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California ends Walgreens contract over abortion capsule dispute

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday withdrew a $54 million contract with Walgreens after the pharmacy big indicated it wouldn’t promote an abortion capsule by mail in some conservative-led states.

Newsom on Wednesday ordered state officers to not renew a contract with Walgreens to buy specialty pharmacy pharmaceuticals for California’s jail well being care system, together with antivirual and antifungal medicine and medicine used for congestive coronary heart failure. Walgreens has gotten about $54 million from the contract, which expires April 30.

Newsom’s workplace mentioned the state will purchase the medicine some other place.

“California is not going to stand by as firms cave to extremists and reduce off vital entry to reproductive care and freedom,” Newsom mentioned in a information launch. “California is on observe to be the fourth largest financial system on this planet and we’ll leverage our market energy to defend the precise to decide on.”

A consultant from Walgreens, primarily based within the northern Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Sick., didn’t reply to an electronic mail from the Related Press searching for remark. However earlier this week, the corporate mentioned in a press release the corporate plans to dispense the drug, known as mifepristone, “in any jurisdiction the place it’s legally permissible to take action.”

“Offering legally permitted medicines to sufferers is what pharmacies do, and is rooted in our dedication to the communities during which we function,” in response to a press release posted onto the corporate’s web site.

Mifepristone is a capsule that when mixed with one other capsule will finish a being pregnant. The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration permitted the capsule in 2000 to be used in as much as the tenth week of being pregnant. At the moment, greater than half of all abortions within the U.S. are completed by drugs, in response to the Guttmacher Institute, a analysis group that helps abortion rights.

After the U.S. Supreme Court docket final 12 months overturned the federal proper to an abortion, greater than a dozen states have restricted the usage of abortion drugs. However these restrictions are being challenged in court docket.

Attorneys common in 20 states, principally with Republican governors, have warned Walgreens and CVS they might face authorized penalties in the event that they promote abortion drugs of their states. Final week, Walgreens confirmed it despatched a response to every lawyer common saying it could not dispense the drug of their states.

Newsom responded to that information on Monday, posting in a message on Twitter that California received’t be doing enterprise with Walgreens “or any firm that cowers to the extremists and places girls’s lives in danger.”

“We’re completed,” Newsom mentioned.

Shedding the California contract could have a small affect on Walgreens’ revenues, as the corporate reported $132.7 billion in gross sales for the fiscal 12 months that ended Aug. 31.

However for Newsom, the transfer is extra about solidifying California’s function as a pacesetter in what he has known as “reproductive freedom.”

Newsom has vowed to make California a sanctuary for individuals in different states the place abortion is unlawful or severely restricted. Final 12 months, Newsom signed greater than a dozen new legal guidelines aiming to guard abortion rights, together with signing off on $20 million in new spending to assist pay for the journey and lodging bills for individuals to return to California from different states to get an abortion.

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