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Reps. Jacobs and Eshoo Statement on New HIPAA Rule Protecting Reproductive Health Care Privacy

Representatives Sara Jacobs (D-CA-51) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA-16) released the following statement thanking the Department of Health and Humans Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights for issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to strengthen the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to better protect reproductive health information:

“When we go to the doctor, we shouldn’t second guess or question whether our personal health information will be kept confidential and secure – especially in the post-Roe era,” said Rep. Jacobs. “That’s why I’m so glad that HHS draws on the SAFER Health Act, which I introduced with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, as a framework for this proposed rule to strengthen and expand HIPAA. This proposed rule will take important steps to protect personal health information from being shared to investigate, sue, or prosecute someone for seeking, getting, providing, or facilitating an abortion in certain circumstances. I will continue to monitor this rulemaking process and keep working to protect reproductive health care access and privacy.”

“In January, I introduced H.R. 459, the Secure Access for Essential Reproductive (SAFER) Health Act, with Representative Sara Jacobs (D-CA), to ensure that patients can get reproductive health care without fear of their medical information being used against them in court. This legislation was a model for today’s proposed rulemaking from HHS to bar HIPAA-covered entities from disclosing personal health information for a criminal, civil, or administrative investigation into someone seeking or providing a legal abortion. I’m grateful to HHS for proposing this clear and binding rule that takes steps to protect the privacy of women and doctors, and I will continue to work to strengthen HIPAA to ensure women have the right to control their own bodies and make their own health care choices in private,” said Rep. Eshoo.