ALBANY (LifeSiteNews) — Radical New York pro-abortion Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James sent a letter Thursday to executives at Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid, urging them to distribute abortion pills in states that limit their distribution. The letter also urges the companies to distribute abortion pills despite Republican attorneys general warning them of potential legal repercussions should they do so.
“Recent national events have spotlighted the critical role that pharmacies play in providing access to essential health care, including reproductive health care,” the letter begins. “That is why we write to you today to ask that you commit to making medication abortion available in your retail and mail-order pharmacies across New York State.”
Speaking about the warnings made by Republican attorneys general about the distribution of abortion pills in states where abortion pills still face limitations, if not a ban, the letter reads, “We urge you not to allow these tactics to intimidate you, and to commit to making this critical medication available as widely as possible, based on a fair and unbiased interpretation of state and federal law.”
In December of last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration changed the rules regarding the abortion drug mifepristone, the first pill in a two-pill chemical abortion series, allowing the drug to be administered via mail.
That same month, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel released an opinion stating that the Comstock Act, an over 150-year-old law that forbids shipping any “article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine, or thing which is advertised or described in a manner calculated to lead another to use or apply it for producing abortion,” does not mean what it says it means.
In January, the FDA announced a rules change that allows retail pharmacies to distribute abortion pills. Shortly thereafter, Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid announced that they would be going through the process of certification for the distribution of the drugs. These announcements prompted the warnings from Republican attorneys general.
“[W]e welcomed the FDA’s announcement in December 2022, that it would permanently lift the medically unnecessary requirement on in-person dispensing of mifepristone, an FDA-approved medication used for abortion care and to treat miscarriages,” the letter states.
“We were equally heartened by initial announcements that the major national pharmacy chains, including yours, would seek certification from the FDA to dispense the medication. Increasing the availability of medication abortion—which now accounts for more than half of all abortions performed nationwide—is essential to the goal of expanding abortion access to meet increased demand in the wake of Dobbs.”
“Even as access to this medication is under threat elsewhere for political reasons, we remind you that New York’s law is simple,” the letter continues.
“Abortion is legal and protected as a fundamental right under state law, and there are no legal barriers to dispensing mifepristone in New York pharmacies. New Yorkers urgently need their health care providers to clearly stand up for access to reproductive health care. As CEOs of corporations that operate multiple pharmacies in New York, you are entrusted with making decisions that could greatly impact the availability of this essential medication statewide.”
The letter closes by asking the companies if they would “commit to dispense mifepristone to patients with a doctor’s prescription at all FDA certified pharmacy locations in the State of New York,” and if they would “commit to dispense mifepristone via mail with a doctor’s prescription to patients in the State of New York.” The letter also asks for legal reasons as to why the companies would answer in the negative for either question.
The companies have 10 business days to respond to the letter.
The letter follows an announcement by radical pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom of California that his state would boycott Walgreens after the company said that it would only dispense mifepristone in states where it would be legal to do so.
Last month, Newsom announced a coalition of governors that would fight to expand abortion access. The coalition, called the Reproductive Health Alliance, currently consists of 20 Democratic state governors, Hochul among them.
Hochul’s office has yet to respond to LifeSiteNews’ request for comment.