California Governor Gavin Newsom has cancelled a state contract with a major US pharmacy chain because it refuses to dispense abortion pills in as many as 20 other states with strict abortion laws that make it illegal to do so.
He directed a state department to axe the A$80 million contract with Walgreens to supply prescription drugs for California’s prison system.
Governor Newsom accused Walgreens of cutting off critical access to reproductive care and freedom and putting women’s lives at risk, even though it doesn’t impact on his state.
“California will not stand by as corporations cave in to extremists. California is on track to be the fourth largest economy in the world and we will leverage our market power to defend the right to choose,” he stated.
Walgreens said it was “deeply disappointed” by the decision which it blamed on ‘misinformation.”
“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,” a spokesman said.
He told The Christian Post that the corporation has always maintained that it would dispense the abortion pill in any jurisdiction where distributing the drug is “legally permissible,” including California, once Walgreens obtains certification from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“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,” the spokesman added.
Previously, Walgreens responded to a letter from 20 Republican state attorneys general vowing to take legal action if the company began dispensing the abortion pill in their state, by indicating that it would not do so.
In an opinion piece, the The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board writes that: “The California Governor seems to think he can dictate policy in the other 49 states. Businesses don’t deserve to be attacked for trying to comply with state and federal laws. This distinction is lost on Mr. Newsom, who wants to impose California’s values on the rest of America. He’s also banned travel by state employees to states with religious liberty protections.”
It said that Walgreens is just “trying to navigate a complicated legal and political thicket” after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and returned abortion regulation to the states.
“Maybe he [Governor Newsom] hopes that bullying businesses and other states will distract from California’s problems. It’s no wonder so many businesses are leaving the state,” the opinion concluded.
Pro-life advocates have warned that allowing major pharmacy retail chains to dispense the abortion pill threatens the lives of women and their unborn children.
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America reports that data collection on abortion in the US is “abysmal,” criticising the FDA for deregulating the drug when there is a lack of proper reporting on complications.
It argued that reduced medical supervision surrounding the pill could increase a woman’s risk of experiencing health complications.
“There’s a lot of opportunity here for misuse, including a woman not correctly anticipating the gestational age of her baby,” one of its directors warned.