question for you, given that it is likely that many for many women abortion is chosen because they cannot afford the child what reasons are there to not make financial help available to help with that category of woman, avoid the abortion.
Yeah, I agree, choice is not an even playing field choice is not an even playing field. And it is a tragedy, when someone wants to have a child and they decide that they can't for something as simple as money, I. That's a loss, that is a horrible loss, and we should 100% make sure that we have financial help and resources available for anyone who wants to have a child or continue a pregnancy to term, a parenting. A adoption, or parenting. Those are options for what to do with a child who's here.
adoption is not a way to.
You can't offload pregnancy. The same way you can parenting. And so, for someone who simply does not want to be pregnant, adoption is not going to be an option or financial resources may not solve their problem if they simply do not want to be pregnant. Until the day that we have artificial wombs or we can move something like that over someone can simply say, I don't want this pregnancy. And it has nothing to do with the parenting.
Understood. Thank you, that was a very good answer. Let me follow, we're gonna wrap this up now we're out of time I've got one last question. Can you suggest some things that attendees or viewers can read watch or follow up to keep informed of developments in the post Roe versus Wade Roe versus Wade world.
Yes. Robin Marty is an author I like very much who has actually written books about a post row America, and what that will look like as these restrictions, get heavier. And in many ways. What Robin is trying to convey and part of that book is that right now we still have legal abortion into Roe v Wade, but we have such limited access that we have de facto criminalization if you don't have an abortion clinic in your state. It's just as available as it was if it were criminal, in many regards and we know that 90% of all counties in America, lack an abortion provider. So, 90% 90% of all of our counties do not have a provider about 33% of Metropolitan counties do have a provider. So it's important to follow that and see that we might still have Roe v Wade protected but we might not have any access. Even if the laws on the books so follow Robin Marty follow Robin Marty all the way. Um, sister song is another organization that is a group of predominantly women and trans gender non conforming non binary people who founded the idea of reproductive justice, instead of reproductive rights. And I think the reproductive justice framework is extremely important especially now reproductive justice says it's not just about the choice for abortion or not it's about the right to raise a child in a safe world. It's about the right to raise a child free from brutality or police violence, economic uncertainty housing instability, all of those really important components that go beyond you know yes or no for abortion for any individual, so please check out sister song please check out Robin Marty. And I also referenced some of the other books in my talk that I think are important to read about the history of underground abortion.
And, where we'll be going.
Yes, and your workshop was coming up, just about a half an hour so hopefully all the attendees will have a chance to go check that out. On behalf of everybody here at 2020, the attendees the volunteers really want to thank you very much for coming and sharing your perspective on this important topic. Thank you very much, Maggie mayhem.
I live long and prosper hope.
Right prosper. All right, take care. All right, thanks thanks to the broadcast team first take it away please.