The government of Poland, where a near-total abortion ban is in place, faced accusations Monday of creating a “pregnancy register” as the country expands the amount of medical data being digitally saved on patients, AP reports.
Women’s rights advocates and opposition politicians fear women face unprecedented surveillance given the conservative views of a ruling party that has already tightened what was one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws.
They fear the new data could be used by police and prosecutors against women whose pregnancies end, even in cases of miscarriage, or that women could be tracked by the state if they order abortion pills or travel abroad for an abortion.
“A pregnancy registry in a country with an almost complete ban on abortion is terrifying,” said Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, a left-wing lawmaker.
The matter gained attention Monday after Health Minister Adam Niedzielski signed an ordinance Friday expanding the amount of information to be saved in a central database on patients, including information on allergies, blood type and pregnancies.
The health ministry spokesman, Wojciech Andrusiewicz, sought to allay concerns, saying only medical professionals will have access to the data, and that the changes are being made at the recommendation of the European Union.