All Walgreens in California at risk of being shut down


Kashaf Iftikhar

The recent decision between Walgreens and GOP states to deny abortion pill (mifepriston) access through their pharmacy has caused conflict in California.

On March 6, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted that California will no longer conduct business with Walgreens.

“We’re done,” Newsom tweeted.

Ongoing debates about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June, 2022 have caused pro- and anti-abortion laws to become stricter throughout the US. This has forced pharmacies and clinics to take a stance, which, as a result, has put their operations at risk in certain states. After threats of legal action from GOP states, Walgreens, the second-largest pharmacy in the US, has decided to accommodate for the 21 Republican states that prohibit the distribution of abortion pills. This has caught the eye of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who added to the threats Walgreens has recently been receiving. 

They plan to sell mifepristone “in any jurisdiction where it is legally permissible,” said a spokesperson for Walgreens.

Customers are also worried that they won’t have access to the additional products beyond health care that Walgreens offers.

“How am I supposed to get my hot wheels?” said DP student Kaiser Orduna.

Shutting down the nearly 600 stores in California will leave hundreds of families without a primary pharmacy, delaying medication distribution. In addition, the jobs of Walgreens’ employees may be at risk. That is about 4.3 million people who may be affected by the decision to shut down Walgreens. However, shutting down a large medication provider may prove to be quite difficult.

“Theoretically, the largest stoppage he could do is stop all Medi-Cal recipients to buy medication through Walgreens,” said Roger Springer in the article, “The Possible Effects Of California No Longer Doing Business With Walgreens” by Evan Symon. 

Newsom is openly determined to expand abortion protection, but has a history of making claims before the state comes to a consensus. Whether this claim will go through is still debatable. If it does go through, the earliest it can take effect is May 2023, when the renewal contract between California and Walgreens was planned to take effect. 

“We’re serious about not investing in companies that cave to the extremist agenda of the GOP,” Newsom tweeted on March 8.

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