CHICAGO— Governor JB Pritzker today joined 14 other Governors to call on major pharmacies to clarify how they plan to safeguard against threats to reproductive healthcare and protect access to medication like Mifepristone. Governor Pritzker and other members of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, a nonpartisan coalition of Governors invested in protecting reproductive health care, called on national pharmacy chains in response to Walgreens recent announcement it would stop distributing medication for abortions in some states where the procedure remains legal.
“I’ve spoken with Walgreens executives and expressed my deep disappointment at their announced policy, and I’ve urged them to rethink this decision that will severely limit access to essential healthcare for thousands of women,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I’m calling on all major pharmacies to resist the political grandstanding of certain state Attorneys General and preserve this right wherever reproductive choice is still allowed—which will always be the case in Illinois while I am Governor.”
The letter was sent to executives at CVS, Walmart, Rite-Aid, Safeway, Health Mart, Kroger, Costco, and Target by California Governor Gavin Newsom, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Maine Governor Janet Mills, Maryland Governor Wes Moore, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.
Recent media reports indicate that some major pharmacy retail companies, under political pressure, may be considering not dispensing critical abortion medication to millions of individuals, including in states where medication abortion, like Mifepristone, can be lawfully dispensed. Mifepristone has been approved by the FDA since 2000 and was made available by mail order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency rule change was made permanent in December 0f 2021.
Illinois has remained a haven for reproductive rights despite attacks on choice across the country and the Midwest. In 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the Reproductive Freedom Act into law, enshrining protections for reproductive healthcare into law. In the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022, Governor Pritzker has expanded funding to clinics serving an influx of patients and signed legislation protecting providers and ensuring insurance coverage for medically necessary procedures.