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New California Laws Enhance Reproductive Health Privacy Protections


On September 27, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a pair of bills designed to prevent medical information and other data held by California entities from being used in out-of-state abortion prosecutions. 

The first bill, AB 2091, prohibits health care providers from releasing, in response to out-of-state subpoenas, requests, or to law enforcement, medical information related to an individual seeking or obtaining an abortion. AB 2091 applies if the requesting entity or individual seeks to interfere with the person’s rights under California’s Reproductive Privacy Act, and does not prevent the disclosure of information for medical purposes. 

The second bill, AB 1242, prohibits law enforcement and California corporations from sharing information related to a lawful abortion with out-of-state entities. The office of the California Attorney General explained that AB 1242 would block other states from obtaining cell tower data from California companies to track women traveling to California to seek an abortion. In addition, the bill would prevent out-of-state agencies from serving California companies with a search warrant to procure individual users’ data, unless the investigators attest that the evidence is not related to an inquiry into abortion services.


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