WASHINGTON - March 26 - NARAL Pro-Choice America, the leading national advocate for personal privacy and a womans right to choose, today praised Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as they announced introduction of the Patients Privacy Protection Act, a bill that would guarantee the confidentiality of doctor-patient privilege under federal law. The legislation follows Attorney General John Ashcrofts aggressive campaign to seize patients private medical records at hospitals across the nation.
NARAL Pro-Choice America has been closely following the Justice Departments crusade to insert itself between doctors and their patients, a violation of the right to privacy. The Administrations blatant attempt to violate the doctor-patient relationship was fully revealed when Ashcroft argued in federal court that patients, "no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential."
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Kate Michelman applauded the legislation. I am proud that Senator Clinton and Rep. Nadler are introducing this important legislation. The Bush Administrations moves threaten the confidentiality that is essential to open and candid communication between a patient and his or her doctor. I hope that both houses of Congress will move expeditiously to pass this vital legislation, and let us put this unfortunate episode behind us.
Rep. Nadler said, This administration has taken the outrageous position that womens medical records are not protected by law. The threat is clear: if the Bush administration doesnt approve of your choices, they will seize your most personal information. The law doesnt allow that, and this bill will make that clear.
Senator Clinton said, I am proud to sponsor this legislation. I believe that every American should be able to receive medical care without fear that their most private information will be seen by anyone who does not have direct involvement in their care. Unwarranted raids on personal medical records should not be tolerated by anyone, and I believe this legislation will protect all of us.