Fox News reports that the Attorneys General of 19 states "warned major retailers against the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) attempt to let pharmacies mail out the abortion pill, and said doing so would subject to legal action from the states."
The letter was sent "to companies like Costco, Walmart, Kroger and others with pharmacies to spell out the legal repercussions of following the Biden administration's advice.
"'We write to advise you of why the FDA’s invitation is unlawful and risky and to urge you to continue rejecting it,' the AGs wrote, suggesting that the retailers "may not yet be aware that federal law expressly prohibits using the mail to send or receive any drug that will 'be used or applied for producing abortion'.'"
Earlier in February, the same Attorneys General sent letters to Walgreens and CVS, "pharmacy providers who said they intended to use the FDA’s plan to sell the abortion pill. On Monday, they also sent a letter to RiteAid, which announced they also plan to obtain and sell abortion pills using the mail."
According to the story, "The Biden administration in early January developed a plan to change an FDA rule in a way that would allow companies with a retail pharmacy to apply for a certification to distribute by mail a two-step abortion-inducing drug.
"Prior to the rule change, mifepristone, the first pill used in the two-part abortion process, could be dispensed only by some mail-order pharmacies or by certified doctors or clinics.
"If the FDA grants the certification, the pharmacy will be able to dispense the pill directly to patients upon receiving a prescription from a certified prescriber. But the attorneys general warn this change is an incorrect reading of what the law allows that would not stand up in court."
The Attorneys General are all Republicans, Fox News points out, and are from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
- KC's View:
This is exactly where retailers want to be - caught in the crossfire during a culture war.
Cleary there are different opinions about federal law. I have no idea how retailers should navigate this particular landmine-laden landscape, except that, if choices must be made, they probably should do their best to satisfy most of their customers, choosing the reading of the law that supports that position. The courts then probably will sort it all out, but retailers can be reassured that they put their shoppers first.