Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ: WBA) is set to lose a $54M contract with California following the company’s decision not to sell abortion pills in certain states. The contract, which provides specialty prescription drugs primarily to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and its correctional healthcare system, is set to expire on April 30.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California will cancel the contract, stating, “We’re serious about not investing in companies that cave to the extremist agenda of the @GOP.” Newsom had previously stated that the state was “done” with the company as it chose not to distribute Mifepristone in 20 states where Republicans were threatening legal action.
Walgreens’ senior director of external relations expressed disappointment in the decision by the state of California, stating that the company plans to dispense Mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legally permissible to do so, consistent with federal and state laws, after FDA certification.
This move by California comes as several Republican-controlled states have passed restrictive abortion laws and are pushing back against the Biden administration’s efforts to expand access to abortion pills. The issue of abortion has been a contentious one for many years, with both sides of the debate firmly holding their respective positions.
Walgreens’ decision not to distribute Mifepristone in certain states has sparked criticism from women’s rights activists, who argue that access to safe and legal abortion services is a fundamental right that should be protected. On the other hand, some conservatives believe that the drug is harmful and should not be distributed.
As the debate continues, it remains to be seen whether other states will follow California’s lead in canceling contracts with companies that choose not to distribute abortion pills.