In response to the FDA’s recent ruling expanding access to abortion pills, or mifepristone, anti-abortion groups have launched campaigns targeting CVS and Walgreens locations throughout the country. The pharmacies announced in early January that they plan to complete the necessary certification to offer abortion pills in their retail locations for the first time. A group of anti-abortion protestors disrupted the Walgreens Boots Alliance annual shareholder meeting on January 26th, demanding that they roll back their decision to offer mifepristone.
Beginning on February 4th, the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising has planned nationwide protests and boycotts of CVS and Walgreen in major cities, including Washington DC. Students for Life has also announced they will be holding a National Day of Protest on March 4th at local pharmacies. The demonstrators will use the same chants, signs, and hostility in drug store parking lots that the groups have long used to harass individuals entering abortion clinics. The safety of pharmacy teams will be a concern as well.
For many women living in states where abortion is banned or severely restricted, abortion pills are their only option for bodily autonomy. Mifepristone has been proved to be extremely safe and effective, time and time again, and currently accounts for more than half of abortions throughout the country. Studies have found that severe complications occur in less than half of one percent of medication abortions. However, the anti-abortion protestors have been spreading false and dangerous information surrounding women’s safety in taking the pill without a physician present, reversing progress made ending the stigma of abortion and further confusing women about their ability to make decisions regarding their own body.
Sources: Reuters 1/26/23; Politico 1/11/23