Updated 3/13/23 (see bottom for Editor’s Note)
Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul promised that there would be “consequences” if Walgreens refused to distribute an abortion-inducing drug in New York, according to a Friday interview on “CNN This Morning” with Don Lemon.
Hochul’s comments followed Walgreens’ decision to halt the distribution of abortion drug mifepristone in numerous Republican-led states, as nearly two dozen Republican attorneys general in February threatened Walgreens with legal action over the drug. Hochul told Lemon that pharmacies are the “new battleground ever since women’s rights were stripped in the overturning of Roe v. Wade,” noting that she was sending a preemptive message that abortion rights will be protected in New York, according to the interview.
“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 said.
Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that pharmacies would be able to dispense mifepristone. Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey led a coalition of states against the decision, insisting that they would “use every tool at our disposal to uphold the law.”
Weeks after the FDA’s decision, GenBioPro, the company that manufactures mifepristone, filed a federal lawsuit against states that blocked chemical abortions. The company argued that the FDA designation should take priority over state laws in accordance with the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
“States cannot substitute their medical and scientific judgments for judgments FDA has made, and doing so undermines not only access to medication, but the country’s entire drug regulation system,” Skye Perryman, president and CEO of Democracy Forward and counsel for GenBioPro, said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
On Monday, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California would halt business with Walgreens due to the decision to stop distributing mifepristone. Following the decision, Walgreens stock dropped by 1.77%, according to Newsweek.
“California won’t be doing business with Walgreens or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk,” Newsom said in response to Walgreens’ decision. “We’re done.”
Walgreens did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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Editor’s Note 3/13/23:
A spokesperson for Walgreens issued the following statement to New Right Network:
“We are deeply disappointed by the decision by the state of California not to renew our longstanding contract due to false and misleading information.
Walgreens is facing the same circumstances as all retail pharmacies, and no other retail pharmacies have said that they would approach this situation differently, so it’s unclear where this contract would now be moved.
Our position has always been that, once we are certified by the FDA, Walgreens plans to dispense Mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legally permissible to do so, including the state of California.
We will dispense this medication consistent with federal and state laws. Providing legally approved medications to patients is what pharmacies do, and is rooted in our commitment to the communities in which we operate.”
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