Biden’s HIPAA expansion for abortion draws criticism, lawsuit threats

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Congressional Democrats say the Biden administration’s privacy rule doesn’t go far enough

There is “absolutely” a potential for legal challenges, said Roger Severino, who served as the head of HHS’ Office for Civil Rights under former President Donald Trump. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo By Alice Miranda Ollstein 07/18/2023 05:00 AM EDT Link Copied The Biden administration’s effort to wield the nation’s premier health-privacy law to protect abortion rights is under fire from Republicans who accuse the president of overreaching — and from Democrats who call it too weak. The Department of Health and Human Services is preparing to release a final rule later this year that would expand the protections of the decadesold Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act , or HIPAA, with the aim of shielding people who seek, obtain or provide abortions from red state probes — one of the most concrete steps the administration has taken to defend abortion rights since the Supreme Court ended Roe v. Wade a year ago. But conservatives, including Republican attorneys general and former Trump administration officials, say the move would violate states’ rights as well as the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision — and would be ripe for a lawsuit. There is “absolutely” a potential for legal challenges, said Roger Severino, who served as…

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