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The Trade-offs for Privacy in a Post-Dobbs Era

Electronic medical records' interconnectivity puts patients’ health data at risk

Michelle Gomez remembers the exact moment when she realized the problem. It was the fall of 2022. Gomez (who, like me, is a family physician and abortion provider in California) had recently provided a virtual medication abortion to a patient from Texas. The patient had flown to her mom’s house in California, where she had her appointment, took her mail-order medications and passed the pregnancy.

Back in Texas, she became concerned about some ongoing bleeding and went to the emergency room. The bleeding was self-limited; she required no significant medical interventions. Gomez learned all this the following morning.

"I sat down at my computer and saw her note from the ER," Gomez said. "And I thought, 'Oh God, if I can seetheir note, then they must be able to see my note"—a note that included prescriptions and instructions for the medication abortion. For weeks afterward, she waited for a call, fearing Texas law enforcement would come after her—or worse, after her patient.

Please select this link to read the complete article from WIRED.

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