Walgreens is finding out that abortion activists are not happy even when companies comply with their pro-abortion demands.
This week, the pharmacy chain received a letter from 17 U.S. Senate Democrats that criticizes it for agreeing to begin selling abortion drugs only in states where it’s legal to do so, NBC News reports.
“At a time of great confusion about abortion access, your company has done the disservice of adding to it,” the Democrat lawmakers wrote.
In January, Walgreens, CVS 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 has 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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Pro-life advocates launched boycotts against the companies, and attorneys general in 20 states wrote letters warning that state and federal laws prohibit pharmacies from selling or mailing abortion drugs in their states.
Earlier this month, Walgreens responded to the letter, assuring the state leaders that the company will comply with their laws and will not sell or mail abortion drugs in their states.
But the response upset abortion activists, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom went so far as to punish Walgreens by ending its $54 million state contract.
The letter from U.S. Senate Democrats this week echoed the criticism, slamming Walgreens’ intent to follow state pro-life laws as “unacceptable.” They pressured the company to ignore states’ life-saving laws and the attorneys generals’ warnings and sell the abortion drugs in every state anyway.
“While we are well aware of threatening letters you received with regard to the distribution of mifepristone in certain states, the response to those pressures was unacceptable and appeared to yield to these threats—ignoring the critical need to ensure patients can get this essential health care wherever possible,” they wrote.
U.S. Sens. Patty Murray, D-Washington, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, led the letter, according to the report.
“In no way, shape or form should businesses deny legal health care to women who have the right to access this vital medication,” Stabenow said in a statement Tuesday. “All businesses should follow the FDA certification process and fully comply with applicable state and federal law.”
The same group of Democrat lawmakers also wrote to the pharmacy chains Albertsons, Costco, Kroger and Walmart to put pressure on them to begin selling abortion drugs, too, according to NBC.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion is not a right in the Dobbs v. Jackson case last summer, and 14 states now protect unborn babies by banning or strictly limiting abortion. Several others have laws regulate dangerous abortion drugs.
The drug mifepristone, typically used with a second drug, misoprostol, now is used for more than half of all abortions in the U.S., killing nearly half a million unborn babies annually, 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.