New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) threatened the Walgreens Corporation during a CNN interview with host Don Lemon, claiming that if the pharmaceutical company removed the abortion drug mifepristone from its shelves in New York, there would be “consequences.”
Hochul’s remarks came after the company announced it would not provide the abortion pill through pharmacies in over 20 states.
Twenty Republican attorneys general, led by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, sent a letter to Walgreens, threatening to “use every tool” at their disposal if the company distributed the pills.
In response, Walgreens assured the officials that it wouldn’t sell abortion pills in their states.
“CNN This Morning” host Don Lemon featured Hochul as a guest on his show and asked her to comment on Walgreens’ decision. Before the interview, Lemon read a letter by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who urged the company to distribute the drug in her state.
The letter read, “Even as access to this medication is under threat elsewhere for political reasons, we remind you that New York’s law is simple: Abortion is legal and protected as a fundamental right under state law and there are no legal barriers to dispensing mifepristone in New York pharmacies.”
Lemon began the discussion by asking Hochul why she is urging Walgreens to distribute abortion pills if abortion is legal in New York.
Hochul responded by saying that she must protect “women’s rights.”
“We have to because basically pharmacies have become the new battleground ever since women’s rights were stripped in the overturning of Roe v. Wade last June,” she said.
“So we want to make sure we send a preemptive message that despite the threats that you are seeing receiving from Republican attorneys general, that here in states like New York these rights are protected,” she continued.
“We’re gonna go to the mat and protect them every inch of the way, and if they try to suspend the distribution of this important drug to women in the state of New York, there will be consequences,” she added.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul is promising “consequences” if Walgreens doesn’t sell abortion pills.
Why is it her job to tell a private company what they can and can’t do?
— Proud Elephant 🇺🇸🦅 (@ProudElephantUS) March 10, 2023
Lemon followed up by asking Hochul if she is worried that her move to allow the distribution of abortion pills can compare to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), “influencing how businesses operate” in his legal fight with the Disney Corporation.
Lemon pointed out that “Democrats have been very critical” of DeSantis for his actions.
“There is no comparison. This is not a launch to a political campaign. This has nothing to do with politics. This is basic women’s health care,” Hochul responded.
“We want people to make sure that they know that this is a sacrosanct right here in the state of New York. It once was in our nation until the Trump-stacked Supreme Court stripped these rights away from women and I want to make sure that despite what happens in other states there is not a distraction. These rights are protected in the state of New York,” she added.
On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, finding that the “right to abortion” is not stated in the Constitution. Its decision sent the issue of abortion to the states.