Walgreens has announced it will not dispense abortion pills in 21 pro-life states, following its receipt of a February 1 letter sent by various state attorneys general.
The letter, signed by AGs from a coalition of 20 pro-life states and sent to both Walgreens and CVS, warned that distribution of the abortion pill in their states could violate both federal and state law. POLITICO now reports that Walgreens has confirmed that it responded to each attorney general, assuring the AGs that it will not participate in abortion pill distribution in their respective states.
In a letter to all 20 AGs, Danielle Gray, Executive VP of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., verified it will not be distributing the abortion pill in 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. Not all the states prohibit distribution of the abortion pill through the mail, but many have laws requiring the abortion bill to be dispensed at a doctor’s office or in person.
Great news for AR! On Feb. 7, I sent a letter to @Walgreens stating that federal & state law prohibits mailing or dispensing abortion pills in AR. Today, Walgreens responded: It “does not” intend to dispense or ship abortion pills here. #arpx #ARnews https://t.co/xW0EIh0RTV pic.twitter.com/q2Be1AtjXw
— Attorney General Tim Griffin (@AGTimGriffin) February 23, 2023
Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin confirmed on February 23 that Walgreens has told him that it has “no plans” to distribute or ship abortion pills in the state since doing so would be contrary to state law.
“The good news is, I just got a letter from Walgreens indicating they will not and have no plans to ship abortion pills into Arkansas. This is a victory for all Arkansans. This is a victory for life, and this is a victory for the rule of law,” he announced on Twitter.
In addition, Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach also verified that Walgreens will not distribute in his state either, even though the Kansas state law requiring that women only obtain the pills directly from a physician is currently blocked in court.
“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,” Kobach said in a statement. “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.”
Like Kansas, there are several other states where abortion pill distribution would technically be legal, but Walgreens has opted out of these states in response to the AG’s request. These include Alaska, Iowa, and Montana, according to POLITICO.
“There is currently complexity around this issue in Kansas and elsewhere,” said Fraser Engerman, Walgreens’ senior director of external relations.
Editor’s Note, 3/8/23: This title and content have been corrected to account for 21 pro-life states.
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