Data practices at crisis pregnancy centers could put Minnesotans’ private health data at risk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2024

CONTACT
Noah Parrish, Communications Director
[email protected]
651.432.0171

Saint Paul, Minn.—

Last week, Jessica Valenti’s Abortion, Every Day reported on a series of Heartbeat International training videos which appear to show the anti-abortion organization revealing the names and personal health information of over a dozen women. The videos also appear to confirm that Heartbeat collects identifiable health information from clients of its affiliate CPCs and makes that data available to an unknown number of staff and volunteers for nonessential purposes.

With nearly 50 HeartBeat International affiliated clinics in Minnesota, this incident further underscores dangers associated with these centers, which are known for their deceptive practices and affiliations with the anti-abortion movement.

Megan Peterson, executive director at Gender Justice, issued the following statement:

“This health data breach highlights the urgent need for strict regulation and oversight of crisis pregnancy centers in Minnesota. These centers mislead and manipulate pregnant people under the guise of providing legitimate medical care. Now, they’ve shown a blatant disregard for the protection of sensitive personal data. We urge Attorney General Ellison to take immediate action to protect the public from these dangerous facilities.”

In April 2024, Gender Justice supported a complaint sent to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison by Campaign for Accountability against CPCs regarding their deceptive practices and data collection. Currently, CPCs are not held to the same health and safety standards as medical clinics and have no legal obligation to protect client medical data privacy. Furthermore, investigations have revealed that client data at these centers is collected and stored in a proprietary anti-abortion movement platform designed to function as one mega-database that “serves the whole movement”.

For more information on CPCs in Minnesota, please visit Gender Justice’s Designed to Deceive report, which issued an urgent warning about the role the CPC industry is poised to play in a post-Roe United States.

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