CV NEWS FEED // Walgreens this week responded to a letter led by the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and co-signed by CatholicVote President Brian Burch. While Walgreens acknowledged it intended to seek certification to sell the abortion drug mifepristone, the retail pharmacy giant suggested it would stop short in states where pro-life laws forbid such sales.
The news comes just months after the Food and Drug Administration informed retail pharmacy companies that the Biden administration was now inviting them to become certified to sell the controversial abortion-inducing drug Mifepristone.
“While Walgreens publicly expressed its intent to become a certified pharmacy under the Food and Drug Administration’s (‘FDA’) program, the company has made clear that it only would do so consistent with all applicable laws, and as a result, would not be able to dispense Mifepristone in all locations,” stated Walgreens Senior Vice President and Chief Global Affairs Officer Chuck Greener in his response to Perkins’ letter. “Additionally, Walgreens has not made any representations about using the mail to dispense this drug. Currently, Walgreens is not dispensing Mifepristone in any of our locations.”
“The language of the letter seems to indicate that they plan to honor the laws of pro-life states, which itself is a subtle rejection of the spirit of Biden’s new FDA rule,” said CatholicVote Director of Government Affairs Tom McClusky. “The whole point of the Biden administration using the FDA to push pharmacy companies to sell this dangerous drug was to railroad pro-life state laws in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision ending Roe v. Wade.”
McClusky also noted it was significant that Walgreens took the time to so thoroughly respond when confronted by pro-life Americans.
“Given that these companies receive thousands of letters/mailers and calls a week, the fact that Walgreens sent such a carefully written response back to our letter is a good sign,” McClusky said. “Pro-life Americans need to understand that this means they’re listening, and making our voices heard matters.”
So far it appears that Walgreens is the most responsive to public pressure out of all the big pharmacy chains in the United States. “Their attentiveness to pro-life pushback shows that our letter, and the continued public messaging and peaceful protests of the pro-life movement, are clearly sending a message to these pharmacies,” McClusky said.
Walgreens’ response this week to concerns about national over-the-counter abortion pill sales wasn’t its first.
As CatholicVote reported in February,
Walgreens … stated that it will not sell Mifepristone in Kansas after the state’s attorney general wrote a letter to the retail pharmacy giant warning that sending the abortion pills to Kansas would violate state and federal laws.
…“As the chief law enforcement officer in Kansas, I am writing to advise you that this plan is illegal and Kansas will not hesitate to enforce the law,” Attorney General Kris Kobach had written in his February 6 letter to Walgreens. “It is illegal to knowingly mail any article or thing designed, adapted or intended for producing abortion. It is also illegal to mail any article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine or thing which is advertised or described in a manner calculated to lead another to use or apply it for producing abortion.”
Walgreens’ letter to Kansas’ attorney general was the first example of a pharmacy balking in the face of legal confrontations since the Biden administration first announced that retail pharmacy companies could be certified to dispense abortion pills.
It remains to be seen whether more retail pharmacies will respond to the concerns of pro-life Americans, as well as the grave legal implications pointed out by law enforcement officials.
Again, from CatholicVote:
Weeks after the Food and Drug Administration invited retail pharmacies to dispense abortion pills, 20 state attorneys general sent a letter to CVS and Walgreens threatening prosecution if the companies followed through on their plans to opt in. Federal law “expressly prohibits using the mail to send or receive any drug that will ‘be used or applied for producing abortion,’” the attorneys general wrote.
The attorneys general also pointed out that, in addition to the federal code, pharmacies attempting to distribute abortion drugs would also find themselves up against prosecution under state laws.