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Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s Bill to Protect Data Revealing Abortion Care Passes Final Policy Committee

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

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA – Yesterday, AB 352 authored by Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has passed the its final policy committee, Senate Health with a vote of 10 to 0. AB 352 is a precedent-setting measure to protect information about abortion from being automatically shared between states via health information exchanges.

“In a medical setting, people should never fear that their information will be used against them,” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) “Unfortunately, when patients receive abortion care they now face the risk that their provider will report them to police in states that criminalize reproductive rights. AB 352 prevents the automatic sharing of this 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. Patients should not be forced to choose between health care and their safety.

"Protecting the privacy of patients who access essential health care 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."