You would think that the law that is to take effect November 1st in Oklahoma would be unconstitutional and a violation of HIPAA, but so far things are set to go ahead. Starting November 1st, any woman who receives an abortion in the state of Oklahoma will be required to fill out a questionnaire of around thirty questions and then these details will POSTED ON THE INTERNET on a public website. Questions include: date of abortion, county in which abortion performed, age of mother, mother’s race, marital status of mother, reason given for the abortion (check box options such as “mother cannot afford the child” and “mother is having relationships problems” are provided).
Lawmakers believe that since the woman’s name and address will not be posted, that they are not violating anyone’s right, but what is really the point of this law? As a public healthist, I’m all for data collection to expand our body of knowledge, but that’s not the point of this law. The point is to scare woman and to frighten them into not getting abortions because in a small town you could still figure out who had an abortion from the information that will be posted. Oddly though, the law is not being contested on privacy/ HIPPA issues, but rather procedural constitutionality, although the lawsuit is still coming from the Center For Reproductive Rights. Oklahoma seems to be the depot for the crazy train when it comes to extreme anti-choice legislation. I guess they figure that if they keep putting these type of laws through, eventually one will be able to hold water in court. Ugh.
To read the whole law, click here.