A few days ago, I blogged about a case in Kansas where the Attorney General interpreted a law prohibiting sex with minors under the age of 16 as requiring doctors to report any sexual activity by people under 16 to the state authorities. Recently, the Kansas Supreme Court issued an opinion, Alpha Medical Clinic v. Anderson, strongly limiting the Attorney General’s reporting requirement. Relying in significant part on Whalen v. Roe, 429 U.S. 589 (1977) (discussed in depth in my earlier post), the Kansas Supreme Court reasoned:
It is beyond dispute that the State has a compelling interest in pursuing criminal investigations. . . . And an individual’s right to informational privacy is not necessarily “absolute; rather, it is a conditional right which may be infringed upon a showing of proper governmental interest.” . . . . Also, the fundamental right to obtain a lawful abortion may be regulated as long as the regulation does not constitute an undue burden. . . .
Our evaluation necessarily involves weighing of these competing interests, including the type of information requested, the potential harm in disclosure, the adequacy of safeguards to prevent unauthorized disclosure, the need for access, and statutory mandates or public policy considerations. See Lawall, 307 F.3d at 790 (citing United States v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 638 F.2d 570, 578 [3rd Cir. 1980]). . . .