For immediate release: March 28, 2024


Today, a diverse group of 20+ reproductive rights, racial justice, and digital rights groups released a letter urging CVS and Walgreens to protect patients’ privacy and stop sharing their health data with law enforcement without a warrant. 

This letter comes on the heels of the news that both pharmacies, starting this month, will make the abortion pill mifepristone available with a prescription at pharmacy counters in selected states. The groups applauded this development that would contribute to safe, reliable, and increased access to abortions and much needed reproductive health care. However, the groups highlighted concerns for patients’ privacy given the December 2023 reports that pharmacies across the country are giving law enforcement agents access to patient health records without a warrant and without the knowledge or consent of the patient. These concerns are amplified by the backdrop of the ongoing Supreme Court case that could have significant consequences for the availability and use of the abortion medication mifepristone. 

These organizations, in the letter, point out that “patients have a right to privacy of their medical data and a right to know who is accessing their health information. As healthcare professionals, you need no reminding about the sensitive nature of medical records. They contain very personal, revealing information about the health and lives of your patients—their medical conditions, allergies, past procedures, family history, chronic issues, and more. This information should be confidential and protected. Granting law enforcement access to these records poses a risk to everyone whose records you hold, and more so to individuals who might obtain abortion medication from you.”

The letter urges both CVS and Walgreens to take necessary action to ensure patients feel safe and protected by insisting on a warrant from law enforcement agencies demanding patient data; pressing law enforcement agencies to go to court to enforce any demand for information; seeking legal advice before handing over medical information, and notifying concerned patients about data requests. 

Signatories to the letter are: Access Now, Carolina Abortion Fund, Demand Progress, Digital Defense Fund, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Kairos Fellowship, MediaJustice, Mozilla, National Abortion Federation, New America’s Open Technology Institute, Our Justice, ProgressNow New Mexico, Reproaction, Reproductive Health Access Project, Restore The Fourth,, Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, The Woodhull Freedom Foundation, UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, Upturn, We Testify.  Click here to read the full letter.