Planned Parenthood Wins Appeal to Protect Patients' Privacy
Court Defends Confidential Medical Records
Indianapolis, IN — Today the Indiana Court of Appeals granted Planned Parenthood of Indiana's request to block State attorney general Steve Carter from seizing confidential medical records while Planned Parenthood's appeal is pending before the Court. Planned Parenthood of Indiana sued the attorney general in the Marion County Superior Court after receiving requests last spring for more than 80 patient files. That court refused to block the Attorney General while Planned Parenthood's case proceeded, and Planned Parenthood has appealed that refusal. This ruling means that the attorney general cannot seize records while Planned Parenthood's appeal is heard.
"We are pleased that the Court of Appeals has recognized the extraordinary value of medical privacy by protecting the doctor-patient relationship at the heart of health care with this decision," said Betty Cockrum, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana. "We will continue to use all legal remedies to turn this interim stay into a permanent end to this fishing expedition, and to defend the privacy of all Hoosiers."
"The public can count on Planned Parenthood to take very seriously the law regarding reporting abuse and neglect," Cockrum added. "Our staff is well-trained to identify cases of abuse and we work diligently with local law enforcement and Child Protective Services to protect young women and men in need."
Planned Parenthood supporters across the nation have been watching this case, and advocates for reproductive rights have been mobilizing political support in an attempt to prevent future privacy invasions.
"Our patients place immense trust in Planned Parenthood as their provider of vital health care services," said Planned Parenthood Federation of America Interim President Karen Pearl. "Extremists have been urging attorney's general across the country to replicate what has happened in Indiana. We must be vigilant about the disturbing national trend of invasions into medical privacy."
Since 1932, Planned Parenthood of Indiana has provided education and medical services, including Pap tests for cervical cancer, breast exams, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. In 2004, Planned Parenthood of Indiana served a total of more than 130,000 clients. Its 39 health centers served more than 108,000 patients who made more than 320,000 total medical visits. In addition, more than 22,000 clients were served through educational programs.
June 14, 2005