State governments look to protect health-related data amid national abortion battle

By DJ Mara 

Photo courtesy of MGN

State governments are looking to keep individuals’ health-related data private as the reproductive healthcare battle continues across the county.

According to, federal law prohibits medical providers from divulging health data without a patient’s expressed consent, but the law does not prohibit tech companies from tracking individuals’ locations and selling it to data companies. 

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022, 14 Republican-controlled states have enacted abortion bans with restrictions at every stage of a woman’s pregnancy. Conversely, many Democratic states have passed laws enshrining reproductive rights into law.

Advocates note that if this data is not protected, anti-abortion ads could be sent to individuals who visit healthcare centers such as Planned Parenthood. 

Virginia State Senator Barbara Favola noted in an Associated Press article, “The next step to enforcing an abortion ban could be accessing menstrual health data, which is why I’m trying to protect that data.”