Walgreens Says It Won’t Offer the Abortion Pill Mifepristone in Conservative States

A few weeks after Republican attorneys general in 21 states sent letters threatening legal action against retail pharmacy chains if they dispensed the abortion pill mifepristone, Walgreens said it would not distribute the pill in those states.

In January, after the Food and Drug Administration said it would allow retail pharmacies to become certified to dispense mifepristone — the tightly regulated medication that is the first pill in the two-drug medication abortion regimen — Walgreens, CVS and other pharmacies said they planned to do so in states where abortion was legal. The American Pharmacists Association said that pharmacies would be very cautious about dispensing in any state where they might risk losing their license or face other penalties.

The decision this week by Walgreens reflects that caution. In four of the states — Alaska, Iowa, Kansas and Montana — abortion is technically still legal, but there are efforts to restrict it that would apply to abortion pills.

“This is a very complex and in flux area of the law, and we are taking that into account as we seek certification,” said a spokesman for Walgreens, Fraser Engerman.

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