The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Rejoinds on Menstrual History in a Form for Athletic Admission and Evaluating Students’ Athletic Performance
The Florida High School Athletic Association’s board of directors has voted 14-2 to remove questions about high school athletes’ menstrual history from a required health form for participation in high school athletics.
The intent of this proposal is to update a form that protects student athletes privacy while giving a health care provider access to pertinent medical information.
“The rights of all girls in sports, including their right to privacy, must be respected as afforded in the State of Florida’s Constitution,” the legislators wrote.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that menstruation data be collected to help medical providers evaluate students. The group said the information would be used in evaluating the patient’s eligibility to participate in sports.
The physical evaluation part of the form asks about menstruation, as well as when and how many times you’ve had one in the past year.
Information on menstruation may be necessary for a medical evaluation because an irregular menstrual cycle can be a sign of pregnancy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says. Irregular cycles can also be a sign of lower estrogen levels that may contribute to bone loss, the organization says.
The debate over privacy has become more serious in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the ban on abortion.
It’s against the law in Florida to have an abortion for 15 weeks, even if it’s rape or incest. It also has laws restricting transgender athletes’ participation in high school and college athletics.
Brittany Frizzelle is an organizers at the Power U Center for Social Change in Miami, and she is worried that the information will be used to target trans athletes.
The Florida High School Athletic Association says they’ve based the new form on recommendations from groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics. Officials with the FHSAA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“We’ve had a lot of effort to make sure that parents have control over their child’s education,” she says. “I think it’s very important that parents also have autonomy over a child’s private health information, and it shouldn’t have to be required to be reported to the school.”
During the emergency meeting Thursday, the association’s attorney read public comments into the record for about an hour. The comments were against making athletes report those details due to privacy concerns.