Nation’s Largest Pharmacy Chains to Begin Selling Abortion Pills

By Published on March 4, 2024

Two major pharmacy chains are preparing to place abortion pills on their shelves in select states, according to The New York Times.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in January 2023 that pharmacies would be able to start dispensing the abortion pill mifepristone to patients. Officials from Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy said Friday that they plan to stock the pills in select stores where abortion is legal this month, but will not allow the medication to be sent through the mail, according to the Times.

“We are beginning a phased rollout in select locations to allow us to ensure quality, safety and privacy for our patients, providers and team members,” Fraser Engerman, a spokesperson for Walgreens, said.

Walgreens is set to start selling mifepristone in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California and Illinois, and CVS will do the same in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, according to the Times. The companies are also monitoring states like Kansas, Montana and Wyoming, which have abortion laws on the books but are currently enjoined from enforcing them by a court order.

“We continually monitor and evaluate changes in state laws and will dispense mifepristone in any state where it is or becomes legally permissible to do so,” Amy Thibault, a spokesperson for CVS, told the Times.

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In order to become eligible, pharmacies can fill out an application to become certified to provide mifepristone, and women do not need to see a doctor before obtaining the medication. Pharmacies are supposed to inform patients of the potential risks of taking chemical abortion pills, but pro-life medical experts have warned that if women aren’t seen by doctors they face serious risks of surgery and complications.

The FDA is currently being sued by the American Association of Pro-Life OBGYNs and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians and the Christian Medical & Dental Association for allegedly rushing to get the pill on the market without taking necessary safety precautions. The Supreme Court agreed in December to take on the case and will likely issue a ruling in the coming months that would limit or expand mifepristone’s access.

 

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