So, Gavin Newsom is “done” with Walgreens over its decision to limit abortion pill distribution. What, exactly, does that mean, governor? No one, including your staff, seems to know.

While Newsom’s tweet scored political points with his like-minded followers, it created uncertainty for millions of Californians enrolled in Medi-Cal and Covered California and tens of thousands of state employees on California insurance plans. Will they be able to fill their prescriptions at Walgreens? Or receive flu shots and COVID-19 vaccinations? Or obtain abortion pills?

The last thing Californians need is another layer of confusion added to their health care coverage.

This ongoing abortion chaos is the direct result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year overturning Roe v. Wade. The high court’s decision that the U.S. Constitution does not protect the rights of women to choose to have abortions set up state-by-state and federal showdowns as anti-abortion forces doubled down.

Last week, a bill was introduced in the Iowa Legislature that would not only ban all elective abortions but also require internet providers to block access to websites related to abortion care.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Texas is expected to rule soon on a case challenging the FDA’s approval of the abortion pill mifepristone. About 50% of abortions nationwide make use of mifepristone, which was approved by the FDA and has been in use since 2000. The lawsuit seeks to remove mifepristone from the market altogether, despite the fact that it has proven effective in 99% of cases and had serious side effects in less than 1% of patients.

Now comes Newsom’s new fight with Walgreens. It follows the FDA decision in January allowing retail pharmacies, after completing a certification process, to dispense abortion pills onsite and by mail.

In February, the attorneys general in 20 red states wrote a letter threatening to sue Walgreens if it sold mifepristone in their states. Walgreens responded Friday it would not sell the pill in those states, even though it remains legal to do so in four of them — Alaska, Iowa, Kansas and Montana.

Pro-choice supporters were outraged, especially by Walgreens’ choice to not sell the abortion pill in the four states where it remains legal. Following Newsom’s tweet, Walgreens clarified that it would continue to sell mifepristone in all states where it is legal to do so.

The confrontation is creating a political nightmare for pharmacies. If Walgreens follows red-state laws banning the use of drugs that produce …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Editorial: Newsom’s Walgreens abortion edict fuels confusion

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