Sam Begland


In the wake of the United States Supreme Court's devastating decision to strip Americans of their constitutional right to abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, data privacy is more salient than ever. Without adequate data regulations, state governments and anti-abortion activists alike can harass and prosecute pregnant people attempting to exercise their bodily autonomy. This comment argues that the United States has violated its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Article 17 by failing to protect against interference with the use and collection of reproductive health data. Further, this comment analyzes interpretations of Article 17 to show that the United States is allowing arbitrary intrusions of privacy. Because the United States must act to comply with the ICCPR, this comment recommends that (1) the United States create and enter into regional data privacy regulations, (2) the United Nations Human Rights Committee update General Comment 16 to Article 17 to reflect technological advancements in data collection, and (3) the United States enact domestic legislation addressing reproductive health data and data privacy generally.