California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday that the state will not be conducting business with Walgreens after the national pharmacy chain announced it would not distribute mifepristone, an abortion pill, in 20 states due to legal threats from conservative attorneys general. In response, Newsom criticized Walgreens’ decision and stated that California will not work with any company that “cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk.” The governor’s office did not provide any further comments on the matter.
“California won’t be doing business with Walgreens or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk. We’re done,” wrote Newsome in a tweet.
Last month, a group of attorneys general sent letters to CVS and Walgreens stating that selling mifepristone would violate the Comstock Act, which makes it illegal to send contraceptives, substances that induce abortion, pornographic content, sex toys, and any written material about these items. Despite several states that signed the letter allowing abortion access, including abortion medication, Walgreens confirmed it would not sell mifepristone in those states.
Walgreens spokesperson stated that the company intends to become certified to dispense the drug elsewhere under an FDA program, but they have not done so yet. More than half of abortions in the US involve the use of mifepristone, which works by blocking the hormone progesterone that the body needs to continue a pregnancy. The drug causes the uterine lining to stop thickening, leading to the detachment of the embryo.