No federal pregnancy registry. That’s not what bill says | Fact check

Gun Rights

play
Show Caption

The claim: New bill would make women register pregnancies with federal government

A May 11 Instagram post (direct link, archive link) includes a picture of Republican Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama.

“Alabama Senator Katie Britt just introduced a bill to create a federal DATABASE of all pregnant women in America,” the post reads.

Versions of the claim spread widely on Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly Twitter, accumulating thousands of likes and shares.

More from the Fact-Check Team: How we pick and research claims | Email newsletter | Facebook page

Our rating: False

The claim is baseless. The “More Opportunities for Moms to Succeed Act” would, in part, create a government website with resources for pregnant and postpartum women. Pregnant women would not be required to visit the website or give their contact information to the federal government, and the website would not solicit information about a user’s pregnancy status. 

‘At no point’ would website ask users if they’re pregnant

The social media claims are a “distracting scare tactic” that aren’t supported by the actual text of the bill, said David Smolin, a law professor at Samford University’s Cumberland Law School. 

The bill’s text as published on Britt’s Senate site says it would amend the Public Health Service Act with several provisions. They include the creation of Pregnancy.gov, a government website that would have a “federal clearinghouse of resources for expecting moms” and a questionnaire to direct users to resources in their area. 

It also says users could consent to sharing their contact information – it specifically mentions a phone number or email address – for future outreach from the Department of Health and Human Services for additional resources.

The bill, which has been referred to committee, does not mention surveilling women or tracking their pregnancies, as social media posts claim. 

“At no point is information regarding a website user’s pregnancy status even solicited under the bill,” said Britt’s spokesperson Sean Ross, who described the claims as “intentionally, flagrantly false.” 

Fact check: WHO hasn’t demanded surveillance powers; claim distorts proposed pandemic treaty

He said the bill would not change existing federal privacy laws or Health and Human Services regulations that protect individuals from unnecessary government intrusion into their medical information.

The resource database would include services for childcare, financial assistance, legal support and health care, according to the bill. There are restrictions on what types of vendors will be included, however.

“No entity will be listed in the clearinghouse that ‘performs, induces, refers for or counsels in favor of abortions,’” Ross said.

Such vendors are defined as prohibited in the bill text. Ross added that there is an existing government website for reproductive rights and health care that would be unchanged by the legislation. 

USA TODAY previously debunked a false claim that Trump told Time magazine he’d force government monitoring on “every pregnant woman” if elected in 2024. 

USA TODAY reached out to users who shared the post for comment.

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, who shared a version of the claim on X, told USA TODAY Americans have “no guarantee how they’ll actually use the information” and compared it to the National Rifle Association’s opposition to doctors asking about patients’ gun ownership. 

“The implication is always that the information will be used for nefarious purposes,” Watts said.

Our fact-check sources:

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or e-newspaper here.

USA TODAY is a verified signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network, which requires a demonstrated commitment to nonpartisanship, fairness and transparency. Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Meta.

You Might Like

Articles You May Like

Americans’ denial about Trump’s authoritarianism is deeper than ever
Clive Myrie: ‘Mass shootings undermined my love for the US’
Trump trial live updates: Michael Cohen concludes testimony as prosecution rests in case
President Obama Signs Executive Order Limiting US Gun Owners to Three Guns – ABC News
Another week, another Trump flirtation with fascism

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *