If your request for your medical records was denied before the statute is up (say, your abortion was 4 years ago, and the law requires doctors to keep your records for 7 years in the state where you had your abortion) and clinic personnel claim your records have already been shredded, explain that you know the law in their state requires them to still have the records and you plan to take legal action if your records are not given to you. (Visit the State Laws tab on the left to see what the law is for how long a clinic must hold on to your records).
If your request for your medical records was denied after the statute is up (say, your abortion was 10 years ago, but the law only requires doctors to keep your records for 7 years in the state where you had your abortion), you have the right to a written explanation from the clinic that did your abortion as to why your records request was not accepted. If your records request is denied, the doctor must tell you in writing (by letter, fax, or e-mail) if they deny your request for your medical record. They must tell you: 1) why your request was denied, 2) if you have a right to have their decision reviewed, 3) how you can file a complaint.
Usually, the doctor must give you this information within 15-90 business days (depending on the state where your abortion was performed) after receiving your records request.
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