Kansas Attorney General Stops Walgreens From Selling Abortion Pills

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 21, 2023   |   11:28AM   |   Topeka, Kansas

The pharmacy chain Walgreens will not sell abortion drugs in Kansas after state Attorney General Kris Kobach warned the company that doing so would violate state and federal law, his office said Monday.

“This is a significant victory for the pro-life cause and for women’s health,” Kobach said in a statement. “The dispensing of these pills without a supervising physician present would expose women to complications and potentially to coercion as well.”

In January, WalgreensCVS and, later, RiteAid announced plans to begin selling abortion drugs that are used to kill unborn babies up to about 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Their decisions came after the Biden administration dropped safety regulations for the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone, which been linked to the deaths of millions of babies and dozens of women. Previously, mifepristone only could be dispensed by FDA-approved abortion facilities, medical offices and hospitals under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.

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Kobach and other Republican attorneys general have been warning pharmacies not to listen to the Biden administration, saying the changes are dangerous and illegal.

In a letter to Walgreens dated Feb. 6, Kobach told the company that sending abortion drugs through the mail and distributing them without the direct, in-person supervision of a licensed medical doctor violate state and federal laws.

“… and Kansas will not hesitate to enforce the law,” the attorney general wrote.

Kobach’s office said Walgreens Executive Vice President Danielle C. Gray responded in a letter Friday, saying the company does not plan to dispense or mail abortion drugs in Kansas.

“Walgreens does not intend to dispense Mifepristone within your state and does not intend to ship Mifepristone into your state from any of our pharmacies. If this approach changes, we will be sure to notify you,” Gray wrote.

Gray said the company is applying for certification through the FDA to distribute the abortion drug in other states, but it has not yet begun doing so.

“I’m grateful Walgreens has responded quickly and reasonably and intends to fully comply with the law,” Kobach said Monday.

Kansans for Life celebrated the news in an email to LifeNews. Since December, KFL has been monitoring the situation resulting from Biden Administration’s efforts to remove protections for women by eliminating in-person physician oversight of use of the abortion pill. Large cohort studies have shown chemical abortion results in four times the rate of complications than surgical abortions. Dangers include life-threatening blood loss, undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, and inappropriate use of chemical abortion pills due to underestimated gestational age from lack of medical oversight.

“Kansans for Life applauds Attorney General Kobach for swift action to clearly communicate his firm resolve to stand for the rule of law,” said Danielle Underwood, KFL Director of Communications. “We call on other pharmacies to also commit to protecting the health and safety of women who would be endangered by the lack of monitoring of these deadly chemicals.”

Meanwhile, pro-life leaders have launched boycotts and protests against Walgreens and CVS all across the country. Earlier this month, 20 Republican state attorneys general also wrote to the companies, warning that selling abortion drugs through the mail is “unsafe and illegal” and the companies could face lawsuits.

Kobach blamed the Biden administration for misinterpreting the law to expand abortions. He said federal law clearly prohibits mail-order abortion drugs and devices, and “no self-respecting lawyer would read the law in such a way that is clearly inconsistent with its plain meaning.”

“President Biden is beholden to the country’s most extreme pro-abortion voices, who constantly advocate for expanding the abortion regime without any consideration of legality or even women’s safety,” he told Walgreens earlier this month. “But nothing requires you to join him. The law says what it says. I encourage you to follow it.”

State pro-life leaders thanked Kobach for taking action to protect unborn babies and mothers.

“We applaud AG Kris Kobach pushing back aggressively against the Biden Administration & Big Pharma’s dangerous chemical abortion agenda,” Kansans for Life wrote on Twitter. “Kansans don’t want their neighborhood drug stores being turned into abortion clinics. Women and babies deserve better.”

The drug mifepristone, typically used with a second drug, misoprostol, now is used for more than half of all abortions in the U.S. every year, or nearly half a million unborn babies, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

The FDA has linked mifepristone to at least 28 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications between 2000 and 2018. However, under President Barack Obama, the FDA stopped requiring that non-fatal complications from mifepristone be reported. So the numbers almost certainly are much higher.

Right now, a federal judge is considering a lawsuit from four medical groups that challenges the FDA approval of mifepristone as an abortion drug. The medical organizations accused the agency of ignoring evidence of safety problems and failing to properly study the risks.

Studies indicate the risks are more common than what abortion activists often claim, with as many as one in 17 women requiring hospital treatment. A recent study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that the rate of abortion-related emergency room visits by women taking the abortion drug increased more than 500 percent between 2002 and 2015.

Another new study from the University of Toronto, “Short-Term Adverse Outcomes After Mifepristone–Misoprostol Versus Procedural Induced Abortion,” published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that one in ten women who took the abortion pill had to go to the emergency room, according to Pregnancy Help News.