The Rundown

Ohio AG signs on to letter warning CVS, Walgreens against selling abortion pills

By: - February 3, 2023 4:55 am

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. (Photo by Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has signed on with more than a dozen other state attorneys general warning two pharmacies against selling abortion medication.

The letter came after CVS and Walgreens announced they planned to sell abortion pills in states where it’s legal to mail the medication.

The measure was led by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who wrote that he and his fellow Republican attorneys general, including Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, wanted to offer “thoughts on the current legal landscape.”

The attorneys general also spend time in the letter explaining a federal law on “mailing obscene or crime-inciting matter” which includes a ban on “every article or thing designed, adapted or intended for producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral use.”

In the letter, the chief legal officers for the states claim the Biden administration’s Office of Legal Counsel opinion that the U.S. Postal Service should “disregard” the text in federal law “fails to stand up even to the slightest amount of scrutiny.”

“Courts do not lightly ignore the plain text of statutes,” Bailey wrote in the letter.

The attorneys general also emphasize that laws in their states individually ban mailing abortion pills.

Abortion advocates in Ohio have already said changes to FDA requirements that would eliminate enforcement of that mifepristone, a two-pill regimen to induce abortion, must be received in person. The FDA changes would allow retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens to dispense the pills as well.

A 2021 state law bans abortion drugs from being administered “unless the physician is physically present where and when the initial dose of the drug is consumed.”

“These state laws reflect not only our commitment to protecting the lives and dignity of children, but also of women,” the attorneys general letter stated.



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Susan Tebben
Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow (KY) Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.