Walgreens Won’t Sell Abortion Pill in 20 States

Walgreens will not distribute abortion pills by mail or in its physical locations in some states where the medication remains legal, following a warning from Republican state attorneys general.

Twenty Republican state attorneys general threatened the pharmacy chain with legal action if it began selling mifepristone, the first abortion pill in a two-dose regimen.

In a letter sent to Walgreens in February, AGs stated that federal law prohibits using the mail to send or receive any drug that will "be used or applied for producing abortion," and anyone breaking the law is guilty of a federal crime. Among the signatures are AGs from states where medication abortion is still legal, such as Alaska, Iowa, and Montana.

Walgreens responded to the AGs, saying that the company does not intend to dispense mifepristone within their states and to ship the drug from its pharmacies to other states.

In January, the Biden administration allowed certified retail pharmacies to sell mifepristone, the most popular method to terminate pregnancy in the U.S. The decision came amidst increasing restrictions on reproductive rights since the Supreme Court overturned the federal protection of abortion.

Since Walgreens' announcement, California Governor Gavin Newsom cut all ties with the company. Following Newsom's announcement, Walgreens' shares fell 1.77% on Monday.

The future of medication abortion in the U.S. is now being decided in Texas, where a federal judge is ruling on a lawsuit to ban abortion pills. Filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian conservative legal advocacy group, the lawsuit asks to reverse the FDA’s approval for mifepristone. Experts say that a decision in favor of plaintiffs could result in a nationwide ban on the drug.

The group of AGs also contacted CVS, Albertsons, Rite Aid, Costco, Walmart, and Kroger, warning about possible legal actions if they distribute mifepristone, Politico reports.

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