Attorney General Ford Joins Multistate Coalition in Support of Medication Abortion at CVS, Walgreens Stores

Feb. 16, 2023

Carson City, NV — Today, Attorney General Aaron D. Ford joined a coalition of 23 attorneys general in welcoming a decision by CVS and Walgreens to start offering mifepristone and misoprostol, often referred to as medication abortion, in their stores. The decision, announced by the two companies last month, will enable their pharmacies to dispense and mail the pills to customers after receiving certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“In the current climate, when there is a concentrated effort to roll back the rights we have been accustomed to for generations, we welcome this decision from CVS and Walgreens,” said AG Ford. “There are some that have threatened legal repercussions to these companies, which is merely another effort to restrict the freedoms of Americans nationwide and to generate an aura of fear around reproductive health care.”

Mifepristone and misoprostol are used widely not just for abortions, but also to treat other health issues such as miscarriages; life-threatening ectopic pregnancies; and even gastric ulcers. They have been approved for use by the FDA for over 20 years. In a letter to CVS and Walgreens, the attorneys general wrote that making the medications available at their pharmacies would enable millions of individuals to more easily access critical, and sometimes lifesaving, reproductive care.

    After CVS and Walgreens announced their decision to offer mifepristone and misoprostol last month, a group of anti-abortion states wrote a letter to the companies, warning them of legal repercussions if the pharmacies attempt to dispense the medications by mail. However, the legal theory cited by the anti-abortion states has been repeatedly and consistently rejected by federal courts and Congress since the 20th century.
    In today’s letter, the 23 attorneys general assured CVS and Walgreens that the companies’ decision to dispense mifepristone and misoprostol is on solid legal footing and supported by over a hundred years of legal precedent.

    The letter from the 23 attorneys general highlights that:

      • Mifepristone and misoprostol are safe, effective and reliable medications. The anti-abortion states’ claim that “abortion pills are far riskier than surgical abortion” has been proven utterly false over and over again in numerous scientific studies. 
      • Restricting access to medication abortion jeopardizes patients’ health, safety and well-being, often forcing them to delay their care or seek abortions through unsafe means. By contrast, ensuring access to medication abortion as early as possible lowers the risk of complications. 
      • Having the option to use medication abortion empowers people to make the personal and confidential choice of which method of abortion is better for them based on factors including cost, accessibility, medical history, age and a desire to avoid surgery. Many pregnant women choose medical over surgical abortion because it can offer a more private and flexible option. 
      • Increased access to reproductive care is especially important for communities underserved by the healthcare system, including people of color, low-income people, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and people living in rural areas, who face the greatest barriers to getting the care they need in a timely and safe manner.

        In signing the letter, AG Ford joins the lead states of California, Oregon and Washington, and the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

        Read the Multistate Pharmacy Letter.