Daley to introduce legislation to protect privacy of pregnant people
HARRISBURG, Feb. 15 – State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, plans to introduce legislation barring crisis pregnancy centers from sharing personal and health data gathered without permission from individuals. The legislation comes following an addendum to a 2021 report on CPCs and their use of taxpayer dollars to fund their operations.
The addendum, released today, outlines the sophisticated collection of personal and health data being used to surveille pregnant people after going to a CPC. Since these centers typically do not provide any true medical services, they are not subjected to current laws surrounding patient privacy.
“Now that we’ve seen citizens-turned-vigilantes empowered to take those seeking reproductive health care to court in other states, this mining of personal information can open the door for personal attacks on pregnant people looking for help,” Daley said. “Regulations must be put in place to protect the personal information of those who interact with a CPC.”
According to the newly released report, CPCs are collecting information from individuals and sending it to the larger network of facilities. Daley says these “digital dossiers” could be used to prosecute women in a post-Roe world, as well as actively try to influence a person’s decision over reproductive health care.
“These regional and nationwide groups are taking sensitive information and disseminating it through their networks to potentially intimidate those just looking for help and who may have nowhere else to go,” Daley continued.
A recent decision by the Office of Open Records revealed CPCs are risking people’s privacy rights in Pennsylvania. CPCs sent records that included people’s names, along with the services they received, to the taxpayer-funded CPC network Real Alternatives. This information could identify a person’s pregnancy status, sexual history, or STD information.
Daley circulated a co-sponsorship memorandum today and plans to introduce legislation in the coming weeks.