Republicans’ abortion bans are raising alarm for the parents of female student-athletes in Florida, who are asked to report their menstrual history to play sports. Because a third party has access to that info and all of the forms are subject to subpoena, parents and doctors are raising the alarm.
“The information is reported on athletes’ annual physical form, which they are required to fill out with a physician and turn in to their school’s athletic director,” the Times Union reports (subscriber only).
“The questions have been put to students across the state for two decades, most often on a written form on paper, but this fall when some districts took the form to a digital platform kept by a third party, parents and doctors began raising red flags…. All of the forms — whether paper or digital — are subject to subpoena.”
Florida female student athletes have to report their menstrual history to play: When they got their first period, when they had their last one, etc. A third party has access to that info, and parents and doctors are raising red flags https://t.co/172JNDanBL @katikokal
— Florida Times-Union (@jaxdotcom) October 4, 2022
“With reproductive privacy and parental rights over children’s data top of mind, both abortion rights advocates and concerned parents have raised alarms about the questions and how they can be used,” the Palm Beach Post reports.
They did a deep dive and note that the questions have been asked for 20 years and are marked as “optional.”
The questions are:
When was your first menstrual period?
When was your most recent menstrual period?
How much time do you usually have from the start of one period to
the start of another?
How many periods have you had in the last year?
What was the longest time between periods in the last year?
But they point out that in Florida, unlike other states, “all of that medical data is then turned over to the athlete’s school.”
Why is this data turned over to the school in the first place? No parent would be comfortable with that in the post-Roe landscape.
Republicans have been calling themselves the “Parents’ Party” and while I haven’t heard anyone outside of those paid to promote them use that term, they have been successfully weaponizing made up demons to scare parents into voting for them. Ironically, one of their big pushes is “School Choice.”
The conservative Heritage Foundation touts Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis for his “parents’ party” business for winning his race by pushing school choice.
School choice widens inequity, so naturally, Republicans are all for it.
Putting female student-athletes in the predicament of having their period information available to be subpoenaed is an abhorrent attack on liberty.
The Parents Party is causing parents deep concern for their kids.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.