GOP attorney general warns CVS, Walgreens against mailing abortion pill to their states

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Mifepristone (Mifeprex) and misoprostol, two drugs used in a medication abortion, are seen at a women’s fertility clinic, which provides legal medication abortion services, on June 17, 2022 in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.

Robin Beck | AFP | Getty Images

Republican Attorney General warned in 20 states cvs And Walgreens against mailing abortion pills in their jurisdiction this week, indicating they will take legal action.

In letters to the nation’s two largest drug store chains, the attorneys general said, “We emphasize that as state attorneys general, it is important to uphold the law and protect the health, safety, and health of women and unborn children in our states.” It is our responsibility to protect the welfare.” Wednesday.

The attorney general warned, “Part of that responsibility includes making sure that companies like yours are fully informed of the law so that our citizens are not harmed.”

The Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone over 20 years ago as a safe and effective way to end early pregnancy. The FDA says that scientific and real-world evidence suggests that the pill is safer than surgical abortion and childbirth.

The drugstore said last month that it is applying to become certified with the FDA to dispense the prescription pill in states where it is legal to do so.

The decision by CVS and Walgreens comes after the FDA recently changed its rules to allow retail pharmacies to dispense the pill for the first time, as long as the prescription comes from a certified health care provider.

CNBC has reached out to the companies for comment on the letters.

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The pill, mifepristone, has become a central focus in the fight over abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision last June to overturn Roe v. Wade, which preserved access to the procedure as a constitutional right for 50 years.

A dozen states have basically banned abortion since the Supreme Court ruling. Other states have restrictions on mifepristone that conflict with FDA regulations on the drug.

The Biden administration issued a legal opinion last month arguing that the Postal Service can ship pills to states where the sender does not intend to break the law.

The Justice Department argued that states with severe restrictions on abortion also have exceptions where mifepristone would be legal. The DOJ’s opinion came in response to a request from the USPS asking how it should navigate a law called the Comstock Act of 1873 that prohibits sending anything used to end pregnancy through the mail. puts a stop to

But the attorney general dismissed the Justice Department’s opinion as “bizarre” and said he expected the courts to uphold his view that mifepristone could not be mailed to their states.

Several legal cases are pending over the approval of mifepristone by the FDA. GenBioPro, one of the makers of the pill, has filed a lawsuit to overturn West Virginia’s abortion ban, arguing that FDA approval of the drugs preempts state law.

Anti-abortion practitioners have sued the FDA in a federal court in Texas to completely remove mifepristone from the US market. The FDA has called that lawsuit “extraordinary and unprecedented” and warned that a decision in favor of the physicians would harm its approval powers.

The letters to CVS and Walgreens were signed by the attorneys general of Missouri, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota . Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

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