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Governor Newsom condemns Walgreens over abortion pill

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (CBS, KYMA/KECY) - California is officially "done" with Walgreens. More specifically, done with doing business with them.

Governor Newsom said Monday the state won't do any more business with Walgreens because the company is refusing to sell a specific abortion pill in about 20 states.

This is because in February, attorney generals in those states all warned Walgreens against mailing mifepristone

Today the governor tweeted out, "The state won't be working with any company that 'cowers to the extremists' and puts women's lives at risk."


So what is mifepristone? Its a pill used to end pregnancy, in tandem with another medication.

The combination is approved for use up to the 10th week of pregnancy with a prescription. It is not a form of birth control or a plan B pill.

In November, an anti-abortion group filed a suit in Texas to revoke FDA approval, claiming the agency approved it 23 years ago without adequate evidence of safety. However, physician groups say the drug is "safe and effective." A Trump-appointed judge could make a ruling on that case any day.

California residents on both sides spoke of this issue, but with very different perspectives.

No comment

Walgreens won't comment on the governor's tweet about no longer doing business with the company while Walgreens has said it will provide the abortion pill where it believes it legally can.

Advocates on both sides are reacting to the news it won't distribute the medication by mail in several states, and they want to push the company to go further in their direction.

Doctor Sophia Yen says the governor is taking the right stance on this issue. She also wishes more leaders would be this aggressive when it comes to access to any form of an abortion.

"By taking away access to medication abortion or abortion, you push it out later and you make it more dangerous," Yen spoke.

Her business provides birth control and emergency contraception by mail, but not the abortion pill. She believes women need to have easy access to it including at pharmacies.

"This medication is absolutely safe, it's been approved by the FDA for 20 plus years and to take it away is absolutely a political maneuver," Yen further spoke.

Taking to the streets

But Kristin Turner says the danger comes with less restrictions on the abortion pill. The executive director of Pro-Life San Francisco doesn't want to see it in pharmacies. She wants Walgreens to go even further and not carry the abortion pill at all.

"I don't think medication like that should be given out without a prescription and just over counter, or even in a place like CVS or Walgreens. I think it's dangerous," Turner said.

Turner will often take to the streets to share her views. Recently, she and other anti-abortion advocates took their protest inside stores like Walgreens in California.

"We'll be entering pharmacies, protesting loudly against the use of abortion pills kill children," Turner further spoke.

Providing the drug where it legally can

Last week, Walgreens confirmed to CBS News it will not dispense the abortion pill and told 20 attorneys general it did not intend to provide it in their states. But this week, the company said it always planned to provide the drug where it legally can.

"I have two daughters. I have a daughter applying to college, I'm not gonna let her apply to any state that doesn't trust her with bodily autonomy," Yen expressed.

"I definitely think we're going to be looking at state by state battles, every state is incredibly different," Turner shared.

The governor's office said it was reviewing all relationships the state had with Walgreen's. When asked for more information on what those relationships are, the governor's office made no comment.

Article Topic Follows: California Politics

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Dillon Fuhrman

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