Tennessee Wants To Publish Abortion Patient Information

Tennessee Republicans are pushing forward a bill in the state House of Representatives that would require the state to publish the names of each doctor who performs an abortion and detailed statistics about the woman having the procedure. It’s a dangerous step toward an eradication of any privacy or doctor/patient confidentiality and one that can threaten the lives of both women and medical providers.

The Life Defense Act of 2012 is sponsored by Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) and mandates that the Tennessee Department of Health make detailed demographic information about every woman who has an abortion available to the public. The information that would be published includes her age, race, county, marital status, education level, number of children, the location of the procedure and how many times she has been pregnant. Each report would also identify the doctor who performed the procedure.

So far sponsors are not commenting on the bill and have not addressed how this procedure would square with patient privacy protections afforded under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, (HIPPA) the federal law that offers significant protections of individually identifiable health information.

Maybe that’s because they know the bill, as proposed, is in clear violation of HIPPA or maybe that’s because such a violation never occurred to them.

The House Health and Human Resources Committee is expected to vote on the bill Wednesday and is expected to pass the Republican controlled House. Since Republicans also control the Senate absent some intervening circumstances the bill is expected to pass the Senate as well.

The purpose of this bill is clear as is the Republican agenda: make access to abortion as dangerous as possible and drive it underground. This bill does nothing but make women and providers targets for violence and offers no public health policy purpose at all. It’s a clear violation of federal health privacy protections and sends the dangerous message that it is open season on women and abortion providers.

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Photo from mandiberg via flickr.


David L.
David L.4 years ago

Elaine A. STILL has her purloined photo' of an apparent young Drew Barrymore as her avi'...

I wonder if Ms. Barrymore is aware yet of that misappropriation??


Michael Anda
Michael Anda4 years ago

Why don't you cry about it, Saddlebags?

LD B.4 years ago

None of us have time for your silly antics at any time, a point seemingly lost on you.


Michael Anda
Michael Anda4 years ago

I don't have time for your whiney antics tonight, LD B. Sorry.

LD B.4 years ago

Trolls aren't human life either; and, yet, they post here.

Michael Anda
Michael Anda4 years ago

A vasectomy is not a human life.

Nancy H.
Nancy H.4 years ago

Not only is this one of the most stupid ideas I've ever heard, it's also dangerous. Just because you might not agree with abortion, it is a woman's right to do whatever she feels is best for her. I'm fairly sure that if someone tried to tell a man that he couldn't get a vasectomy, he would tell them to shove it and then go and have it done. Also, posting the doctor's name and address could be very dangerous if some deranged person decided to use a bomb or automatic rifle to stop him from performing abortions. Republican politicians need to get a clue. We're not going to put up with having our rights and liberties taken away.

Michael Anda
Michael Anda4 years ago

Just the stats, Ma'am. Just the stats.

Morgan S.
Morgan S.4 years ago

Now I know why one of my friends daughters are asking if they can get mastectomies and have their ovaries taken out and they haven't even reached puberty yet!

Margaret C.
Margaret C.4 years ago

Hey, why don't we just give up our right to privacy?! That would make a lot of nosy, control hungry men happy! I guess you'll want to see the results from our pap smears next! Or every operation we've ever had, or maybe every little detail about our menstrual cycle (oh, sorry, men are too squeamish for that)! Why don't we do a little digging and find out what's in these politicians secret closets - expose them an their families, then maybe they would shut up when someone finds out that one of their daughters had an abortion, or got some std from someone, etc. Then they can see how the shoe fits when its on their foot, all their privacy blowing in the wind!