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Iowa Planned Parenthood exposes over 2,500 private patient records

Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa

DUBUQUE, Iowa, July 13, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Planned Parenthood left thousands of patient records behind when it closed one of its Midwest abortion facilities this spring.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland was made aware on May 6 of boxes containing thousands of patient files that it neglected to properly dispose of in its Dubuque facility after the abortion giant ceased operations there in April, according to a report from the Clinton Herald. The building’s new owner found the hard copy files that day.

Affected individuals were sent letters July 1 regarding the “potential breach of patients’ personal health information,” the abortion giant said in a statement, involving 2,506 patients with records between August 1, 2008, and April 30, 2014.

“Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is deeply committed to the privacy and confidentiality our patients have come to expect and reply upon,” Chief Clinical Officer Penny Dickey said in the news release. “We sincerely regret that this incident occurred, and are currently conducting a comprehensive examination of our processes to ensure such an incident will never occur again.”

The personal patient information that was subject to compromise as a result of Planned Parenthood’s failure to properly secure the records includes patients’ full name, date of birth, mailing address, insurance information, social security number, medical record number, diagnosis, treatment and lab results.

“PPHeartland is dedicated to securing and maintaining our patients’ trust; this incident is in no way representative of PPHeartland’s stringent privacy standards,” Dickey continued in the statement.

The Midwest office of the nation’s largest abortion provider said that as of July 1 it had “not received any indication that the information has been accessed or used by unauthorized individuals.”

While Planned Parenthood continues to insist it is a strong advocate for women and their privacy, last year hackers apparently exploited weaknesses in it its outdated web server to gain access to proprietary information, and investigations into its handling of fetal remains stemming from the undercover investigation by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) have begun to show violations of federal patient privacy and informed consent regulations. 

A recently concluded investigation of Planned Parenthood by the State of Missouri found serious deficiencies in patient record keeping.

Local pro-life leaders said the neglect in handling confidential records for its Dubuque patients is to be expected from the nation’s largest abortion business.

Planned Parenthood first tried to open an abortion facility in Dubuque roughly 20 years ago but did not succeed due to the efforts of the local pro-life community, Dubuque County Right to Life Executive Director Marian Bourek said.

And before the abortion giant did succeed in opening there about eight years ago, its leadership promised they would not perform abortions in Dubuque, something that took only a few years for Planned Parenthood to go back on.

Claims of commitment to women's needs on the part of Planned Parenthood ring hollow for Bourek then, especially in light of revelations about its operations in the last year. 

"For Planned Parenthood to have put so much effort over many years to get into Dubuque and then fail to take proper care with its clients' medical records in the course of vacating its operations I think shows us where its priorities are," Bourek told LifeSiteNews.

Such neglect of sensitive personal information demonstrates serious disregard for patient well-being, she continued. 

"I don't understand," Bourek said. "We're just happy that they're gone."

Iowans for LIFE Executive Director Maggie DeWitte concurred.

“This is another example of a long list of violations committed by Planned Parenthood,” DeWitte said.

“We have known for years the shoddy care in which woman receive through Planned Parenthood clinics, but it has only been recently with the help of Live Action and the Center for Medical Progress that they have exposed what is really happening behind closed doors,” she told LifeSiteNews. “Now, we find that they are not even upholding the basic confidential information of their patients.”  

“Planned Parenthood's main concern is about making money,” DeWitte continued. “Caring for women and families is not their top priority.”  

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