Clinic director faces jail time
July 12, 2002 | Page 2
THE DIRECTOR of Planned Parenthood in Iowa could go to jail for refusing to turn over the names of women who got pregnancy tests at the agency's clinics.
Jill June faces fines and a six-month jail sentence for not complying with a judge's order to hand over the records of more than 1,000 women who had positive pregnancy tests during a nine-month period beginning in August 2000.
Investigators are demanding the records to help them track down a woman whose newborn was abandoned in May of last year. They say that every woman who took a pregnancy test is a criminal suspect whose privacy should be invaded--whatever the consequences.
Unbelievably, prosecutors claim that "privacy" isn't an issue--on the grounds that clinic staff members aren't health care workers, so their records aren't privileged.
Three area clinics have already turned over their records, but Planned Parenthood is fighting back. "The precedence this situation could set would be devastating," said Planned Parenthood in a statement. "If women's names could be turned over to law enforcement simply for having a pregnancy test in this case, in the future, women may be too frightened to seek the medical care they need and deserve."