California ends Walgreens contract over abortion pill dispute

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday withdrew a $54 million contract with Walgreens after the pharmacy large indicated it wouldn’t promote an abortion tablet by mail in some conservative-led states.

Newsom on Wednesday ordered state officers to not renew a contract with Walgreens to buy specialty pharmacy prescribed drugs for California’s jail well being care system, together with antivirual and antifungal medicine and drugs used for congestive coronary heart failure. Walgreens has gotten about $54 million from the contract, which expires April 30.

Newsom’s workplace mentioned the state will purchase the medicine someplace else.

“California is not going to stand by as firms cave to extremists and reduce off important entry to reproductive care and freedom,” Newsom mentioned in a information launch. “California is on monitor to be the fourth largest economic system on this planet and we are going to leverage our market energy to defend the suitable to decide on.”

A consultant from Walgreens, based mostly within the northern Chicago suburb of Deerfield, In poor health., didn’t reply to an e mail from the Related Press looking for remark. However earlier this week, the corporate mentioned in an announcement the corporate plans to dispense the drug, known as mifepristone, “in any jurisdiction the place it’s legally permissible to take action.”

“Offering legally authorised medicines to sufferers is what pharmacies do, and is rooted in our dedication to the communities during which we function,” in keeping with an announcement posted onto the corporate’s web site.

Mifepristone is a tablet that when mixed with one other tablet will finish a being pregnant. The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration authorised the tablet in 2000 to be used in as much as the tenth week of being pregnant. Right this moment, greater than half of all abortions within the U.S. are executed by drugs, in keeping with the Guttmacher Institute, a analysis group that helps abortion rights.

After the U.S. Supreme Court docket final yr overturned the federal proper to an abortion, greater than a dozen states have restricted the usage of abortion drugs. However these restrictions are being challenged in court docket.

Attorneys normal in 20 states, largely with Republican governors, have warned Walgreens and CVS they may face authorized penalties in the event that they promote abortion drugs of their states. Final week, Walgreens confirmed it despatched a response to every legal professional normal saying it could not dispense the drug of their states.

Newsom responded to that information on Monday, posting in a message on Twitter that California received’t be doing enterprise with Walgreens “or any firm that cowers to the extremists and places ladies’s lives in danger.”

“We’re executed,” Newsom mentioned.

Shedding the California contract may have a small influence on Walgreens’ revenues, as the corporate reported $132.7 billion in gross sales for the fiscal yr that ended Aug. 31.

However for Newsom, the transfer is extra about solidifying California’s position as a frontrunner in what he has known as “reproductive freedom.”

Newsom has vowed to make California a sanctuary for folks in different states the place abortion is unlawful or severely restricted. Final yr, Newsom signed greater than a dozen new legal guidelines aiming to guard abortion rights, together with signing off on $20 million in new spending to assist pay for the journey and lodging bills for folks to return to California from different states to get an abortion.

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