Top US pharmacy halts sale of abortion pills in 20 states

Oluwanifemi Ojo
Oluwanifemi Ojo
Walgreens Boots Alliance

The nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain, Walgreens Boots Alliance, stated on Thursday that it will halt the sale of abortion pills owing to legal warnings, policy changes and anti-abortion activists’ pressure.

POLITICO reported that about 20 Republican state attorneys general wrote to Walgreens in February, threatening legal action if the Pharmaceutical company starts distributing abortion drugs.

According to the Walgreens’ senior director of external relations, Fraser Engerman, in an emailed statement to Bloomberg News, the company will stop dispensing mifepristone in those states.

This decision followed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permission to retail pharmacies to administer mifepristone pills, including by mail, provided they are licensed in accordance with certain safety guidelines for the medication.

Fraser also said the pharmacy’s decision was “in response to a letter from the attorneys general. Walgreens intends to become a certified pharmacy and would only dispense in jurisdictions where it was legal to do so.”

Walgreen informed POLITICO that it had now replied to each official, assuring them that they would not be dispensing abortion drugs in those states, either by mail or at their physical sites.

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach said in a statement, “In my letter to Walgreens, we made clear that Kansas will not hesitate to enforce the laws against mailing and dispensing abortion pills, including bringing a RICO action to enforce the federal law prohibiting the mailing of abortion pills.”

He then appraised the company for yielding to the legal directives saying, “Evidently, Walgreens understood that my office was serious about this. I’m grateful that Walgreens responded quickly and reasonably and intends to comply with the relevant laws.”

It was also reported that the rate of medication abortion has drawn more attention after the Supreme Court reversed the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which had established abortion as a national constitutional right.

Mifepristone, a medicine that stops the progesterone hormones needed for a pregnancy to continue. It is combined with another drug, called misoprostol. These medications are approved for abortion within the first 10 weeks of conception.

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