Chapter 3.2. Address Confidentiality For Reproductive Health Care Service Providers, Employees, Volunteers, And Patients
The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) Persons working in the reproductive health care field, specifically the provision of terminating a pregnancy, are often subject to harassment, threats, and acts of violence by persons or groups.
(b) In 2000, 30 percent of respondents to a Senate Office of Research survey of 172 California reproductive health care providers reported they or their families had been targets of acts of violence by groups that oppose reproductive rights at locations away from their clinics or offices.
(c) Persons and groups that oppose reproductive rights attempt to stop the provision of legal reproductive health care services by threatening reproductive health care service providers, clinics, employees, volunteers, and patients. The names, photographs, spouses' names, and home addresses of these providers, employees, volunteers, and patients have been posted on Internet Web sites. From one Web site list that includes personal information of reproductive health care service providers, seven persons have been murdered and 14 have been injured. As of August 5, 2002, there are 78 Californians listed on this site. The threat of violence toward reproductive health care service providers and those who assist them has clearly extended beyond the clinic and into the home.
(d) Nationally, between 1992 and 1996, the number of reproductive health care service providers declined by 14 percent. Nearly one out of every four women must travel more than 50 miles to obtain reproductive health care services dealing with the termination of a pregnancy. There exists a fear on the part of physicians to enter the reproductive health care field and to provide reproductive health care services.
(e) Reproductive health care services are legal medical procedures. In order to prevent potential acts of violence from being committed against providers, employees, and volunteers who assist in the provision of reproductive health care services and the patients seeking those services, it is necessary for the Legislature to ensure that the home address information of these individuals is kept confidential.
(f) The purpose of this chapter is to enable state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing the residential location of a reproductive health care services provider, employee, volunteer, or patient, to enable interagency cooperation with the Secretary of State in providing address confidentiality for reproductive health care services providers, employees, volunteers, and patients, and to enable state and local agencies to accept a program participant's use of an address designated by the Secretary of State as a substitute mailing address.
(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 380, Sec. 3.)