Walgreens will not sell abortion pills in several states where abortion remains legal, the pharmaceutical giant announced Thursday.

The move comes after Republican attorneys general in 20 states sent Walgreens a letter saying the company could face legal consequences if it sold abortion drugs in those states.

«We emphasize that it is our responsibility as state attorneys general to enforce the law and protect the health, safety, and welfare of women and unborn children in our states.» declared a February 1 letter signed by attorneys general in states where abortion is legal and illegal.

Walgreens said it responded to each attorney general and said it would not sell abortion pills, by mail order or in its stores, in those states. They include states where abortion is illegal, such as Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Texas, and West Virginia.

But Walgreens also said it would not sell the pills in states where abortion remains legal, such as Alaska, Florida, Iowa and Montana.

«This is a very complex and ever-changing area of ​​the law, and we are taking that into account as we seek certification to dispense mifepristone,» said Fraser Engerman, Walgreens’ senior director of external relations, referring to an abortion drug that You can end a pregnancy in less than 10 weeks.

«We do not dispense mifepristone at this time. We intend to become a certified pharmacy under the program, however we will only dispense in those jurisdictions where it is legal to do so if we are certified,» Engerman added.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who signed the February letter, said in a Facebook Statement on Wednesday that he wants to make sure that «pharmacies across the country are not subverting state and federal statutes to mail abortion pills.»

“My office is doing everything in its power to inform these companies of the law, with the promise that we will do everything in our power to protect women and children,” he wrote.

Medical abortion accounted for more than half of all abortions in the US in 2020, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that advocates for abortion access.

Currently, access to abortion pills is legal in some form in 37 states. Medical abortion is allowed in 22 states, but in 15 states it must be prescribed by a doctor, not other doctors, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

The group also sent letters to CVS, Rite Aid, Albertsons, Costco, Kroger and Walmart. Those companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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