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Roe Ruling Sparks Balancing Act on Privacy Legislation Approach

June 29, 2022, 9:30 AM

Democrats and civil rights advocates are maneuvering on how to tie abortion rights to the protection of sensitive data—but not jeopardize Congress’s efforts to pass landmark bipartisan privacy legislation.

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade thrust data protections into the limelight, as browsing histories, online medical records, and location data could be used to incriminate people seeking abortions. Some Democrats have sought to use the Supreme Court’s decision to fire up their base and get support for partisan data legislation—but others worry about torpedoing privacy negotiations in Congress that rely on Republican support.

Lawmakers broke years-long gridlock ...