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Menendez, colleagues reintroduce My Body, My Data Act to protect reproductive health data

NEW JERSEY – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) joined a dozen Senate colleagues in reintroducing the My Body, My Data Act – legislation to create a new national standard to protect reproductive and sexual health data by minimizing the information collected and retained, and preventing that information from being disclosed or misused.

“Following the Supreme Court’s misguided decision in Dobbs, extremists have escalated their all-out assault on the constitutional rights of women,” Menendez said. “This common-sense legislation is about protecting a woman’s right to access reproductive health care without the fear that their reproductive health data can be used against them. As members of Congress, we have a responsibility to fight tooth and nail to protect the private health data of patients and defend a woman’s freedom to choose.”

Since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, 19 states have total or near total abortion bans—putting people who are getting, seeking, or facilitating reproductive health care at risk that their digital footprints will be weaponized against them.

Currently, few protections exist to prevent personal reproductive health data, or information about people seeking reproductive health services, from being collected, retained, or disclosed to third parties.

The My Body, My Data Act would address this problem by:

  • Limiting the personal reproductive and sexual health data that can be collected, retained, used, or disclosed to only what is needed to deliver a product or service;
  • Protecting personal data collected by entities not currently covered under HIPAA, including data collected by apps, cell phones, and search engines;
  • Requiring regulated entities to develop and share a privacy policy outlining how they collect, retain, use, and disclose personal reproductive health information;
  • Creating a private right of action to allow individuals to hold regulated entities accountable for violations;
  • Providing additional consumer protections, including the right to access, correct, or delete personal data;
  • Including a non-preemption clause that allows states to provide further protection for reproductive and sexual health privacy.

In addition to Sen. Menendez, the legislation was also cosponsored by Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.). U.S. Representative Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.-51) introduced companion legislation alongside 91 members of Congress in the House of Representatives.

The bill was also endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), NARAL Pro-Choice America, Physicians for Reproductive Health (PRH), National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), National Abortion Federation, Catholics for Choice, National Council for Jewish Women, Feminist Majority, Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE), and Indivisible.

Sen. Menendez is a long-time supporter of a woman’s freedom to choose. Earlier in May, he joined 254 members of Congress in submitting an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the case of Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, urging the Court to reverse the district court’s stay on the FDA’s more than 20-year-old approval of mifepristone. He also joined his colleagues in reintroducing legislation to protect medical providers in states like New Jersey – where abortion care remains legal – from Republicans’ attempts to restrict their practice and create uncertainty about their legal liability.

In April, Sen. Menendez also led a group of Senate colleagues in introducing the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act that would ban false advertising related to abortion services by Crisis Pregnancy Centers. He is also an original cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2023, federal legislation to guarantee access to abortion, everywhere across the country and restore the right to comprehensive reproductive health care for millions of Americans.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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