Rachel Maddow reports on the state of Missouri and their taxpayer-funded spreadsheet that noted the last menstrual period of Planned Parenthood patients. Really.
November 1, 2019

Rachel Maddow took time out on Thursday's show to cover something NOT related to the unfolding impeachment drama.

There's drama, nonetheless.

It turns out the State of Missouri, whose Republicans have been working really hard to make it the first state since Roe V. Wade to have zero abortion providers, kept a spreadsheet which included the last menstrual period of Planned Parenthood patients.

It's worth noting that Roe V. Wade is the law of the United States of America, and it was decided in favor of women seeking abortions based on their right to medical privacy. Fascinating that the way Republican lawmakers have attacked women's rights is to go after that medical privacy in a taxpayer-funded spreadsheet distributed to government employees via email.

Maddow based her report on this article in the Kansas City Star:

The Missouri state health director, Dr. Randall Williams, testified at a state hearing Tuesday that he kept a spreadsheet to track the menstrual periods of women who visited Planned Parenthood, an action that one lawmaker has called on the governor to investigate...

The Missouri House minority leader has called on Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, to “immediately investigate” whether “patient privacy was compromised or laws broken” or whether Williams was a “a person who Missourians can be comfortable having in a position of public trust.”

“This is government overreach at its worst,” Yamelsie Rodriguez, CEO of Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, said in a statement. “It shadows the Trump administration’s history of tracking the periods of refugee girls under the government’s care. This is outrageous and disgusting.”

In this editorial, the Star noted that privacy is valued for everyone else in Missouri, just not women seeking reproductive health:

So in the only state in the country that does not have a statewide opioid prescription database — no way, because that might invade the privacy of patients we’d literally rather allow to die — the health department is tracking who is bleeding again and who is not.

And in a state where the idea of a gun database is such a threat to the privacy of gun owners that it’s on a Hyperloop to nowhere, bureaucrats are rifling through medical records — and really, is there anything more private? — looking for ammunition against Planned Parenthood. Who says government bureaucracy is impersonal?

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