Walgreens officials have no plans to distribute the abortion drug mifepristone in Kansas, Attorney General Kris Kobach said on Monday, weeks after Kobach sent a letter to the pharmacy giant blasting their move to distribute the pill in pharmacies in Kansas. national level.
In the original Feb. 6 letter, Kobach said he “will not hesitate” to enforce the Kansas law in opposition to the company’s plans, although the law he cited is currently on hold pending a court appeal.
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In the company’s response, Danielle Gray, executive vice president and chief legal officer of Walgreens, said Walgreens “does not plan to dispense Mifepristone in your state and does not plan to ship Mifepristone into your state from any of our pharmacies.”
“If this approach changes, we will certainly let you know,” Gray wrote in the Feb. 17 letter, leaving open the possibility that a change in the Kansas telemedicine abortion law could change Walgreens’ position.
Both Walgreens and CVS, the nation’s two largest pharmacies, said earlier this year they would petition the Food and Drug Administration to certify them to distribute mifepristone, both in stores and by mail, where it is legal. to do it.
The certification process with federal regulators is ongoing, the company said.
Kobach hailed Walgreens’ response as a victory.
“Dispensing these pills without the presence of a supervising physician would expose women to complications and potentially even coercion,” Kobach said in a statement. “I am grateful that Walgreens has responded quickly and sensibly and intends to fully comply with the law.”
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Kansas’s ban on telemedicine abortions was blocked by the Kansas Court of Appeals in November, amid an ongoing deadlock over its constitutionality in light of a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court decision, which ruled that the state constitution protects abortion rights.
Abortion pills are becoming a national point of contention following the US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade last summer.
Kobach signed a legal memo supporting a lawsuit in Texas, brought by abortion opponents, seeking to block FDA approval for mifepristone. In Kansas, the majority of abortions are induced with medication and this is only set to expand after Planned Parenthood began offering telemedicine abortions in the state last year.
Kobach’s anti-abortion views were a key issue during her successful campaign for the job last year.
She said she will ask the Kansas Supreme Court to reconsider its 2019 decision that preserved statewide constitutional protections for abortion rights in light of Roe’s overturn.
And Kobach has urged lawmakers to overhaul the process of selecting judges at the Supreme Court, a move that could lead to re-litigation of the 2019 case.