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California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday the state will not be doing business with Walgreens Boots Alliance over its decision not to dispense an abortion pill.
Last week, the national pharmacy chain said it would not distribute mifepristone in 20 states after conservative attorneys general threatened legal action. Their decision has drawn national outrage and condemnation.
In a tweet, Newsom vehemently criticized the decision.
According to ABC News, last month, the group of attorneys general sent a letter to CVS and Walgreens saying that if they sold mifepristone, they would be in violation of the Comstock Act, an 1873 law that makes it illegal to send contraceptives, substances that induce abortion, pornographic content, sex toys and any written material about these items.
Several of the states that signed the letter — including Alaska, Iowa, Kansas and Montana — currently allow abortion access, including abortion medication, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group focusing on sexual and reproductive health.
In a statement to ABC News last week, Walgreens said it sent a letter to each of the attorneys general confirming it would not sell mifepristone in their states.
“From the outset, we have made our intentions clear to become a certified pharmacy to distribute mifepristone wherever legally possible,” a spokesperson said about the Newsom decision.
Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump-appointed federal district judge in Texas is currently considering a petition that would nullify the approval given to mifepristone 22 years ago by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The spokesperson said Walgreen still intends to become certified under an FDA program to dispense the drug elsewhere but has not done so yet.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than half of abortions in the U.S. are medication abortions, meaning they involved the use of mifepristone, which was authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said Friday that he plans to sign a measure that would effectively ban abortion clinics from operating in the state, meaning hospitals will soon be the only places where they can be provided in the state, as reported by ABC News.
A South Carolina woman paid for the pill with her freedom
ABC News reports a woman is facing charges in Greenville, South Carolina for allegedly taking an abortion pill in October 2021.
She was charged under a law that has been on the books for decades but rarely used in South Carolina.
Greenville Police said after taking a pill to end her pregnancy, the woman went to the hospital and gave birth to a stillborn baby girl at 25 weeks, 4 days gestation.
According to the police report, the woman is now facing charges for abortion/performing or soliciting abortion.
Abortion artwork is even being banned
In Idaho, Lewis-Clark State College expressed “alarm” at a decision to remove several art pieces.
According to The Guardian, the college’s response demonstrated the potential abuses of new laws that have come into effect in Idaho banning the use of public funds to “promote” or “counsel in favor” of pregnancy terminations.
Scarlet Kim, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s speech, privacy and technology project, said that the removal of works of art silenced the voices of women.
“It jeopardizes a bedrock first amendment principle that the state refrain from interfering with expressive activity because it disagrees with a particular point of view,” Kim said.
The Biden Administration will reportedly make abortion bans a major campaign issue for 2024
Newsweek reports Black women are nearly four times as likely to have an abortion as their white counterparts. Recent studies have found that for every 100 live births, nearly 12 White babies will be aborted, while nearly 43 Black babies will die by abortion for every 100 live births.
The White House is jumping into state-level battles for women’s reproductive rights, lending legal and messaging advice to allies in states pushing restrictions as the Biden administration seeks to make abortion access a rallying cry in next year’s presidential election.
According to Reuters, the White House has divided fights for abortion rights in states as politically divergent as Texas, New York and North Carolina into three broad categories and has established an approach for each, according to two White House officials and two advisers working on the issue.
“The goal of our strategy is fairly simple: it’s to support actions by state and local leaders to protect and expand access, but it’s also to fight restrictions,” said one of the officials.