OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington lawmakers are sounding the alarm over access to abortion and whether pharmacies will continue to distribute critical medicine involved in the process.
A federal judge’s ruling could come soon and bar abortion medication in every state, including Washington, where abortion is allowed.
Fourteen governors, including Governor Jay Inslee, are calling on major pharmacies to clarify plans on medication abortion.
The group has sent a letter to CVS, Rite-Aid, Walmart, Safeway, Kroger, Costco and Health Mart asking for clarification on plans to distribute the abortion medication.
In the last week, we’ve seen California Governor Gavin Newsom say that the state was essentially done with Walgreens after the company decided not to sell a specific pill used in abortion. That decision impacted about 20 states.
In February, attorneys general in those states warned Walgreens against mailing mifepristone, a pill used in medical abortion.
In November, an anti-abortion group filed a suit in Texas to revoke Food and Drug Administration approval for the meds. A Trump-appointed judge could decide the issue this week.
Washington Senator Patty Murray has also sent inquiries to pharmaceutical companies asking them to make sure people have access to the medication.
The letter sent by the coalition of governors reads in part:
“We will always put the rights of our people first and will continue to protect and defend their legal and necessary access to basic healthcare. As companies that dispense critical, life-saving medications, we urge that your decisions continue to be guided by well-established science and medical evidence.”
In January, the FDA did announce it was removing burdensome requirements on the medications that would allow pharmacies to dispense them directly to customers for the first time.
That did not stop Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson in February from announcing that he was helping lead a multi-state federal lawsuit against the FDA over its restrictions with the goal of protecting access to the medications.
The full letter from the governors can be found here.
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