The fight over the meaning of a Victorian-era law could mean everything for reproductive freedom.
April 17, 2023
Two months before a right-wing judge in Texas threw the legal status of the abortion pill mifepristone into limbo, a group of red-state attorneys general ganged up on executives at CVS and Walgreens, trying to stop them from filling prescriptions for the abortion medication through the mail. In a letter citing a federal law that hadn’t been enforced for half a century, the lawyers warned the chains of future criminal prosecution—never mind that mifeprisone has been FDA-approved for decades and used to end the pregnancies of over 5.6 million US women.
March 17, 2023
By Mary Ziegler
The corporate culture wars have reached a turning point: A number of companies that once championed social justice and equity seem to be beating a hasty retreat.
Walgreens is trapped in a political firestorm. The pharmacy chain, which had sought certification so its stores could fill prescriptions for the abortion medication mifepristone, announced last week that it will not dispense the pill in the 21 states where Republican attorneys general have threatened legal action. Walgreens, which said it came to this conclusion before the threats began, won’t dispense the drug in several G.O.P.-controlled states where abortion remains legal. There was a swift backlash, with Gov. Gavin Newsom announcing that California would not renew a multimillion-dollar contract with Walgreens and others calling for a nationwide boycott. The hashtag #boycottwalgreens has taken off on Twitter.
A list circulated in January by the distributor to Walgreens and CVS underscores the uncertainty surrounding abortion pills in the post-Roe era.
By Rachel M. Cohen
Updated Mar 17, 2023
Earlier this month, Politico broke news that Walgreens, the nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain, assured 21 Republican attorneys general that it would not dispense abortion pills in their states should the company be approved to dispense them. The decision was met with sharp protest by Walgreens customers, abortion rights activists, and Democrats, who accused the pharmacy of caving needlessly to pressure.
But fear of state prosecution is not the only factor shaping Walgreens’ decision-making. Another previously unreported constraint on the company is that its sole supplier of Mifeprex — the brand-name drug for the abortion pill mifepristone first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000 — circulated a list to its corporate clients in January naming 31 states that it would not supply the abortion medication to. Vox spoke with two sources who had reviewed that list recently.
March 7, 2023
Last week, Walgreens said it will not distribute abortion pills in states where Republican officials have threatened legal action. Now a blue state says it will cut ties with the pharmacy giant because of the move.
"California won't be doing business with @walgreens – or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women's lives at risk," Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote in a tweet yesterday with a link to news coverage of Walgreen's decision.
BY: BEN BOTKIN
FEBRUARY 16, 2023
A group of 23 attorneys general have written to CVS and Walgreen, expressing their support for the sale of two abortion pills by mail.
The drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, require a prescription but are considered safe for performing an abortion at home. The pharmacies’ decision will provide millions of people access to the “critical — and sometimes lifesaving — medicine,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a letter sent Thursday to the two pharmacy chains.
By Jacqueline Howard, CNN
Thu January 5, 2023
After a change to US Food and Drug Administration rules, major pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens say they plan to seek certification to distribute abortion pills where legally allowed.
The FDA said on its website Tuesday that pharmacies that become certified to dispense mifepristone, which may be used in a medication abortion, can do so directly to someone who has a prescription from a certified prescriber.