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Representative Sara Jacobs is most likely the first person to publicly talk about her period on the floor at the US House of Representatives. She discussed using a period-tracking app, and how there are plans for companies to sell that information and other reproductive details.
The My Body, My Data Act will stop that from taking place, protecting the info women create and provide to those apps from being data that’s offered to the highest bidder.
Not only are there concerns about the data being sold to companies that want to use it to sell products, but the data may also be weaponized against women. One of the ways that could be done is by noting when a woman had her last period, therefore calculating whether she might be pregnant.
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, many women are working much harder to protect their reproductive health and safety. Having their data sold to others could stop them from protecting themselves the way they would like, and could put them at risk for forced child-bearing due to a lack of abortion opportunities.
Rep. Jacobs and others like her are beginning to speak much more openly about their reproductive and fertility journeys, in order to reduce the stigma surrounding this type of information. Additionally, the goal is to bring the issue to light that periods and other reproductive information are protected medical knowledge.
Period-tracking apps are used for a variety of reasons, and one of those reasons shouldn’t be for the government to track women with the goal of stopping abortions, IVF, or other personal choices.
Passage of the act will reduce the risk to women, and stop others from getting access to this data. Women’s reproductive health is personal to them, and should only be shared with permission. Talking to their partners or their doctors is far different from allowing the government access to that same data.
The My Body, My Data Act will not only protect women from this kind of intrusion, but give them peace of mind for the apps they use to track cycles and related information in the future.
At The Surrogacy Law Center in Carlsbad, California, we work to help protect our clients’ rights related to egg, sperm, and embryo donation, and in surrogacy arrangements, keeping state and other jurisdictional laws at the forefront. To learn more and to speak with an assisted reproduction attorney, contact us today!