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Judge Lifts Court Order, Clinic Patient Records Protected

Two weeks after Iowa prosecutors requested the withdrawal of a subpoena demanding release of pregnancy test data from the Planned Parenthood clinic in Storm Lake, Judge Frank Nelson on Tuesday lifted the court order. Last July, Judge Nelson had ordered the clinic to provide test records as part of an ongoing police investigation to identify the mother of a newborn baby found dead at a recycling center in May. However, Planned Parenthood officialsÑarguing that test results were private medical records protected by confidentiality lawsÑfought the order and filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court. In August, the court granted a stay, temporarily suspending the handover of names and addresses of all women who had a positive pregnancy test between August 15, 2001 and May 30, 2002. Havens has expressed he would not seek another court order to obtain patient records in the future. Planned Parenthood is now seeking case dismissal from the Iowa Supreme Court.

Sources:

Associated Press 10/22/02; PPFA 10/23/02; Feminist Daily News