Walgreens said on Thursday that it will not dispense abortion medications in some Republican-led states.
But while Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach welcomed the move as a “significant victory for the pro-life cause and for women’s health,” many on the left do not feel that way as hashtags like #BoycottWalgreens and #WalgreensHatesWomen trended on Twitter from the night of the announcement till Friday.
Walgreens confirmed yesterday that it won't offer abortion pills in several states where they remain legal — acting out of an abundance of caution amid a shifting policy landscape, threats from state officials and pressure from anti-abortion activists. https://t.co/8OwV8r1E9i
— POLITICO (@politico) March 3, 2023
The company had explained that it will not distribute abortion pills to 20 states weeks after 20 state attorneys general sent a letter to Walgreens Boots Alliance Executive Vice President Danielle Gray, warning of how the distribution of abortion pills could be a violation of the law.
In the letters sent on Feb. 1, the attorneys general warned that federal law prohibits the distribution of abortion pills like mifepristone via mail. They also listed state laws that prohibit the act.
“Abortion pills are far riskier than surgical abortions, according to established scientific consensus … mail-order abortion pills also invite the horror of an increase in coerced abortions. When abortion drugs are mailed or consumed outside a regulated medical facility, the risk of coercion is much higher—indeed, guaranteed—because there is no oversight,” the letter reads.
The letters were signed by attorneys general in Missouri, Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, Louisiana, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma.
In adherence to the letters, Walgreens will desist from dispensing abortion pills and will instead seek certification to be able to supply the drugs in “jurisdictions where it is legal and operationally feasible.”
Affected states where abortion is legal include Iowa, Kansas, Montana and Alaska.
In response to the retail pharmacy chain’s move, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a boycott of the company.
“California won’t be doing business with @walgreens – – or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk,” he wrote in a tweet.
California won't be doing business with @walgreens — or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women's lives at risk.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 6, 2023