Walgreens Restricting Abortion Pill Sales Due to Coordinated GOP Threat

The transfer is the most recent instance of the huge chilling impact of abortion bans, even in states the place abortion is authorized.

Walgreens has mentioned that it’ll not dispense abortion tablets in states the place the drugs are authorized after Republican state officers threatened to take authorized motion towards the corporate if it started distributing the medication.

In a letter riddled with disinformation about abortions, despatched by Republican attorneys normal in 20 states to Walgreens final month, the Republicans mentioned they had been writing to “advise you of the present legislation on this altering authorized panorama,” claiming that sure “prison” legal guidelines concerning abortion tablets “deserv[e] critical contemplation” from the corporate — basically saying that the corporate might face prosecution if it started distributing the medication of their states.

“In my letter to Walgreens, we made clear that Kansas is not going to hesitate to implement the legal guidelines towards mailing and dishing out abortion tablets, together with bringing a [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] motion to implement the federal legislation prohibiting the mailing of abortion tablets,” Kansas Lawyer Normal Kris Kobach mentioned in an announcement. Abortion is at present authorized until 22 weeks previous a affected person’s final menstrual interval in Kansas.

The company confirmed to Politico on Thursday that it could not be dishing out abortion tablets in these states in shops or by mail, even in states the place abortion and abortion tablets are authorized, together with Alaska, Iowa, Kansas and Montana. In all 4 states, abortion is currently legal via most of being pregnant. Whereas all 4 states have passed restrictions on abortion pills, the tablets themselves stay authorized and a few of the restrictions have been quickly blocked by courts.

In the company’s response to the officers, a prime govt at Walgreens assured the Republicans that the corporate is conscious of the “complexity” of abortion legal guidelines and that it’s not at present dishing out the abortion drug mifepristone in any of its areas.

Walgreens’s choice might have a devastating impression on abortion entry. Elizabeth Nash, state coverage knowledgeable on the Guttmacher Institute, mentioned that pharmacies like Walgreens is usually a affected person’s closest level of care in rural areas.

“They’re denying individuals company over their lives,” Nash mentioned to Politico. “After we’re occupied with states which have a number of their inhabitants in rural areas, it’s more likely {that a} pharmacy is close by than a supplier’s workplace, so these pharmacies play an outsized function in affected person well being and entry to well being care.”

The change between Republican attorneys normal and Walgreens is the most recent instance of the extremity of the anti-abortion motion inflicting abortion entry to be curtailed even in circumstances the place the process is authorized. As abortion advocates have identified, abortion restrictions are purposefully written to be obscure and complicated, enabling the precise to solid a large internet when it comes to who anti-abortionists can threaten to prosecute in relation to abortion care.

“That is what precise fascism appears like in our company hellscape — one of many two largest pharmacy chains (they’ve about 9,000 areas) within the U.S. dashing to adjust to draconian, authoritarian guidelines that don’t even apply,” said Information for Progress fellow and lawyer Matthew Cortland on Twitter.

Cortland identified that Walgreens’s choice could have a good wider impression than it could have had if authorities officers had reined in company consolidations lately. “The very idea of a “pharmacy behemoth” like Walgreens and CVS (has a bit greater than 9,000 areas) is absurd, and is how we find yourself with large firms constraining the lives of thousands and thousands of People via company coverage of refusing to supply lawful healthcare,” he mentioned.

Past threatening the bodily autonomy of thousands and thousands of People, abortion bans have had huge results on well being care not explicitly associated to abortions.

Some individuals have reported being denied access to life-saving medications to treat unrelated illnesses as a result of the medication might trigger being pregnant issues; others have reported being denied vital drugs whereas experiencing a miscarriage, because the remedy for miscarriages and abortions could be the identical.

In the meantime, far proper lawmakers are campaigning to even additional broaden these legal guidelines, looking for to bar individuals from traveling across state lines to acquire an abortion and to curtail their ability to access details about acquiring abortions within the first place.

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