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Women's reproductive clinic seeks to shield medical records

A clinic that provides birth control and abortions has sued to block the state Health Department's attempt to review medical records for 224 patients.

The center says the Ohio Department of Health sought access to the records of every patient who visited the center in May and June as part of an investigation of an undisclosed complaint.

The Central Ohio Women's Center argues in the federal lawsuit that releasing the records could violate federal medical privacy laws.

The center is affiliated with Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio.

Health Department spokesman Jay Carey says the agency routinely reviews medical records when inspecting facilities it licenses while still protecting privacy.

He couldn't discuss details of the Women's Center case. Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)