The state seeks to learn the identities of patients visiting abortion clinics, a breach of women’s privacy
New regulations about to become reality in Virginia would allow government agents to demand a list of every woman visiting an abortion clinic — even if she changes her mind. The rules, expected to be adopted today by the Virginia Board of Health, are even more shocking, appalling and intimidating than lawmakers’ scuttled plan to require pre-abortion probes of women’s vaginas.
Under proposed permanent regulations, government “inspectors” will have the power to demand a year’s worth of patient lists from women’s health clinics that perform abortions. The state collects data in the aggregate on medical procedures, but names, addresses and phone numbers are not collected for other treatments, including for infectious diseases. There is no reason for the government to read an individual’s medical chart or to have a seat in a patient examination room, yet Virginia officials are granting themselves this right.