Pro-lifers slam CVS, Walgreens for selling 'dangerous' abortion pills

A sign on the side of the CVS Pharmacy on May 15, 2020, in Carver, Massachusetts.
A sign on the side of the CVS Pharmacy on May 15, 2020, in Carver, Massachusetts. | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Two major pharmacy chains have announced that they will sell abortion pills in certain states, prompting strong reactions from both sides of the abortion debate.

CVS and Walgreens, two of the largest pharmacy chains in the United States, announced Friday that they would sell abortion pills in their pharmacies in some states. The abortion pill consists of a two-drug regimen, mifepristone and misoprostol, which deprive the unborn baby of a hormone needed to stay alive and cause the woman to experience prolonged, painful contractions that lead to a miscarriage. 

While the abortion pills were first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000, they were required to be dispensed by certified doctors for several decades. However, many requirements that were in place for the prescription of chemical abortions were loosened during the COVID-19 lockdowns. 

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The New York Times elaborated on the details of the pharmacies’ plans to make the abortion pill available over the counter at locations in select states. Walgreens will offer chemical abortions at locations in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California and Illinois to start. Walgreens Spokesperson Fraser Engerman told the publication, “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.”

Meanwhile, CVS Spokesperson Amy Thibault said the abortion pills will be available at all of its locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island “in the weeks ahead.” Both Engerman and Thibault signaled that their companies would comply with state laws governing abortion pills, with Thibault vowing to “continually monitor and evaluate changes in state laws and ... dispense mifepristone in any state where it is or becomes legally permissible to do so.”

Engerman, however, indicated that his company was “not going to dispense in states where the laws are unclear.” The pro-life advocacy group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America condemned the move by the pharmacies in a statement released Friday.

“As two of the world’s largest, most trusted ‘health’ brands, the decision by CVS and Walgreens to sell abortion drugs is shameful, and the harm to unborn babies and their mothers incalculable. This reckless policy was made possible by the Biden administration, which is pushing to turn every pharmacy and post office in America into an abortion center for the sake of abortion industry greed,” said SBA Pro-Life America State Policy Director Katie Daniel.

“Even when used under the strongest safeguards, abortion drugs send roughly one in 25 women to the emergency room, according to the FDA’s own label. Yet under Democrat presidents, the FDA has illegally rolled back basic safety standards, like in-person doctor visits, even allowing these deadly drugs to be sent through the mail,” she added. 

Dr. Ingrid Skop, a certified OB-GYN who serves as the vice president and director of medical affairs at Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America’s research arm, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, offered a similar analysis in response to the pharmacies’ plans to sell the abortion pills. “Pharmacists, who do not receive clinical training, should not be distributing these dangerous drugs,” she declared. 

Skop added: “By pushing these medically unsupervised abortions, the FDA and abortion advocates continue down the slippery slope of chipping away at medical standards for women seeking abortion. This is not health care. This is an ideology that prioritizes destruction of human life and does not care that the women injured by these abortions, whom I see in the ER on a regular basis, are collateral damage.”

As Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America explained, CVS and Walgreens’ push to make the abortion pills available to customers comes just weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments in the cases of FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and Danco v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine on March 26. The group characterized the cases as a “landmark effort” where “a group of doctors are challenging the FDA’s reckless rubber-stamping of mail-order abortion pills.”

In a statement shared with The Christian Post, National Right to Life President Carol Tobias remarked, “We are extremely disappointed that the two largest pharmacy chains in the United States are offering abortion drugs.” She lamented that “this life-taking drug will now occupy space on shelves next to drugs created to help and not harm patients.”  

Referring to the Supreme Court cases that will weigh in on the FDA’s loosening of regulations on the abortion pills, Tobias expressed hope that the justices will “reconsider the approval of this dangerous drug combination or at the minimum reinstate long-standing safety protocols.”

National Right to Life Director of Education and Research Randall O’Bannon stressed that “even the FDA admits that these drugs will fail or come with complications for a number of women.” 

“When hundreds of thousands of women take these pills, even a couple of percentage points of women hemorrhaging, dealing with infections, or ectopic pregnancy, means thousands of women desperately seeking emergency treatment, which may or may not be nearby,” he warned. 

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, on the other hand, expressed gratitude that CVS and Walgreens are opting to sell the abortion pills over the counter in some states. In a statement released Friday, Biden described the news as “an important milestone in ensuring access to mifepristone, a drug that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective for more than 20 years.” 

Noting that major pharmacy chains are “newly certified to dispense abortion medication,” the president cheered that “many women will soon have the option to pick up their prescription at a local, certified pharmacy — just as they would for any other medication.” He encouraged “all pharmacies that want to pursue this option to seek certification.”

Harris, who has been charged with leading the administration’s Reproductive Rights Task Force, agreed with Biden that CVS and Walgreens’ move to sell mifepristone constitutes “an important step to ensure women have access to the health care they need.” 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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