Walgreens says it won’t sell abortion pills by mail in 20 states

One of the nation’s largest pharmacies announced Thursday that some states will no longer distribute abortion pills by mail.

In a statement to CBS News, Walgreens confirmed that it “does not dispense mifepristone at this time,” but has told 20 state attorneys general that it “does not intend to dispense mifepristone.”

Politico was the first to report on Walgreens’ decision.

A February 1 letter from Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey to the nation’s largest dispensing pharmacy company, co-signed by 19 other Attorneys General, states that the sale of abortion pills is subject to federal law and many lawmakers. It warned against violating state abortion laws. Missouri is one of the states to implement a strict abortion ban last summer after a Supreme Court ruling. Overturn the Roe v. Wade case.

Missouri plus Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Signed Attorneys General Letters of Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

In a statement to CBS News, Walgreens said it “intends to become a licensed pharmacy under this program, but will only dispense in jurisdictions where it is legal to certify.”

The decision by Walgreens was upheld by a federal judge in Texas. Plans to rule on lawsuits seeking to restrict access Mifepristone is one of two drugs commonly used to induce medical abortion.

Over half of all abortions in the United States use mifepristone.

A lawsuit filed by the Hippocratic Medical Alliance, an anti-abortion organization, seeks to revoke the drug’s approval from the Food and Drug Administration and remove it from the market. The lawsuit alleges that not enough research has been done on the safety of mifepristone.

Mifepristone can be ordered online with a prescription in states where abortion is restricted. This drug is also used to treat miscarriage.

A decision on the case now rests in the hands of a federal judge appointed by Mr. Trump.

For more than 20 years, the FDA has restricted the dispensing of this drug to a few specialty offices and clinics due to safety concerns. But since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions have eased by eliminating the need for in-person pills and allowing brick-and-mortar pharmacies to dispense them. At least one lawsuit filed by anti-abortion advocates alleges that the FDA has exceeded its authority in approving abortion drugs.

-Meg Oliver contributed to the report. Walgreens says it won’t sell abortion pills by mail in 20 states

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