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Newsom says California is ‘done’ with Walgreens over abortion pill

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                The entrance to a Walgreens is seen, Oct. 14, in Boston. California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state will stop doing business with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. after the drugstore chain moved to halt sales of abortion pills in 20 Republican-led states.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

The entrance to a Walgreens is seen, Oct. 14, in Boston. California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state will stop doing business with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. after the drugstore chain moved to halt sales of abortion pills in 20 Republican-led states.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state will stop doing business with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. after the drugstore chain moved to halt sales of abortion pills in 20 Republican-led states.

The Democratic governor directed the California Department of Health and Human Services to review all relationships Walgreens has with the state, including MediCal and Covered California, the state’s two largest public insurance plans, according to Newsom’s spokesperson. The amount of business California’s state-funded insurance plans does with Walgreens isn’t available, he said.

Last week, Walgreens said it won’t sell the abortion pill mifepristone in 20 states following warnings by Republican attorneys general of legal action against the company as well as CVS Health Corp. The two retailers could face legal consequences if they mail and distribute abortion medication in those states.

While Walgreens said it will stop selling abortion pills in those states, CVS so far hasn’t commented publicly.

Newsom is attempting to put pressure on companies to ignore threats from Republicans in the battle over abortion access in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

He’s increasingly wading into controversial issues as part of a campaign that’s seen him burnishing his national profile ahead of the 2024 presidential campaign.

Although Newsom has repeatedly denied presidential aspirations, many Democrats view the governor as a potential contender for the Democratic nomination, should Joe Biden decide not to seek reelection.

Newsom said in a tweet today that the state would not work with “any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk.”

Shares of Walgreens dropped as much as 1.6% following Newsom’s tweet, and were down 1.5% to $35.55 as of 2:48 p.m. in New York.

Walgreens didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

—With assistance from Fiona Rutherford.

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