Abortion Pill

California gov slams Walgreens as company vows to follow abortion pill laws of 21 states

UPDATE, 3/8/23: Shortly after California Governor Gavin Newsom made his remarks against Walgreens and a boycott of the company began, Walgreens tweeted out the following:

3/7/23: Days after it was announced that Walgreens will honor abortion pill laws restricting its distribution in 21 pro-life states, California Governor Gavin Newsom blasted the pharmacy giant, accusing it of  “caving to right-wing bullies.”

In a Monday afternoon tweet, Newsom wrote, “California won’t be doing business with @walgreens — or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk. We’re done.”

News station KRON4 reached out to Newsom’s office for further clarification, and was given the following statement:

California is reviewing all relationships between Walgreens and the state. We will not pursue business with companies that cave to right-wing bullies pushing their extremist agenda or companies that put politics above the health of women and girls.

Last week, Walgreens announced that it had “no plans” to distribute the abortion pill in 20 states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. The attorneys general of those states had previously sent a letter to the company, warning it that abortion pill distribution within their jurisdictions could violate both federal and state law. Walgreens sent a separate letter to the attorney general of Kansas stating that it would not dispense the abortion pill in that state either.

Thus far, Newsom has declined to further outline what he means when he says that he will cease doing business with the retail pharmacy, though some have questioned if it means he will force its pharmacies to close, and what that means for citizens in rural areas who may be left without a pharmacy if that happens.

This is not, however, the first time that a California entity has threatened a boycott over pro-life laws. In 2019, a San Francisco ordinance banned employees from traveling to or doing business with any pro-life state. City leaders are now considering repealing the ordinance, calling it “costly and ineffective.”

“It’s an ineffective policy that complicates the business of San Francisco government and makes it very likely that we pay more than we should for goods and services,” said city Supervisor Rafael Mandelman.

Editor’s Note 3/8/23: The title of this article was changed and information was added to reflect that there are 21 states in which Walgreens will not dispense the abortion pill. 

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