By Dave Andrusko
Yup, that’s what the headline to a Washington Post editorial says: “California’s abortion-pill grandstanding is self-defeating.” What does the Post mean and, by the way, what’s with this newfound respect for federalism?
You may have missed that Newsom “suspended a $54 million contract with Walgreens on Wednesday over the pharmacy chain’s decision not to distribute mifepristone in at least 20 states.” In a statement, Newsome said “California will not stand by as corporations cave to extremists and cut off critical access to reproductive care and freedom,” adding “California is on track to be the fourth largest economy in the world and we will leverage our market power to defend the right to choose.”
Newsom “announced his hard line approach to Walgreens last week, just days after the company said it would no longer distribute the abortion drug mifepristone in 20 states after facing pushback from GOP attorneys general in February,” reported Brandon Gillespie. “The liberal governor promised that the pharmaceutical company would face consequences for this action.”
The Post editorial pointed out the obvious (to everyone but the narcissistic Newsom):
For Mr. Newsom, Walgreens’s offense isn’t breaking the law but following it — specifically, declining to expand the distribution of an abortion pill, mifepristone, in states where it might not be legal to do so. (Even in some states where medication abortion is legal, state laws limit the way the drugs can be delivered.)
Walgreen’s decision was not made in a vacuum. “Twenty Republican state leaders last month sent a letter to the chain that threatened legal action if it were to mail abortion pills in their states, citing a federal law that prohibits mailing anything that could induce an abortion,” according to the Washington Post’s Niha Masih.
What about the other largest chains?
CVS and Rite Aid have not said exactly how they will navigate states’ varying laws, but they will presumably quietly follow the policy Walgreens made the mistake of announcing.
Indeed, the editorial argued that Newsom’s approach could backfire. “Abortion rights advocates should want to encourage pharmacies to participate in the program. (Walmart, for example, hasn’t yet said whether it will.)”
Cutting off its arraignment with Walgreen’s is (the Post writes)
(A)n abuse of government economic power. Yes, states have different cultural values and the leeway to structure their own public contracts. But that discretion should not extend to effectively ordering the companies with which they do business to disregard other states’ laws. Reaching beyond their own borders that way undermines America’s federal system.
Meanwhile, National Right to Life is encouraging its many supporters to write the three chains and tell them they should not “dispense this lethal and dangerous drug”.