Walgreens pharmacy, which recently announced it would begin distributing the abortion pill, has said that it won’t be sending the abortion pill to Kansas — thanks to a letter it received from Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach. Kobach has now also sent a similar letter to CVS pharmacy, which had also announced its intent to sell the drugs.
“[T]he law is straightforward… it is illegal to knowingly mail any ‘article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion’; it is also illegal to mail any ‘article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine, or thing which is advertised or described in a manner calculated to lead another to use or apply it for producing abortion,” wrote Kobach.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a rule change that would allow pharmacies to become certified to dispense the abortion pill. CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid all signed on to do just that, despite the grave danger it may cause to women and teenage girls.
Kobach sent the letter to Walgreens regarding the federal statute that prohibits the mailing of the abortion pill, as well as a Kansas statute that is currently under litigation which requires the prescribing doctor to be present when the abortion pill is administered or an abortion procedure is committed.
As a direct result of that letter, Walgreens said it would not send abortion pills to Kansas through the mail or in stores for the time being. But “if this approach changes, we will be sure to notify you,” it said.
Kobach said, “The pro-choice movement has always been — ‘Let’s make abortions safe.’ Well in this regard, I would agree with that, if we are going to have abortion procedures there ought to be a doctor present. It should be safe. Just dispensing pills directly and letting people administer this procedure themselves, I think is dangerous.”
He also noted, “The law is the law,” and is happy with the response from Walgreens.
Kobach followed up with a letter to CVS chief counsel Tom Moriarity as well. “As the chief law enforcement officer in Kansas, I am writing to advise you that this plan is illegal, and Kansas will not hesitate to enforce the law.”
Editor’s Note 2/27/23: This article was updated with more precise information about Walgreens agreeing not to dispense the abortion pill its Kansas locations.
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