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Walgreens will not distribute abortion tablets in states the place Republican officers have threatened authorized motion — together with some locations the place abortion remains to be authorized and obtainable. The pharmacy chain stated in an announcement to NPR on Friday that it is nonetheless taking steps to promote the drug in “jurisdictions the place it’s authorized and operationally possible.”
The affirmation got here a month after 20 Republican state attorneys basic, largely from states the place abortion is banned or closely restricted, despatched letters threatening Walgreens and different pharmacies with authorized motion in the event that they allotted mifepristone, an abortion tablet.
The Meals and Drug Administration finalized a brand new rule in January permitting retail pharmacies to get licensed to distribute the drug, and firms together with Walgreens and CVS stated they’re making use of for certification. Treatment abortion — not surgical procedure — is the most typical method that folks terminate pregnancies, particularly within the first trimester, when most abortions happen.
“At the moment, we’re working by the certification course of” and never but distributing the drug anyplace, Walgreens stated in a letter to Kansas’ legal professional basic final month. “Walgreens doesn’t intend to dispense Mifepristone inside your state.”
The corporate stated in an announcement to NPR that it has responded to the entire attorneys basic to guarantee them it will not distribute mifepristone of their states.
Mifepristone — which is additionally used to ease miscarriages — remains to be allowed in a number of the states the place Walgreens will not promote it, together with Alaska, Iowa, Kansas and Montana. The scenario underscores how difficult it may be to acquire an abortion even in states the place it stays authorized.
The opposite pharmacy chains to which Republican attorneys basic despatched their letters — together with CVS, Costco, Walmart, Ceremony Help, Albertsons and Kroger — didn’t instantly reply to NPR’s request for remark about whether or not they’re contemplating following swimsuit.
For greater than 20 years, solely specialty workplaces and clinics may distribute mifepristone. An FDA resolution in December 2021 completely allowed docs to prescribe mifepristone through telehealth appointments and ship the drug by the mail.
An ongoing case earlier than a Trump-appointed federal choose in Texas seeks to problem the FDA’s unique approval of mifepristone altogether.