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*** UPDATED x1 *** Walgreens’ decision not to sell abortion pills in some states won’t apply to Illinois

Friday, Mar 3, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* This Politico story is a bit unclear

The nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain confirmed Thursday that it will not dispense abortion pills in several states where they remain legal — acting out of an abundance of caution amid a shifting policy landscape, threats from state officials and pressure from anti-abortion activists.

Nearly two dozen Republican state attorneys general wrote to Walgreens in February, threatening legal action if the company began distributing the drugs, which have become the nation’s most popular method for ending a pregnancy.

The company told POLITICO that it has since responded to all the officials, assuring them that they will not dispense abortion pills either by mail or at their brick-and-mortar locations in those states.

The list includes several states where abortion in general, and the medications specifically, remain legal — including Alaska, Iowa, Kansas and Montana. For example, Kansas’ law that patients only obtain the pills directly from a physician is blocked in court.

I reached out to Walgreens this morning and found out that this decision does not apply to Illinois, where the company continues to seek certification to dispense the medication. “We have only indicated we won’t dispense in the 20 states that their AGs signed the letter to us on Feb 1,” texted Fraser Engerman, Walgreens’ Senior Director of External Relations.

* It will apply to these states, according to CBS News

In addition to Missouri, the attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia signed the letter.

* Gov. Pritzker sent a message to the company last night…


…Adding… Crain’s

Pritzker’s office reached out to Walgreens last night, asking to schedule a meeting for today to discuss the issue, though they are still nailing down the exact time, Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh told Crain’s. Walgreens declined to comment about the meeting.

*** UPDATE *** AG Raoul..

Attorney General Kwame Raoul issued the following statement regarding the availability of the medication abortion drug mifepristone at Walgreens stores throughout the United States.

“My office has advocated historically to ensure that Walgreens and other pharmacies dispense proven-safe medications for abortions. I understand that the legal landscape around abortion is uncertain and shifting every day. In fact, some states have laws on the books, have proposed legislation or pending litigation that create challenges for expanding medication abortion access. Today I had the opportunity to speak directly with the global chief legal officer at Walgreens, as a company headquartered in Illinois, and I was assured that where Walgreens can legally and operationally dispense mifepristone, its pharmacies will continue to do so. Their commitment included the state of Illinois, where more than half of abortions are medication abortions. I encourage the other major pharmacies and medication abortion distributors to make a similar commitment, and provide mifepristone everywhere it is legally allowed.

“I commend Walgreens for seeking certification to dispense mifepristone in stores, despite the FDA’s onerous and overly-burdensome process. Mifepristone has been used safely and effectively for decades more than 5 million times in the United States, which is why I and 11 other state attorneys general have filed a federal lawsuit in Washington to request the FDA lift the unnecessarily stringent restrictions that apply to mifepristone. We are pleased that more states will be joining our coalition. Ample evidence has shown that mifepristone is safe with fewer serious side effects than common drugs like Tylenol or Viagra, which are not subject to the same FDA restrictions. Mifespristone, a medication doctors recommend as the ‘gold standard’ for administering medication abortion, should not be classified the same way as fentanyl.

“My concern first and foremost is ensuring Illinois remains a reproductive health care oasis in the Midwest. As we are surrounded by states attempting to restrict access to abortion, including to mifepristone, I am committed to working beyond Illinois’ borders to protect access to safe abortion medication.”

       

42 Comments
  1. - Homebody - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:01 am:

    I totally understand a corporation not wanting to risk years of litigation in red states. I also understand that the GOP is a menace to modern society.


  2. - Carlton - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:04 am:

    LOL @ Walgreens being a “health” store. We won’t sell in these red states, but don’t forget your cigarettes on the way out.


  3. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:06 am:

    Chicken. Tells me lots about Walgreens. + what Carlton wrote.


  4. - dr. jimmy - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:11 am:

    what would aldermanic candidate and walgreens employee kim walz have to say about this?


  5. - Jerry - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:16 am:

    Such a shame that Walgreens needs to do this.

    What if Erectile Dysfunction meds were treated the same way as abortion? There is no Constitutional Right to Privacy to use them and the Hyde Amendment were expanded to include them.


  6. - JS Mill - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:25 am:

    But,but, the gop wants less government regulation and interference with business so they can make more money.

    Or were they just kidding?

    I do understand Walgreens decision, and the hypocrisy of the gop.


  7. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:27 am:

    The efforts to stop pharmacies from dispensing this medicine are stupid and cruel and so so harmful to mothers.

    When I had a wished-for intentional pregnancy that turned out on the sonogram to be nonviable (no heartbeat), I was in a situation where my uterus was not miscarrying the nonviable pregnancy naturally.

    My doctor recommended we wait another week to do another sonogram just to see if we could get better news with another test later like if I got my dates wrong or something. I knew I hadn’t got my dates wrong and that week was excrutiating carrying a non-viable being who I knew had no chance, who I had started to love and plan for, and who I just wanted a chance to grieve privately given the few people I had told about it.

