Period Tracking Apps After the Overturning of Roe v. Wade & What You Should Know
Ever since the overturning of Roe vs. Wade in June, we have seen huge changes in the abortion laws of many states.
Written by Natalie Bronfine
According to Politico, “Nine states have banned abortions either in almost all cases, unless necessary to save the life of the pregnant person, or after six weeks of pregnancy — a point at which many people don’t yet know they’ve conceived. Four have abortion bans poised to take effect in the coming days and weeks. And eight states have abortion bans on their books that have been blocked by the courts.” This has enormous real-life implications for millions of uterus-holders, and one of those impacts is the use of period tracking apps.
What’s the big deal with period tracking apps?
Similar to most apps and websites we use today, many period trackers collect and sometimes sell our data. They may do this for many different reasons, Jane C. Hu explains it well: “Apps sell data to third parties, who then feed up targeted advertisements; for instance, if an advertiser knows you’ve downloaded an app designed to track cycles for pregnancy reasons, they might show you more baby product ads. According to a Financial Times analysis, knowing someone is in her second trimester of pregnancy is worth about 220 times more than the average person’s data.”
The fear is that in a post-Roe America, in a state where abortion is illegal and where there may be prosecution for the menstruator, the doctor, or anyone who helps a menstruator get an abortion, data from period-tracking apps may be used as evidence to build this case. On July 12th, the White House even said to “be really careful” using period tracking apps.
Here at Sunny, we know managing your menstruation is an important part of your day-to-day life, and we are heartbroken by this news. So, we’re here to give you all the facts and help you make the best choices for yourself and your period.
What are some safe options?
Although we understand that many members of our community may be hesitant to use period tracking apps at all during this time, we wanted to give you some options if you do not want to give up the convenience and routine of tracking your menstrual cycle on your phone.
Clue Period & Ovulation Tracker is dedicated to keep your data safe and to protect it from any authority that could use it against you. They are here to support people in the full diversity of their own individual menstrual, sexual and reproductive experience, in every way that trustworthy information can. Their website includes an Encyclopedia page dedicated to educating you about your menstrual health and periods. We love a company dedicated to making periods easy to understand and dedicated to making this information accessible. This statement by their Co-CEOs (both women!), and this article published in late June outlined their data tracking policy, and can assure you that your data is never sold, is protected by European Union privacy laws, and it details exactly where your data will go within Clue, which is really cool!
Another amazing option is Spot On by Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is a nation-wide non profit organization to provide care no matter what, where, or when to people who need it most.The cool thing about this app is that you can choose to create an account or remain anonymous. This app prides itself on being gender-neutral and inclusive, and talking about periods in a playful yet realistic way. The other great thing about this app is that because it is made by the experts at Planned Parenthood, you are able to get advice from their database of information from reproductive healthcare professionals.
We hope this information will help you make the best informed decision for your body! And if you are nervous to use an app, you can always track your period the old-fashioned way, by paper on your own calendar (stay tuned for more information on that by subscribing to our newsletter here!). Everyone’s menstrual cycle is different, and we all deserve to feel safe learning about our bodies.
Disclaimer: This information was last updated 7/16/2022 and could have changed. Also, this is an unsponsored post created solely for your information.