Following threats of legal action and pressure from over 20 attorneys general, the major pharmacy retail chain Walgreens has confirmed that it will not dispense the abortion pill in certain parts of the country, even where abortion remains legal. In response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration certifying pharmacies to dispense abortion pills, Walgreens announced in January that it had taken steps to begin offering a prescription for the drug, resulting in backlash from various pro-life groups and nearly two dozen state attorneys general. “We have responded to the state attorneys general letter to Walgreens dated February 1 by indicating we will not dispense Mifepristone in their respective states,” Fraser Engerman, senior director of external relations for Walgreens, said in a statement. “We are not distributing Mifepristone at this time. We intend to be a certified pharmacy and will dispense Mifepristone only in those jurisdictions where it is legal.”
Recently, Attorney General Andrew Bailey of Missouri led a coalition of 20 attorneys general in sending letters to Walgreens, promising to take legal action if the company began distributing the drugs. Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach also sent letters to the major pharmacy chains and received assurance that Walgreens would not dispense Mifepristone within the state and not to mail the medical abortion pill into the state. Missy Martinez-Stone, CEO of Reprotection, a pro-life organization that investigates and shuts down abortion facilities by ensuring states enforce existing laws, said in a statement that the “abortion industry needs to realize that it’s not above the law, and states are going to fight back.” “Retail pharmacies should not be in the business of dispensing a drug designed to kill innocent human beings,” she continued. “This dehumanization of preborn children also has devastating implications for their mothers.”
The pro-life advocate contends that expanding access to chemical abortion and reducing regulations means some women could take the pill without realizing their pregnancy is ectopic, endangering their lives. Martinez-Stone also argues that a woman who lives alone could start hemorrhaging without anyone around to help her. Students for Life of America (SFLA), a pro-life student organization present on college and high school campuses nationwide, held protests at dozens of pharmacies, urging them to “opt out” of selling chemical abortion pills. “Addressing the harms of Chemical Abortion is a multi-level campaign and includes legislation, citizen petitions, education, and community activism,” Kristi Hamrick, vice president of media and policy at Students for Life Action, said in a statement. “That includes protesting at pharmacies to make it clear that opposition to abortion vendors will include community pharmacies if they deal in death by Chemical Abortion pills.”
The policy strategist shared that SFLA plans to call for an environmental assessment as a result of dumping medical waste into the water system. The pro-life group has consistently raised concerns about the potential environmental devastation caused by a woman flushing blood and human remains down the toilet after taking the chemical abortion pill. “There is nothing natural or safe about abortion pills,” Krissy Spivey said. “Essentially, you become your own abortionist, and nothing can prepare you for how traumatizing that is. “The safe place of your home becomes a graveyard. The emotional toll that it takes robs women of so much more than the life of their child. They are robbed of their safe place,” she added. According to a 2021 peer-reviewed longitudinal study conducted by the pro-life research organization Charlotte Lozier Institute, the rate of emergency room visits after a chemical abortion increased by over 500% from 2002 through 2015.
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