Thursday 6 October 2022 12:46 PM Florida's high schools share details of female athletes' menstrual cycles with ... trends now
Female athletes in Florida high schools who are asked to report information about their periods and menstrual cycles on their annual physical forms will now have their sensitive medical data farmed out to a third party.
Florida's school system has for decades required all student athletes to complete an extensive paper form with a physician on an annual basis to ensure they are fit and healthy to play, but unlike other in states, this information is shared with school administrators.
Female athletes are also asked to complete five questions - marked as optional - about their menstrual history.
But the digitization of the data collection process via third parties in some schools has raised concerns that students' sensitive medical history will be collected and shared without parental consent.
In the wake of the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion rights advocates are incensed that the data, which can be subpoenaed, could be used to prosecute female students if they terminate a pregnancy. Abortion in the state of Florida is illegal after 15 weeks of gestation.
The move has triggered outrage among parents, doctors and activists on both sides of the aisle who believe female students' right to privacy - and governance over their own body - could be compromised.
Student athletes in Florida are required to complete this Florida High School Athletic Association form on their physical and mental health in order to be eligible to play
Female athletes are also asked to complete five questions - marked as optional - about their menstrual history
Some fear trans students the policy may be used to target trans students after Florida governor Ron DeSantis (pictured) signed a bill banning trans athletes from playing women's sports
But the digitization of the data collection process via third parties in some schools has raised concerns that students' sensitive medical history will be collected and shared without parental consent (stock image)
'I don't see why [school districts] need that access to that type of information,' Dr. Michael Haller, a pediatrician in Gainesville, told The Palm Beach Post, adding that he has 'very little reason to have faith in our state leadership' to keep data provided to educational institutions private.
'Last time I checked, tracking your period wasn't necessary to play sports,' California congresswoman Sara Jacobs posted on Twitter.