Missouri's top health official admitted last week to using menstrual data from Planned Parenthood in St. Louis to track patients who had failed abortions. Medical ethicist Art Caplan spoke to Boston Public Radio Wednesday about the safeties and protections violated by this monitoring.

"This is the unbelievable story of the year and it got no attention — a government official monitoring women's menstruation cycles, driven by abortion obsessions in the state of Missouri, to see who had an abortion," Caplan said. "This is as close as you could get to China and the 'one baby' policy and forcing contraception or abortion on somebody."

This major overstep of privacy should alarm people of all political backgrounds, Caplan said.

"I can't believe we're not all screaming all day long about this government official prying into personal health of women in this way," he said. "This is major constitutional stuff. We have to be vigilant here, and whatever your position is on abortion, you don't want to let government come in and monitor you in the bedroom or privacy in your own home."

Caplan is the Drs. William F and Virginia Connolly Mitty Chair, and director of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center. He’s also the co-host of the Everyday Ethics podcast.