Florida teen athletes are asked to report periods to third party, sparking concerns over privacy, anti-trans attacks

The measure has been deemed intrusive by parents who fear the reports could be used against female athletes in a post-Roe v Wade world

Andrea Blanco
Wednesday 05 October 2022 20:07 BST
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High school athletes in Florida are being asked to fill out a new form that has sparked concerns over privacy, and potential anti-trans sentiments.

The Florida High School Athletic Association has introduced an online form that asks female students willing to participate in sports various questions about their menstrual cycles. The questions include when they first had a period, what is their latest period, and how long their cycle usually lasts, The Palm Beach Post reported.

While the questions are optional, the measure has been deemed intrusive by medical professionals and parents who fear the reports could be used against female athletes in a post-Roe v Wade political scene. Although Florida previously included the questions in paper forms, students will now be asked to fill out the form online, meaning that the information will go to a third party that is not operated by a medical care provider, and won’t be protected by HIPAA.

The third-party, software company Aktivate — which has only been operating for a year — could be subpoenaed by a court of law to hand over the student’s responses in every category of the form.

Transgender activists have also voiced concern over the questions, saying they could be used as a weapon to out transgender students to school officials, who have access to the information. Currently, trans students in Florida are banned from playing in teams divisions of the gender they identify with due to a law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in June.

School districts in the Sunshine State have previously received information regarding athlete’s periods, although most states only collect a signature from the physician, according to the Post. The information is helpful for doctors to assess the overall hormonal health of teen females.

The newly introduced online format has bolstered parents’ fears that the information could be mishandled in a state in which abortion is banned after the fifteenth week, or barely after three missed periods.

“I don’t think it was our intent for this information to be shared with anyone else,” a physician who served on a national committee that wrote a similar form, told the Palm Beach Post. “The bottom line for the coach is: ‘Are they clear or not?’ The rest of the information is between the athlete and their family.”

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