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HHS Patient Privacy Rules Will Not Protect Minors’ Abortion Records

In a statement from the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced the Bush administration would uphold a rule passed by the Clinton administration that would require doctors to obtain patients’ consent before releasing patients’ medical information to a third party. However, Thompson will modify that rule to allow parents to obtain their children’s medical records, including information about abortion, mental health or drug use. Eliminating minors’ medical privacy could have a devastating effect, forcing women under 18 to seek out unsafe, undocumented methods of terminating their pregnancies.

Sources:

Kaiser Reproductive Health Report Ð April 16, 2001; Health and Human Services Press Release Ð April 12, 2001