Attorneys general from 20 states sent a letter on February 1 to CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, warning them that distributing the abortion pill via mail could violate state and federal laws and there could be ramifications should they proceed to send abortion pills in this manner.
The coalition of signees was led by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey. Co-signers were from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.
“[M]any people are not aware that federal law expressly prohibits using the mail to send or receive any drug that will ‘be used or applied for producing abortion,’” the AGs warned in the letter.
“Although many people are unfamiliar with this statute because it has not been amended in a few decades, the text could not be clearer: ‘every article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion … shall not be conveyed in the mails.’ And anyone who ‘knowingly takes any such thing from the mails for the purpose of circulating’ is guilty of a federal crime,” they wrote.
The letter also reiterates the many dangers that come with the abortion pill, especially when it is distributed through the mail:
Abortion pills are far riskier than surgical abortions, according to established scientific consensus: ‘Medication abortions were 5.96 times as likely to result in a complication as first-trimester aspiration abortion. Abortion pills carry the added risk that when these heightened complications invariably occur, women suffer those harms at home, away from medical help. And finally, mail-order abortion pills also invite the horror of an increase in coerced abortions.
When abortion drugs are mailed or consumed outside a regulated medical facility, the risk of coercion is much higher — indeed, guaranteed — because there is no oversight.
Nineteen states, including Missouri, currently have restrictions on abortion pill distribution. In a statement to The Associated Press, Bailey affirmed that he would uphold his state’s laws, which currently protect most preborn children from abortion with a few rare exceptions.
“I will enforce the laws as written,” he said. “That includes laws protecting the health of women and their unborn children. The FDA rule is in direct violation of federal law, and the unelected bureaucrats at the FDA have no authority to change Missouri law, either. The people’s elected representatives have spoken on the issue of abortion in our state, and we will fight to uphold that in court.”
The letter, which was sent directly to CVS and Walgreens, follows a January 13 letter that attorneys general from 22 states sent to the FDA, asking them to reverse their decision which loosened restrictions and allowed abortion pill distribution directly through pharmacies.
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