Illinois Governor Urges Walgreens to Reconsider Decision to Block Abortion Pills

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Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has expressed “deep concern” over Walgreens’ decision not to sell abortion pills in some states, during a meeting with the company’s senior team. The decision by Walgreens was made after 20 Republican attorneys general wrote the company a letter threatening legal action if the drug was distributed in their states.

Walgreens has stated that it will not sell abortion pills in states where Republican attorneys general have threatened legal action, despite the drug being legal in some of those states. The company stated that it intends to be a certified pharmacy and will distribute Mifepristone only in those jurisdictions where it is legal and operationally feasible.

The policy change will affect four states in which the abortion pill is legal but is facing either legislative or legal challenges – Kansas, Alaska, Iowa, and Montana. The company noted that it was being “cautious” and was monitoring developments in those states.

Governor Pritzker has pledged to help Walgreens get certified to provide abortion medication in Illinois and other states that have not outlawed it. His office described Walgreens’ decision as a “response to Republican threats.”

The decision has sparked criticism from Governor Pritzker and the White House, with Pritzker taking to Twitter to denounce the decision and urge Walgreens to “rethink” its policy. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the Republican legal threats over abortion medication the “product of overreach by Republican officials” to regulate women and their health care.

Walgreens’ decision will not affect Illinois, where the abortion drugs are legal. Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid are among the three pharmacies in Illinois that have requested certification to sell the pill. Their status is pending.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with 23 of his Democratic counterparts in other states, sent Walgreens and CVS a letter applauding the competing pharmacies for their decision to offer the abortion pills in their stores. Raoul assured both companies that their decisions to dispense mifepristone and misoprostol were on solid legal footing and were supported by legal precedent.

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