As you know, FFC has been up in arms over Oklahoma’s Statistical Reporting of Abortions Act–an unprecedented, unbelievably ridiculous invasion of female privacy, as well as a bureaucratic nightmare for providers.
I fear, however, that much of the hullabaloo over this bill is off base. Worse, I am fairly certain that the provisions of the bill that have received most of the attention are red-herrings. Yes, the bill mandates that providers ask women invasive questions and that the data they collect be submitted to the Oklahoma Department of Health Services. Yes, this creates an undue burden on providers and is just plain rude. Especially since there is no place on the form for women to say, “I am having an abortion because I want to and because you don’t get to tell me what to do with my uterus!”
BUT. Contrary to much of the uproar, the data collected will not be made available to the public via the web. In fact, the text of the bill specifically says that the site must be secure enough to ensure that only certain people have access to it. Given that the state will likely argue for a compelling research interest in collecting the data, my guess is that HIPPA challenges to the bill will fail.