"A new emergency number is required in the post-Roe world" - Kleiman and Lopez

July 27, 2022 Michigan Advance

Legal confusion in the wake of the Supreme Court's overturn of Roe v. Wade is engendering fear in women who may have miscarriages, Molly Kleinman, managing director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy program, and William Lopez, affiliate faculty at Poverty Solutions, write in Michigan Advance. They argue that, "Police collect or have access to unprecedented amounts of individualized data about people. Dystopian nightmares about how law enforcement might use 911 call information alongside other kinds of personal data to arrest and prosecute people they suspect of having abortions are entirely plausible." 

One solution is to create an alternative emergency number, which has been used in other communities that fear calling 911, such as when immigrant communities call support numbers in which social workers, advocates, translators and community members will respond instead of police.

They conclude, "The best way to improve access to emergency medical care and keep people out of the criminal legal system is to prevent them from being swept up into it in the first place. That means providing a way to get help that will not end up in a police database, such as a separate emergency number operated outside of law enforcement departments."