No abortion pills at Walgreens in anti-abortion states

Walgreens signage is seen at a store on Court Street on January 05, 2023 in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough in New York City. Walgreens Boots Alliance reported their first-quarter earnings beating estimates from Wall Street amid an early flu season that boosted the demand for cough and cold medicine. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Walgreens signage is seen at a store on Court Street on January 05, 2023 in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

OAN Geraldyn Berry
10:42 AM PT – Friday, March 3, 2023

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O) announced on Thursday that it will not deliver abortion medication to the states of 20 Republican attorneys general because doing so would put the pharmacy chain in danger of breaching the law.

The decision was made following the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permissing retail pharmacies to dispense mifepristone pills, including by mail, as long as they are accredited under special safety guidelines for the medication.

In a letter to Walgreens in February, almost two dozen Republican state attorneys general threatened legal action if the pharmacy chain started selling the pills, which have grown to be the most widely used way to end pregnancies in the U.S.

“There is currently complexity around this issue in Kansas and elsewhere,” Fraser Engerman, Walgreens’ senior director of external relation.

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach has said that they “will not hesitate to enforce the laws against mailing and dispensing abortion pills.” 

When several states passed laws outlawing the practice, the Biden administration took action in January to let retail pharmacists distribute the pills as part of a larger effort to maintain and increase access to the procedure.

The FDA’s ruling came after a multiyear investigation that determined the tablets could be used without a doctor’s visit and were safe to do so. State attorneys general, and pro-life organizations are contesting that finding in court.

Some chain pharmacies promptly indicated that they would participate after the FDA’s report was published, but only in places where the tablets hadn’t been outlawed or access to them had been restricted.