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Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s Bills to Protect Abortion and Menstrual Health Data Signed into Law

AB 352 prevents medical records of abortion care from being automatically shared out of state. AB 254 prevents apps from selling menstrual and sexual health data.

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA – Today, Governor Newsom signed AB 352 and AB 254, authored by Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan. AB 352 is a precedent-setting measure to prevent abortion information from being automatically shared via health information exchanges. AB 254 prevents period apps from selling menstrual health data.

“I’m thrilled the Governor has signed my reproductive privacy bills. Patients seeking care in California will be safer when they return home.” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) “Currently, information sharing through digital charts and period tracking, including abortions, can be seen, reported, and criminalized once patients leave California. AB 352 and AB 254 will secure this data to keep abortion seekers, providers, and helpers from being arrested.

When a patient comes to California for abortion care, they are safe within California’s borders. However, when they return home, those protections become limited. Any providers will be able to see the abortion in the patient’s digital chart. Unfortunately, some providers will report a patient to law enforcement when they see an abortion in a patient’s medical history. AB 352 prevents this situation by preventing the automatic sharing of this sensitive data, so a digital chart will not reveal an abortion procedure.

"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."

When pursuing a case criminalizing abortion, law enforcement can easily purchase or demand data revealing a pregnancy from period tracking apps. AB 254 adds these apps to the California Medical Information Act, thus prohibiting the sale and restricting the sharing of this sensitive information.

“No one should be forced to choose between healthcare and criminalization” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda). “With AB 352 and AB 254, we strengthen our protections for abortion care regardless of where a patient lives.”