    It was a relief the next week when my OBGYN prescribed for me the very type of medicine that Republicans seek to ban to allow me to miscarry my nonviable pregnancy.

    In my case, it was to physically help me avoid infection and other health complications that could threaten my ability to get pregnant in the future or even potentially threaten my life as mother to a living child.

    It also was helpful medicine to me and my husband emotionally in allowing us to move forward in grieving the lost pregnancy.

    I simply can’t imagine how that grief would have been compounded if I attempted to fill that prescription and was stopped from doing so due to mean-spirited politicians and weak corporate executives.


  8. - Wensicia - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:29 am:

    I’m disappointed Walgreens allowed themselves to be bullied for supplying needed and legal medication to women in these states.

    What’s next? Will they discontinue supplying other medications that Republicans will claim may end or prevent pregnancy?


  9. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:29 am:

    How appropriate to happen right around Lent.

    Catholic religious beliefs state not to eat meat on Fridays during lent, including chicken. But chicken eggs aren’t prohibited from being eaten on Fridays by the church, because eggs aren’t chickens until they are born.

    This is why I respect people, but not necessarily their beliefs.


  10. - Louis G Atsaves - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:29 am:

    If I read this correctly Walgreens is seeking State of Illinois certification to dispense the medication. As a pharmacy? As a health clinic? The three Walgreens near my house do both. Of the three Walgreens near my office in downtown Chicago, two have closed in the last two years and the last one three blocks away I think is a pharmacy only, but am not sure at the moment.

    Since the Dobbs decision issued last summer what rationale exists for any delay by the State to approve dispensing the medication as either a pharmacy or as a health clinic? Do they need a formal prescription or is it to be dispensed over the counter?

    Maybe the awful corporate decision that the Governor bemoans is partly the fault of the state? Or is further clarification of what is going on forthcoming?


  11. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:32 am:

    ===what rationale exists for any delay by the State to approve===

    This isn’t Google.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:42 am:

    Walgreen’s helping Dems.

    Every time there’s a “restriction”, be it by legislation or choice, in this case a vendor, that only fuels the majority understanding that Republicans are dangerous to women’s health, and others afraid of Republicans will hurt women’s health too.

    Yes. During Lent. Not the best idea to remind folks of the zealot Right religious sect of the cult that ignores hypocrisy of its “god”, but will hurt others in the name of God.

    Walgreen’s is helping Dems. Accidentally, but…


  13. - Abu Iskander - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 10:55 am:

    To HisGirlFriday,

    Thank you for your testimony.


  14. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 11:01 am:

    to The Invisible Man, thank you. for the smart comment and for the huge laugh I got from it.


  15. - Jocko - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 11:03 am:

    ==Will they discontinue supplying other medications==

    Crohn’s, Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis doesn’t discriminate between men and women.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 11:06 am:

    - hisgirlfriday -

    Thank you. Appreciate that. Appreciate you.


  17. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 11:14 am:

    During lent the religious zealots like Pope Francis and millions of others who follow the Bible and believe life begins at conception are especially dangerous apparently.

    Co-opting lent to defend abortion? I missed that lesson in bible study


  18. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 11:20 am:

    @hisgirlfriday, thank you for sharing your pain and your perspective. I wish you peace and good health.


  19. - Socially DIstant Watcher - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 11:42 am:

    Anyone trying to find a middle of the road compromise on abortion is going to get run over. There is no compromise; you either tick off one side or the other.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 11:51 am:

    ===the religious zealots like===

    If you are willing to have this utter need to insert a religious want in the governing of ALL, no matter their religion… those zealots are not true to the constitutional intent of the country.

    Keep up.

    I say this as a pro-life Catholic that will only vote pro-choice because my religion should not dictate governmental laws

    Oh, lemme guess. You’re also worried about “other religions” that are infringing on ‘Mercia, lol


  21. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 12:07 pm:

    –I missed that lesson in bible study–

    Probably because lent isn’t mentioned anywhere in the bible? It didn’t start for another 400 years. You should probably know that.


  22. - low level - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 12:09 pm:

    ==what would aldermanic candidate and walgreens employee kim walz have to say about this?==.

    Although I don’t speak for her campaign, Ive known Kim Walz for 20+ years. Kim is 1000% pro choice. Period, end of story.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 12:12 pm:

    I was gonna let that slide, but you’re on where I was…

    ===Probably because lent isn’t mentioned anywhere in the bible? It didn’t start for another 400 years. You should probably know that===

    It seems - LP - is an adamant follower of the Bible’s Old Testament “fire and brimstone” but wants it masqueraded as “New Testament”… interpretations not ever found


  24. - Dem Observer - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 12:28 pm:

    It’s a business’s decision not to offer a product. Nothing says Walgreens or anyone else has to be involved with anything. The Lent chicken egg argument is tired and silly usually made by people who know zero about religion.


  25. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 12:29 pm:

    ==who follow the Bible ==

    That’s not hateful at all. You whine on one side of the issue then insult those on the other side.

