Mifepristone and misoprostol

Mifepristone and misoprostol are commonly taken together for medication abortions.

(Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

CVS and Walgreens to Offer Abortion Pill Mifepristone in Some States

"I encourage all pharmacies that want to pursue this option to seek certification," said President Joe Biden.

CVS and Walgreens will soon start offering the abortion pill mifepristone in certain states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, and Illinois.

It's not yet clear how many pharmacies in those states will sell the drug. Walgreens is considering expanding this offering to Kansas, Montana, and Wyoming.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a rule change in January of last year that made it so retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens would be permitted to sell the abortion pill. Retail pharmacies that would like to be able to sell mifepristone have to certify that they know how to treat abortion patients and require that patients fill out a consent form before obtaining the drug.

"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," President Joe Biden said in a statement.

Mifepristone is the subject of an upcoming Supreme Court case that could see access to the drug limited. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a former anti-abortion activist, issued a nationwide ban on the sale of mifepristone in April of last year in response to a lawsuit in his district that was brought by right-wing activists.

Kacsmaryk argued the FDA was wrong to approve the drug in 2000—which is very safe and has been used for decades. The Supreme Court put a hold on the ban in late April and then agreed to take the case in December.

It remains to be seen what the Supreme Court will do, but it could very well affect retail pharmacies' ability to sell mifepristone. Considering this is the court that overturned Roe, pro-choice voters are very worried about what the outcome might be. A ruling is expected in late June.

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