The pharmacy chain Walgreens will not sell abortion drugs in Arkansas, state Attorney General Tim Griffin said last week.
Arkansas law protects unborn babies by banning abortions, and Griffin said he received a letter confirming the company will follow the law.
“This is a victory for all Arkansans. This is a victory for life and this is a victory for the rule of law,” Griffin said a video message Feb. 23.
In January, Walgreens, CVS and, later, RiteAid announced plans to begin selling abortion drugs that are used to kill unborn babies up to about 10 weeks of pregnancy.
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Their decisions came after the Biden administration dropped safety regulations for the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone, which has been linked to the deaths of millions of babies and dozens of women. Previously, mifepristone only could be dispensed by FDA-approved abortion facilities, medical offices and hospitals under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.
Griffin and other Republican attorneys general have been warning the pharmacies not to listen to the Biden administration, saying the changes are dangerous and illegal.
His office sent a letter to Walgreens on Feb. 7, outlining state and federal laws that prohibit the sales, distribution and mailing of abortion drugs in Arkansas.
“Walgreens cannot ignore the letter of the law, whatever contrary guidance the Biden administration may have announced,” Griffin told the company. “That’s because it is statutory text – not the Biden administration’s politicized opinion concerning it – that governs.”
He continued, “The plain reading of federal law prohibits the shipping of abortion pills into states like Arkansas.”
Griffin said his job is to enforce the law to make sure “harm does not come to Arkansans – both born and unborn,” and he will take action against companies that violate the law.
In a letter dated Feb. 21, Walgreens executive vice president Danielle C. Gray told the attorney general that the company “does not intend to dispense” or ship the abortion drug mifepristone in Arkansas.
Meanwhile, pro-life leaders have launched boycotts and protests against Walgreens and CVS all across the country. In February, 20 Republican state attorneys general also wrote to the companies, warning that selling abortion drugs through the mail is “unsafe and illegal” and the companies could face lawsuits.
The drug mifepristone, typically used with a second drug, misoprostol, now is used for more than half of all abortions in the U.S., killing nearly half a million unborn babies annually, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
The FDA has linked mifepristone to at least 28 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications between 2000 and 2018. However, under President Barack Obama, the FDA stopped requiring that non-fatal complications from mifepristone be reported. So the numbers almost certainly are much higher.
Right now, a federal judge is considering a lawsuit from four medical groups that challenges the FDA approval of mifepristone as an abortion drug. The medical organizations accused the agency of ignoring evidence of safety problems and failing to properly study the risks.
Studies indicate the risks are more common than what abortion activists often claim, with as many as one in 17 women requiring hospital treatment. A recent study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that the rate of abortion-related emergency room visits by women taking the abortion drug increased more than 500 percent between 2002 and 2015.
Another new study from the University of Toronto, “Short-Term Adverse Outcomes After Mifepristone–Misoprostol Versus Procedural Induced Abortion,” published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that one in ten women who took the abortion pill had to go to the emergency room, according to Pregnancy Help News.
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