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Biden administration unveils privacy rule for women seeking abortions across state borders

Biden administration unveils privacy rule for women seeking abortions across state borders
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Apr 23, 2024 12:39 AM

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration introduces new regulations to protect women’s privacy when traveling for legal abortions outside their home states

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration unveiled a new regulation on Monday aimed at safeguarding the privacy of women who travel outside their home states for legal abortions, amid concerns over potential prosecution upon their return.

The announcement underscores the escalating significance of reproductive rights in the upcoming November presidential election, following a landmark court ruling that nullified or significantly restricted legal abortion in 21 states.

“No one should have to live in fear that their conversations with their doctor or that their medical claims data might be used to target or track them,” emphasized Melanie Fontes Rainer of the Office for Civil Rights during a briefing with reporters.

The regulation prohibits the disclosure of private health information sought to investigate individuals who seek or obtain lawful reproductive health services, extending its reach to healthcare providers as well.

Rainer urged women who suspect a violation of their privacy rights to step forward and file a formal complaint.

The Health and Human Services agency received nearly 30,000 public comments before finalizing the rule, which bolsters the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996.

In 2022, conservative jurists appointed during former President Donald Trump’s tenure played a pivotal role in dismantling decades of legal precedent that upheld the constitutional right to abortion, inciting widespread condemnation.

Since then, women residing in states under Republican control have encountered obstacles in accessing reproductive care, including services for non-viable pregnancies and in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:44 PM