In between patients, Dr. Leah Torres, an OB/GYN specializing in reproductive and sexual health, said something illuminating.

"We have to call out what being anti-abortion really is — it's reproductive coercion," she said. In other words, being anti-abortion is forcing someone to give birth against their will.

That's why recent moves by the UN are so important. In 2001, it declared that the ability to access abortions is a human right. It even awarded reparations to K.L., a Peruvian woman who was denied the right to an abortion after discovering her fetus had a fatal birth defect.

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When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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