California Will Not Renew $54 Million Walgreens Contract over Abortion Pill Decision

California’s Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom will not renew a $54 million contract with Walgreens over the retail pharmacy chain’s decision not to dispense abortion pills in 21 Republican-led states.

Newsom’s office announced Wednesday it is “pulling back its renewal” of a multimillion-dollar contract between the California Department of General Services (DGS) and Walgreens. The contract allows the state to procure specialty pharmacy prescription drugs, primarily used by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and its correctional health care system.

The governor’s office has given Walgreens formal notice that it is withdrawing its planned renewal of the agreement set to take effect on May 1, 2023, and “instead will explore other options for furnishing the same services.”

“California will not stand by as corporations cave to extremists and cut off critical access to reproductive care and freedom,” Newsom said. “California is on track to be the fourth largest economy in the world and we will leverage our market power to defend the right to choose.”

Walgreens agreed not to dispense mifepristone, the first pill used in a two-drug medication abortion regimen, in 21 conservative-led states after Republican attorneys general warned against doing so in a letter last month. The attorneys general also wrote to CVS, Albertsons, Rite Aid, Costco, Walmart, and Kroger, warning them not to dispense abortion pills. The attorneys general argued that the Biden administration is misconstruing laws around mailing and dispensing abortion pills and said they would consider pursing legal action if the chains dispensed abortion pills in their states.

“[The company] will dispense only in those jurisdictions where it is legal to do so if we are certified,” Walgreens spokesperson Fraser Engerman said in response.

Engerman told a California-based NBC affiliate, KCRA, that the company is “deeply disappointed by the decision by the state of California to not renew out longstanding contract due to false and misleading information.”

He continued:

Walgreens is facing the same circumstances as all retail pharmacies, and no other retail pharmacies have said that they would approach this situation differently, so it’s unclear where this contract would now be moved. Our position has always been that, once we are certified by the FDA, Walgreens plans to dispense Mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legally permissible to do so, including the state of California.

We will dispense this medication consistent with federal and state laws. Providing legally approved medications to patients is what pharmacies do, and is rooted in our commitment to the communities in which we operate.

State attorneys general sent the letters after the FDA made a regulatory change in early January allowing retail pharmacies to offer mifepristone in-store and by mail order, although patients will still need a prescription from a certified health care provider. After the rule change, spokespeople from Walgreens and CVS confirmed the chains would offer mifepristone at locations where it not against state law, and Rite Aid followed closely behind.

At the same time, the FDA officially removed the in-person requirement from its regulatory rule book for mifepristone, meaning women will continue to be able to obtain a prescription for the abortion pill via telemedicine. The FDA made the move the same day President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) cleared the U.S. Postal Service to deliver abortion drugs to states with abortion restrictions and bans, offering “limited assurances that a federal law addressing the issue won’t be used to prosecute people criminally over such mailings,” according to Politico.

Newsom’s effort to shut Walgreens out of state business is not the first time he has meddled in how other states legislate abortion. Last September, Newsom’s campaign paid to promote abortion tourism via public billboards in seven states with pro-life laws. Some of those billboards misused the words of Jesus from the New Testament of the Bible to market the Golden State as an abortion destination: “‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ – Mark 12:31.”

California’s Democrats have also banned state-funded travel to so many states in protest of their legislation on social issues that the bans are estimated to cover one-third of the United States by population, Breitbart News previously reported.


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