Walgreens says it won’t sell abortion pills in 20 GOP-led states, even where it’s still legal
One of the nation’s largest pharmacies said Friday it would not dispense abortion pills in some states, including several where medical abortion remains legal.
A group of 20 Republican attorneys general warned CVS and Walgreens in a letter last month that they could face legal consequences if they sell abortion pills through the mail in their states.
The letter, of Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, was co-signed by the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
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Walgreens responded to the letter by saying it will not supply the abortion pill mifepristone in those states, Jim Cohn, a company spokesman, confirmed to USA TODAY on Friday.
The list of states in the letter includes some where abortion is legal both generally and with respect to medication abortion. Those states include Kansas, Alaska, Iowa and Montana, Planned Parenthood representatives confirmed to USA TODAY.
Cohn said Walgreens does not currently dispense mifepristone and instead intends to go through the certification process to be able to distribute the drug “in those jurisdictions where it is legally and operationally possible.”
Earlier this year, The FDA ruled retail pharmacies may become certified to dispense mifepristone and agree to accept prescriptions from certified providers if they meet standards for shipping, tracking, and confidential storage of drug prescription records
Pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreens, responded quickly by saying they intend to go through the certification process to deliver the drug in states where it is legal to do so.
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CVS did not respond to multiple requests from USA TODAY for comment about its plans to dispense mifepristone in the 20 states included in the letter.
Melissa Fowler, chief program officer at the National Abortion Federation, the professional association of abortion providers, expressed concern that pharmacies are not providing mifepristone in states where the abortion pill is legal.
“When companies give in to anti-abortion demands, it’s the patients who lose,” she said in a statement. “Too many patients have already lost access to essential health care because of state abortion bans, and we should not allow anti-abortionists to continue to gamble with people’s lives and deny them the care they need — especially in states where abortion remains legal. Every patient deserves to receive abortion care at a time and place that suits them.”
Meanwhile, abortion rights advocates wait a ruling by a federal judge in Texas which could destroy access to medical abortion nationwide, as anti-abortion groups target the decades-long government approval of a key abortion drug. Medical abortion is the most common method of ending a pregnancy in the United States
Contact Christine Fernando at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Walgreens says it won’t sell abortion pills in 20 GOP-led states