California to Walgreens: There Will Be Consequences

Walgreens will no longer sell abortion pills in 20 states
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2023 3:45 PM CST
Updated Mar 8, 2023 2:30 AM CST
Walgreens Bows to GOP on Abortion Pill Sales
Boxes of the drug mifepristone sit on a shelf at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala., last March.   (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)
UPDATE Mar 8, 2023 2:30 AM CST

California is responding to Walgreens' decision not to sell abortion pills in 20 states. "California won't be doing business with @walgreens -- or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women's lives at risk," the state's governor, Gavin Newsom, tweeted Monday. A spokesperson for Newsom later confirmed to Reuters that "all relationships" between California and Walgreens have been placed under review.

Mar 4, 2023 3:45 PM CST

Walgreens has announced it will not sell abortion pills in 20 states—some of which have not outlawed abortion—in response to objections and threats of legal action from Republican attorneys general. The company said it told the officials it won't sell the pills in stores or through the mail in their states, NBC News reports. The decision on mifepristone sales applies to states where abortion and the pills are legal, including Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, and Montana, per Politico. Mifepristone now is used more often to end pregnancies in the US than the abortion procedure.

Organizations such as Students for Life and the Family Research Council also have threatened Walgreens and CVS with "legal ramifications for your pharmacy" if they fill mifepristone prescriptions, as pressure on the companies has increased since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Anti-abortion groups planned protests this weekend at drugstores in dozens of states. "This is a very complex and in flux area of the law," a Walgreens statement said.

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CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, and Costco would not specify what their plans are for the pills in states where abortion is legal, per the Washington Post. CVS and Rite Aid have said they will carry them, but Rite Aid has since said it is reevaluating, citing changing laws and regulations. One of the officials who signed the letter, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, posted this week that his goal is to make sure "pharmacies throughout the nation aren't subverting state and federal statute to ship abortion pills in the mail." (More mifepristone stories.)

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