Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan Introduces Bill to Protect Patients and Providers Seeking Abortion Care

AB 352 prevents automatic sharing of health information related to abortion through medical settings

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA –Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has introduced AB 352, a precedent-setting measure to protect information about abortion from being automatically shared in health information exchanges between states.

“In a medical setting, people should never fear that their information will be used against them,” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan  (D-Orinda) “AB 352 prevents the automatic sharing of sensitive medical information so that anyone coming to California for care is protected.”

AB 352 ensures that sensitive medical information related to abortion and other reproductive health services is not shared through health information exchanges without appropriate guardrails. The bill requires electronic health records systems to enable the capabilities to protect this information and prevents information related to these services from being shared with entities outside of the state without explicit need to do so.

With laws around the country banning access and criminalizing abortion, automatic sharing of health records could lead to patients and providers being reported to authorities and criminalized. Patients who live in states with abortion bans are traveling to access needed care, but those patients risk their safety when they return to their home state. Patient medical records should never be used to criminalize a patient for accessing health care – and patients should not have to choose between needed health care and their safety.

"Protecting the privacy of patients who access essential health care serviceswhether that be an abortion, gender-affirming care, mental health, or another sensitive services—is crucial, especially as we see these vital services continuously attacked and criminalized in other states,” said Molly Robson, Vice President of Government Affairs at Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “We are grateful for Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s leadership in preventing breaches of patient confidentiality when health records are shared across state lines. Planned Parenthood prioritizes patients' safety and accessibility to health care services in California, as extremists in their respective states continue to use every mechanism at their disposal to limit care. This bill will provide further protections."

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