“With privacy, it’s like, once it’s out, it’s out,” Professor Meiklejohn said.
dr. Rebecca Gomperts, a physician and the director of Women on Waves, a nonprofit that provides resources to abortion seekers, found this to be the case when she tried to set up her own crypto wallet. “It had exactly the same due diligence requests as a normal bank account, where you have to provide IDs and other information,” she said.
She could see how anonymous transactions could appeal to abortion providers, whose work she could soon turn into legal targets. But, she said, “I haven’t found a cryptocurrency where you can do that.”
Legal scholars are not convinced that cryptocurrencies would protect patients in most cases. Abortion bans “cover everything, whether you pay cash or crypto,” said Rachel Rebouché, the interim dean of Temple University Beasley School of Law and an author of an upcoming paper called “The new battleground for abortion†
“If abortion is illegal in your state — it doesn’t matter if you get a surgical abortion, or a drug abortion, whether you arrange your abortion yourself — if it’s illegal, it’s illegal,” said Kimberly Mutcherson, a dean and professor of law at Rutgers Law School, which has focused on reproductive rights. (22 states were introduced in the first three months of this year) more than 100 restrictions on abortion pills approved by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research group that supports abortion rights.)
Still, organizations like Planned Parenthood are open to how they can raise and distribute money.
Alexis McGill Johnson, the organization’s president and chief executive, said Planned Parenthood is “exploring a number of things” in the cryptocurrencies field, but would not reveal any details.
“The bottom line is that all options are on the table,” she said.