In an effort to counter GOP efforts to restrict reproductive rights, Governor Gavin Newsom said California will cut ties with Walgreens over the company’s decision to stop selling abortion drugs in 20 Republican states.
“California doesn’t do business with Walgreens — or any company that backs down from the extremists and endangers women’s lives,” Newsom tweeted Monday. “Were done.”
Newsom’s post is the governor’s latest political maneuver in the national battle between red and blue states over abortion rights since the Supreme Court last summer’s groundbreaking Roe v. Wade decision overturned.
Using the strength of the California economy, Newsom is trying to push back the pressure GOP leaders are putting on retailers to cut off access to abortion medications in their states.
Attorneys general in 20 GOP-led states sent a letter to Walgreens and CVS last month threatening legal action if the retailers in their respective states sold abortion pills by mail. On Friday, Walgreens responded, saying it would not sell the medication in those states.
Newsom’s tweet, his spokesperson said, was “a shot across the bow”.
“Companies appear to be giving in to political pressure from right-wing extremists and those decisions have consequences,” says Anthony York.
Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc fell more than 1.6% on Monday following Newsom’s announcement. The Illinois retailer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
How California would stop doing business with Walgreens and what impact such a move might have on Californians was not immediately clear. Newsom’s aides said his administration had no details on what cutting ties would entail and that it is only now reviewing all relations between Walgreens and the state, including MediCal and Covered California contracts.
Advocates for Californians receiving state-sponsored healthcare said it was difficult to determine whether the decision to cut ties with the retailer would affect patients given the lack of details.
Newsom tends to seize on current political issues and make high-profile announcements before determining how the state will carry out its plan.
The governor last fall declared his desire to fine oil companies for windfall profits in response to record gasoline prices in California. He and lawmakers are still trying to figure out how to limit the industry’s profits in a special legislative session.