Baldwin joins senator coalition asking HHS to protect women’s privacy

Baldwin joins senator coalition asking HHS to protect women’s privacy

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis, joined 29 other U.S. senators asking the Department of Health and Human Services to take action to protect women’s privacy following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

A recent letter sent to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra urged the department to strengthen enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and boost privacy protections surrounding women’s reproductive health.

The senators wrote that even before the court’s decision, states had already prosecuted women following abortions or miscarriages. Confusion among healthcare providers about privacy protections could get worse as more states pass laws regarding abortion, they warned.

“Already, some states have laws in effect criminalizing abortion providers, and some states have enacted laws that penalize anyone who ‘aids or abets’ an abortion, potentially exposing everyone from a referring provider to a receptionist to legal liability,” the letter said.

The letter also suggested that the department expand its education services and inform both healthcare providers and individuals what their rights are in regards to privacy.

The senators said it’s important to handle cases regarding reproductive health swiftly.

“Actions to prohibit abortion access and undermine health privacy are likely to have devastating consequences for women’s health,” the letter said.

HHS did not return a request for comment by deadline.

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