Major drug stores start selling abortion pill some say is ‘dangerous’ for women ahead of landmark SCOTUS case

The two largest pharmaceutical chains in the U.S. will begin selling the abortion pill mifepristone this month, just weeks before the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the drug’s approval, which the Biden administration defends. 

CVS and Walgreens completed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certification process to dispense mifepristone, the companies separately confirmed to Fox News Digital. The pill will not be sent through the mail, and the companies will follow the FDA’s guidelines issued last year — the same guidelines that will be challenged in the high court on March 26. 

Walgreens on Friday told Fox News Digital that it ‘expects to begin dispensing within a week’ across select pharmacies in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California and Illinois. 

CVS told Fox News Digital that it will begin filling prescriptions for the pill in Massachusetts and Rhode Island ‘in the weeks ahead’ and will expand to more states ‘where allowed by law, on a rolling basis.’

Pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America (SBA) called the rollout ‘shameful’ in a statement to Fox News Digital.

‘As two of the world’s largest, most trusted ‘health’ brands, the decision by CVS and Walgreens to sell dangerous abortion drugs is shameful, and the harm to unborn babies and their mothers incalculable,’ SBA state policy director Katie Daniel said

Even when used under the strongest safeguards, abortion drugs send roughly one in 25 women to the emergency room, according to the FDA’s own label,’ Daniel said. ‘Yet under Democrat presidents, the FDA has illegally rolled back basic safety standards, like in-person doctor visits, even allowing these deadly drugs to be sent through the mail.’

In a few weeks, Daniel said, the Supreme Court will hear a case ‘brought by doctors who routinely witness the fallout for women and girls who turn up in ERs with severe pain, heavy bleeding, infections and other serious complications.’

President Biden called the announcement an ‘important milestone’ on Friday.

‘With major retail pharmacy chains newly certified to dispense medication abortion, many women will soon have the option to pick up their prescription at a local, certified pharmacy — just as they would for any other medication. I encourage all pharmacies that want to pursue this option to seek certification,’ Biden said in the statement to the media.

In overturning Roe v. Wade in June 2022, the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to an abortion and that the matter should be decided by the states. In the aftermath, 14 states have banned abortion at all stages of pregnancy, with some exceptions, and two others have banned abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks of gestation. 

The Biden administration and the maker of the drug mifepristone are asking the high court to reverse an appellate ruling that would cut off access to the drug through the mail and impose other restrictions, even in states where abortion remains legal. The restrictions include shortening from the current 10 weeks to seven weeks the time during which mifepristone can be used in pregnancy. The nine justices rejected a separate appeal from abortion opponents who challenged the FDA’s initial approval of mifepristone as safe and effective in 2000.

Mifepristone, made by New York-based Danco Laboratories, is one of two drugs used in medication abortions, which account for more than half of all abortions in the U.S. More than 5 million people have used it since 2000, according to The Associated Press. The second is misoprostol, which some health care providers say is less effective in ending pregnancies. 

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report. 

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