The Iowa Supreme Court granted a stay to Planned Parenthood this week, temporarily suspending a requirement that Planned Parenthood’s Storm Lake Clinic turn over the names and addresses of all women who had a positive pregnancy test between August 15, 2001 and May 30, 2002. The state Supreme Court granted the stay in order to give time to further study the matter.
“Wholesale release of these medical records would not only violate Americans’ sacred trust in medical privacy, but will – as we are already seeing happen at the affected clinic in Iowa – deter women from seeking necessary medical care,” Gloria Feldt, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a prepared statement. “We’re confident that upon review, the Court will recognize this egregious violation of women’s right to medical privacy and will act to protect that right.”
Last month, Iowa District Judge Frank Nelson had ordered the information be turned over to law enforcement authorities by August 17, to aid officials in the investigation of a dead newborn baby boy found at a recycling center in May. Planned Parenthood filed an appeal last week, arguing that the private medical information cannot be released without consent. Despite Nelson’s decision, Jill June, head of Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, has adamantly refused to hand over the records and could face contempt of court charges – which could result in six months imprisonment or a $500 fine.