NARAL: 'Repealing Net Neutrality Is a Direct Threat to Reproductive Freedom'

NARAL graphic about net neutrality / Twitter
November 21, 2017

NARAL Pro-Choice America on Tuesday tweeted an article that said repealing net neutrality qualifies as "a direct threat to reproductive freedom."

In the article on Vice’s tech site Motherboard, author Kaleigh Rogers accuses telecom companies of trying to "censor abortion rights campaigns" and refers to NARAL's arguments. Rogers argues that the if the internet is "limited in any way," then women’s access to abortion could be affected.

"Repealing #NetNeutrality is a direct threat to reproductive freedom," NARAL's tweet reads. "Without it, our access to information about how to obtain an abortion or other #reprohealth services could be compromised."

Her evidence that telecom companies could have pro-life bias rests on a 2007 case of Verizon preventing NARAL from carrying on a text-message campaign—a decision Verizon reversed. Nonetheless, Rogers quotes NARAL’s Kaylie Hanson-Long saying that corporations could "be damaging to women" if net neutrality were lost.

"We know that these days so many corporations have their own perspectives that can really be damaging to women, to our movement," Hanson-Long said.

The article also links to a NARAL blog post that called on a coalition of left-wing groups to unite around net neutrality because of its supposed importance to political organizing. From NARAL’s Medium page:

We use it so often, that it’s easy to often forget how important the open and free internet is to all of us. A lack of net neutrality would prove devastating for progressive organizers, activists, and for our right to access vital, accurate reproductive health information. Without net neutrality, internet providers could control what we see and do online, giving wealthy, conservative anti-choice groups the upper hand. We cannot let them get the upper hand — and that’s why we’re working to stop them before they even have the opportunity.

The free and open internet is how we connect with one another every single day, and it’s proven to be a great equalizing force — particularly for those in marginalized communities, which use the internet as a platform to speak for themselves. This issue is much bigger than just one organization and impacts millions of lives. We’re proud to join forces with the ACLU, DailyKos, MoveOn, Women’s March, Fight for the Future, Free Press and so many others to ensure that our demands are not ignored.

NARAL has tweeted in the past about how "reproductive freedom" is inextricably linked to all manner of other issues. In August NARAL tweeted, "There is no economic security without reproductive freedom."