Florida High School Athletic Association removes all questions about menstruation from required medical evaluation form

CNN Newsource Pristine Villarreal

(CNN) — [Breaking news update at 1:09 p.m.]

At an emergency meeting Thursday, the Florida High School Athletic Association approved a proposal to remove all questions about menstruation cycles from medical forms required to participate in high school sports in the state.

The new form will go into effect for the 2023-2024 school year and will be available starting this spring.

[Previous story, published at 12:40 p.m. ET]

The governing body of Florida high school athletics is holding an emergency meeting Thursday to reconsider a proposal that would require athletes to submit details of their menstrual cycles on medical forms needed for participation in school sports.

The Florida High School Athletic Association has faced months of criticism since proposing the change in policy, which would require athletes to report their menstruation history yearly.

At the emergency meeting, the FHSAA will consider a new proposal from the association’s chief executive officer, Craig Damon, to remove all questions about menstruation from the student forms, prevent schools from obtaining that detailed medical data, and have it instead retained by medical providers and parents, according to an online agenda. Only one page of the full form would need to be submitted under Damon’s proposal.

“The intent of this proposal is to provide an updated … form which protects a student-athletes’s privacy while including pertinent medical information a health care provider at a member school would need access to,” the agenda item says.

The meeting comes after more than two dozen Florida lawmakers protested the proposed requirements in a letter to the FHSAA earlier this week. “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.

More than 40 states require or request data about menstrual cycles from high school athletes, according to Outsports, the LGBTQ athletic website that conducted a “state-by-state examination of publicly available ‘preparticipation physical evaluation’ forms” to compile the data.

But the debate over privacy has become more pointed since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and concerns rose that states could potentially use the information on menstrual cycles to prosecute women who seek or have abortions.

Florida has a 15-week abortion ban that does not allow exemptions for rape, incest or human trafficking. It also has laws restricting transgender athletes’ participation in high school and college athletics.

The FHSAA assists its 800 member schools, both public and private, with athletics programs. More than 800,000 student-athletes fall under its governance.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends menstruation data be collected to help medical providers evaluate students, it also says the full medical data should not be shared with schools or sports organizations.

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