Texas Abortion Law

Nurses Activism

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I wanted to open up dialogue about the law passed in Texas this week. It essentially made any abortion after detection of fetal heartbeat illegal. This can be as early as 6 weeks, before the pregnant person is even aware of the pregnancy. 

I am concerned about the implications this could mean for patients who are unable to access care... 

Another question I have (help me legal side of AN LOL) is this: so part of the law says that any private citizen can sue an entity involved in aiding with an illegal abortion. This includes providers, their staff, and even the ride service driver. The private citizen does not even need to know any party involved including the person terminating the pregnancy. If they win they are entitled to up to $10k in damages... but how can you claim damages when you don't even know the parties involved (and therefore would not be impacted) by the procedure being carried out?

I hope this does not go against guidelines, but regardless of where you land politically abortion is a medical procedure and falls under the realm of healthcare and I feel like it should be discussed. 

Please keep things civil, I know this is a topic that many are passionate about. 

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice.
1 hour ago, Silver_Rik said:

You made the assertion that the Dobbs decision eliminated medical privacy. It’s not my job to prove that SCOTUS didn’t overturn HIPAA.  You’re asking me to prove a negative. 
 

But I’ll try to answer: Is there literally a single expert (medical or legal) article out there that HIPAA privacy rights have been overturned.? The Court just said that privacy rights are not protected unless explicitly protected …ie by legislation. 

The SCOTUS blew up Roe because there is no expectation for privacy as a right.  Clearly laws that punish women for a medical procedure are based in an ability to access that private information about medical care. 

2 Votes
Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired.
2 hours ago, Silver_Rik said:

Just because TX law says a private citizen can sue another for having / performing an abortion does not mean they can violate HIPAA and just snoop in your medical records to find out who had an abortion

HIPAA has nothing to do with this argument.  Your neighbor can report that you are flying to NY for an abortion and collect $10,000 just because they "heard" it.  At that point, Texas has the right to go into the accused's phone and computer to gather evidence.  The SCOTUS decision gives the state the authority to access your private data because they specifically overturned Roe v Wade's position that abortion was a private matter and therefore protected.

2 Votes
Specializes in Perioperative / RN Circulator.
42 minutes ago, toomuchbaloney said:

The SCOTUS blew up Roe because there is no expectation for privacy as a right.  Clearly laws that punish women for a medical procedure are based in an ability to access that private information about medical care. 

That’s not a necessary condition. You can volunteer the information. Example: you tell the man who impregnated you. He gets mad because he didn’t want the pregnancy terminated and sues under the TX law.  You tell your sister who you know is “pro life” but trust her because it’s your sister, but she’s so mad you had an abortion that she filed a lawsuit.  A person doesn’t need prior access to your medical records to file a lawsuit 

Specializes in Perioperative / RN Circulator.
1 minute ago, subee said:

HIPAA has nothing to do with this argument.  Your neighbor can report that you are flying to NY for an abortion and collect $10,000 just because they "heard" it.  At that point, Texas has the right to go into the accused's phone and computer to gather evidence.  The SCOTUS decision gives the state the authority to access your private data because they specifically overturned Roe v Wade's position that abortion was a private matter and therefore protected.

Does the TX law create an exception to the hearsay rule? If it was a criminal prosecution I would agree with you that the prosecution could subpoena the medical records. HIPAA allows that.  But this is a civil lawsuit and I’m not sure whether HIPAA requires cooperation in that case.  

The original argument here is that SCOTUS just eliminated all protections for private health information and that’s simply untrue 

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice.
14 minutes ago, Silver_Rik said:

That’s not a necessary condition. You can volunteer the information. Example: you tell the man who impregnated you. He gets mad because he didn’t want the pregnancy terminated and sues under the TX law.  You tell your sister who you know is “pro life” but trust her because it’s your sister, but she’s so mad you had an abortion that she filed a lawsuit.  A person doesn’t need prior access to your medical records to file a lawsuit 

No kidding? Anyone will be able to make a claim against a woman and that will stimulate a violation [BY THE STATE] of her personal information which will then allow the state to COMPELL the woman to do something with her body against her will, or punish her if she does not comply. 

How much history have you read?

1 Votes
14 minutes ago, Silver_Rik said:

That’s not a necessary condition. You can volunteer the information. Example: you tell the man who impregnated you. He gets mad because he didn’t want the pregnancy terminated and sues under the TX law.  You tell your sister who you know is “pro life” but trust her because it’s your sister, but she’s so mad you had an abortion that she filed a lawsuit.  A person doesn’t need prior access to your medical records to file a lawsuit 

Now you’re just reaching.

1 Votes
18 minutes ago, Silver_Rik said:

But this is a civil lawsuit and I’m not sure whether HIPAA requires cooperation in that case.  

The original argument here is that SCOTUS just eliminated all protections for private health information and that’s simply untrue 

How can they not? The plaintiff will have to have some shred of proof about said procedure.   Thereby violating the defendants privacy rights 

Oh just saw that, sorry Rose ? 

Specializes in Perioperative / RN Circulator.
40 minutes ago, HiddenAngels said:

Now you’re just reaching.

Fair enough, they are a stretch but it doesn’t mean the law authorizes snooping in your medical records. Has anyone actually brought a lawsuit yet under this law, what was their relationship to the patient?

Specializes in Perioperative / RN Circulator.
7 hours ago, HiddenAngels said:

How can they not? The plaintiff will have to have some shred of proof about said procedure.   Thereby violating the defendants privacy rights 

 

Again, just because TX passed a law that says you can sue for this doesn’t mean they can violate the privacy of patient medical records to find people to sue. 
 

or I should say they can violate privacy but it won’t protect them from federal law

Scenario: Nosy Nursewell RN starts going into records of women seen in her employers OB/GYN practice looking for women she suspects had abortions so she can file lawsuits.  Is she protected from being sued, prosecuted, fined, etc for violating HIPAA?  NO. 
 

 

2 hours ago, subee said:

HIPAA has nothing to do with this argument.  Your neighbor can report that you are flying to NY for an abortion and collect $10,000 just because they "heard" it. ...

Not quite accurate as one doesn't "collect $10,000" for reporting someone for having an abortion.  Rather, someone who believes an abortion has occurred can "sue clinics and others who violate the law," and if successful in their suit be awarded a settlement of $10,000, or more.

2 hours ago, subee said:

... At that point, Texas has the right to go into the accused's phone and computer to gather evidence. ...

Source?  

2 hours ago, subee said:

... The SCOTUS decision gives the state the authority to access your private data because they specifically overturned Roe v Wade's position that abortion was a private matter and therefore protected.

Again, would you provide a source for this?  It was my understanding that the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision ruled that there wasn't a constitutionally protected right to abortion, and that in those states in which abortion is still legal it remains a private matter.  

1 Votes
Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired.

Some aspects of the civil lawsuits that can now be instituted in Texas.  Note the possible exceptions to HIPAA if any person on the planet decides to expose a physician or a patient:

How the Texas abortion law may actually be enforced - ABC News (go.com)

1 Votes
Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development.

Moderator note: Several related posts from another, unrelated topic have been relocated to this thread.

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