Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-07-06

Kansas Grants Access to Clinic Records, Protects Patient Information

In a unanimous ruling Friday, the Kansas Supreme Court granted Attorney General Phill Kline permission to investigate records from abortion clinics, but patients' names and personal information will be withheld from the records he sees. The case relates to 90 records from 2003 which Kline subpoenaed in 2004. Kline wanted the records to include patients’ names, medical histories, contraceptive histories, and psychological profiles, and to have his office choose a doctor who would review the files for possible evidence of late-term abortions or child abuse, according to Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report. The clinics in question, Comprehensive Health and Women’s Health Care Services, filed a brief last spring to block the subpoena. In response, Kline filed a motion saying that he did not require patients’ names. The Supreme Court’s decision means that the investigation can go on, but that identifying patient information can be withheld, and any information not related to possible legal violations must be eliminated from the records. Furthermore, an independent judge will choose a physician and a lawyer to review the records and remove identifying or irrelevant material before handing them over to Kline.

The court also decided that Kline must now face District Court Judge Richard Anderson to determine if his initial legal reasons for seeking the subpoena were valid. The clinics were pleased with the ruling, as it will allow them to protect patients’ privacy in the face of Kline’s invasive investigation, reports Kaiser.

Also on Friday, Kline testified in a federal case brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) against Kline’s stance that health care workers must report all instances of known sexual activity by people under 16. Kline argues that as Kansas law makes all sexual activity by minors under 16 illegal, all evidence of such activity should be reported as abuse. CRR considered Kline’s reasoning unduly vague, and Peter Brownlie of Planned Parenthood told the Associated Press that clinics routinely report evidence of abuse, but are not required to report consensual sex because they “are required to report only if a patient is injured.” The results of this case about reporting requirements could affect Kline’s inquiry into clinic records by establishing what constitutes evidence of reporting violations or criminal activity.

Media Resources: Associated Press 2/5/06; Kaiser 2/6/06; Kansas City Star, 2/7/06; New York Times 2/4/06


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/2/2015 President Obama Will Expand Overtime Pay to Millions of Americans - President Obama is proposing a plan this week to broaden overtime pay that is expected to affect millions of Americans in the working class, especially women. In an Op-Ed written for and published by the Huffington Post, President Obama summarized what he called a successful week for Americans. . . .
 
7/2/2015 National Portrait Gallery Honors Dolores Huerta - Feminist Majority Foundation board member and lifelong feminist activist Dolores Huerta was honored by the National Portrait Gallery last night as the first Latina person to have a featured exhibition at the museum. Huerta is an active defender of civil rights, farm workers' rights, women's rights, and immigrant rights, and has been for over five decades. . . .
 
7/1/2015 Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights - A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally. Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates. . . .