    ==are especially dangerous apparently.==

    The serial victim has spoken again.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===The Lent chicken egg argument is tired===

    Timing, accidental or not, is significant and a large part that, those pro-life point to religious underpinnings.

    Not understanding who and what the pro-life zealots are and why things like “lent” and this timing is a “sign”… to some(?)


  27. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 12:36 pm:

    –made by people who know zero about religion.–

    All that time I spent at the altar in the performance of public mass for the congregation must have been wasted, eh?

    Nothing makes the religious more uncomfortable, than the people who have actually read their holy book. All of it.


  28. - low level - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 12:41 pm:

    ==by people who know zero about religion.==

    Amazing you see that splinter in their eye while failing to notice the rather large beam in your own, brother….


  29. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 12:41 pm:

    –know zero about religion.–

    There’s another layer to it, that you seem to have missed. Maybe you don’t know history, so I’ll pass along a helpful reminder.

    At one point in time, the church *did* prohibit eating eggs during lent. Then the church changed their mind.

    I’ll leave it up to you to learn when and why that happened.


  30. - JS Mill - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 12:44 pm:

    = I missed that lesson in bible study=

    You missed a lot as others have pointed out.

    here is another…

    “7. [1] Judge not, that ye be not judged. [2] For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

    Matthew 7 v 1-2.

    Many who identify as christians (especially political obnes) seem to miss that one with frequency.


  31. - JoanP - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 12:48 pm:

    = hisgirlfriday =

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    And I thank you for sharing. Folks need to understand the ramifications of this decision for women’s health.


  32. - ChicagoVinny - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 12:50 pm:

    = It’s a business’s decision not to offer a product. =

    They seem to forget that anti-abortion forces have outsize political power relative to their population and economic power. You bend to red state demands too far and people will take their dollars elsewhere.

    Business decisions work both ways.


  33. - low level - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 1:06 pm:

    ==Many who identify as christians (especially political ones) seem to miss that one with frequency.==.

    They remind me of the Pharisees who claimed moral superiority yet failed to live up to that same standard. I mean, since we don’t know anything about religion and all…

    Funny they are quiet all of a sudden.


  34. - dr. jimmy - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 1:32 pm:

    low level, im not questioning whether or not she is pro choice, im asking if she has the guts to speak out against her employer in defense of her convictions. does she have the courage to call out walgreens for its anti-choice policy? will she continue cashing the paychecks from this company that is implementing anti choice policies?


  35. - low level - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 1:45 pm:

    Dr. Jimmy, I would assume like other candidates, she may just have viewpoints that contradict her employers. Sort of like how individuals have personal views that may not be in line with the company they work for. Shocker, I know…


  36. - Jibba - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 2:05 pm:

    ==The Lent chicken egg argument is tired and silly usually made by people who know zero about religion.==

    And maybe lack a little knowledge about animal husbandry, too.


  37. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 2:33 pm:

    –And maybe lack a little knowledge –

    Maybe that’s why the Church reversed their previous prohibition on eating eggs, that remains their new belief to this day. Maybe the church learned something about their previous beliefs that contradicted with what was happening in the real world where real people were living.

    Nah, that’s just crazy uninformed nonsense.


  38. - Appears - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 2:39 pm:

    When one goes to church and the minister says that right to life is the ONLY consideration for voting, yes, that is true, if a politician was honest and cared about humanity but was not right to life and the other candidate was a back stabbing evil man but who was pro-life, the minister says that we had the moral obligation to vote for the evil backstabber (because of his pro-life stance). So religion does play into this debate.
    Also, each religion has it’s share of strange rules.
    As a Catholic, we are supposed to observe a Sabbath-like Sunday. But that doesn’t apply to restaurant employees, movie theaters, professional sporting events. Those are entertainment options that are immune from the Sabbath (those workers are supposed to practice the Sabbath on another day). Where does it say in the Bible to honor the Sabbath, unless you want to attend a Chicago Bears game or want fries?
    Religion exists to help human and God connect. Unfortunately, sometimes religions start to believe they are God.
    Abortion is a very diverse subject. And the more one says that it is right or wrong based solely on someone’s religious beliefs, the sides further divide.


  39. - Appears - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 2:41 pm:

    As I have mentioned in the past, since it is mainly men deciding on the legality of abortion: If men were the ones that could get pregnant, would they make sure that abortion was legal?


  40. - Jerry - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 2:48 pm:

    @appears. I couldnt agree more. If Erectile Dysfunction meds were illegal we’d certainly be hearing a different story from the “Pro-Life!” xtians.


  41. - dr. jimmy - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 2:51 pm:

    low level, its not like she’s a cashier at a chic-fil-a who isn’t speaking up against their moral positions, we are talking about a person running for elective office. big difference.


  42. - low level - Friday, Mar 3, 23 @ 3:47 pm:

    Well Dr Jim, if you ask Donovan, you might get a selfie as well … ;)


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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