California Cancels $54 Million Contract With Walgreens After It Stops Selling Abortion Pill In Red States
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) withdrew a $54 million contract with Walgreens, saying the state will no longer work with the pharmaceutical company.
Newsom told government agencies he would not renew a contract with the pharmacy chain, set to end on April 30, because Walgreens decided not to sell the abortion pill mifepristone in states where abortion is now illegal. The governor said he wants to motivate companies to provide the drug in states where abortion procedures are unlawful.
“California will not stand by as corporations cave to extremists and cut off critical access to reproductive care and freedom,” Newsom said in a statement on Wednesday. “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 has been fulfilling its contract with the state, providing California’s prisons with medications for several illnesses.
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Walgreens executives have spoken out against the move against the chain, calling it “deeply disappointing.”
“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,” Fraser Engerman, a Walgreens spokesperson, told CNBC. “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.”
The Food and Drug Administration approved pharmaceutical companies to sell abortion drugs in states that have enacted bans. Since then, multiple state attorneys have threatened pharmacy chains with legal penalties if they provide abortion pills.
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