Oklahoma abortion law to put patients’ details online

Age, race and previous pregnancies to be listed on website

Chris McGreal in Washington
The Guardian [UK]
Sunday, 18 October 2009

Women seeking abortions in Oklahoma are to be forced to reveal an array of personal information, such as the state of their relationships, how many children they have and their race, which will be posted on an official website.

Abortion rights groups say the new law is intended to intimidate women because, although it does not require them to reveal their names, other information to be made public will sometimes be enough to identify them.

The move, which takes effect on 1 November, comes after a judge struck down a law that would have forced women to undergo an ultrasound and to listen to a doctor’s description of the embryo or foetus before a termination.

Abortion rights groups have filed a lawsuit to try to block the new law, which requires women seeking abortions to provide doctors with answers to 34 questions including their age, marital status and education levels, as well as the number of previous pregnancies and abortions. Women are required to reveal their relationship with the father, the reason for the abortion and the area where the abortion was performed.

Doctors are obliged to pass the information on to the Oklahoma health department, which will post it on a public website.

The article continues at The Guardian.

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