A 17-year-old girl was arrested and prosecuted for alleged abortion crimes after a detective in Norfolk, Nebraska subpoenaed Meta for her information, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.

The investigation began in late April this year after the detective received a tip that the accused had miscarried and her mother helped her bury the body. The tip alleged that a “juvenile female” had prematurely given birth to a stillborn child. 

Following this information, the detective obtained her medical records to find that the girl was 23 week pregnant. When he confronted the mother and her daughter, the 17-year-old revealed that she had miscarried in the shower, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. The two put the stillborn child’s body in a plastic bag and buried it on someone’s property. 

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the mother and her daughter were charged with  removing, concealing or abandoning a dead human body and for concealing the death of another person; and false reporting. However, the investigation wasn’t complete, because the detective served Facebook a search warrant,  reasoning that he needed the evidence from the company to determine whether the “baby was stillborn or asphyxiated.” He found that the two had communicated about aborting the baby.

Also Read: Why Silicon Valley has been silent on Roe v. Wade

Using the information they found from Facebook, the detective obtained another search warrant for their home, where 13 laptops and phones, including 24 GB of data including web histories, messages and images extracted from their mobile devices. 

It is worth pointing out that the 17-year-old may have allegedly aborted at 28 weeks. Nebraska has a 20-week limit on abortion, after which abortions can only be done if there is “serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.” The state’s stance on abortion has also not been changed since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Additionally, the case had begun before the reversal of the ruling. 

Also Read: How Silicon Valley responded to Roe v Wade overturning

The historic ruling which granted abortion seekers federal protection was overturned on June 24, 2022, with many states having ‘trigger’ laws in place to immediately make the procedure illegal. 

Silicon Valley on the other hand was largely quiet as companies released non-committal statements saying they’d fun healthcare out of state for employees while also ensuring they would be able to take leave. 

On the other hand, companies in the Valley fretted over having to hand over user data but that is most likely to be a smokescreen from them. For three years until 2020, Amazon partially complied with 75% of data requests made of them.

Also Read: Roe v Wade: Silicon Valley braces for pregnancy data requests

On the other hand, companies like Google have said that they will be taking steps to automatically delete any mention of abortion related activities. Then again, most companies in Silicon Valley had not outright said that they will refuse to comply with data requests. Seems like Meta is in the latter camp.