California governor Gavin Newsom announced this week that the state would cut ties with Walgreens after the pharmacy giant announced that it would not dispense the abortion pill in certain areas across the U.S.
According to The Christian Post, the California Department of General Services gave Walgreens a formal notice on Wednesday that it would not be renewing its $54 million contract with the company.
The contract – initially set to be renewed in May – allows the state to produce “specialty pharmacy prescription drugs,” usually found in California’s prison health care system.
“California will not stand by as corporations cave to extremists and cut off critical access to reproductive care and freedom,” Newsom wrote 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.”
In a Monday Tweet, Newsom also asserted that “California won’t be doing business with @walgreens – or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk,” He added, “We’re done.”
California won’t be doing business with @walgreens — or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 6, 2023
Newsom was referring to a letter sent to the company from 20 Republican state attorneys general vowing to take legal action if Walgreens chose to dispense the abortion pill.
Walgreens, along with CVS and Rite Aid, had previously announced they planned to begin distributing the abortion pill Mifepristone after the FDA modified restrictions on the drug in January.
Walgreens senior director of external relations Fraser Engerman, however, told The Christian Post on Monday that “We are not distributing Mifepristone at this time.” Engerman added, “We intend to be a certified pharmacy and will dispense Mifepristone only in those jurisdictions where it is legal and operationally feasible.”
On Thursday, a Walgreens spokesperson told The Christian Post that the company was saddened by California’s choice not to renew its “longstanding contract due to false and misleading information.”
Engerman insisted that “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.”
“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,” he continued.
Engerman added that Walgreen has said it will dispense the abortion pills in jurisdictions where it is “legally permissible.”
Photo courtesy: ©Stephanie Rhee/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.