New York attorney general to CVS, Walgreens: Don't restrict reproductive products

Following viral tweets of workers refusing to sell condoms or momentarily withholding a prescribed arthritis drug that is sometimes used in reproductive procedures, New York Attorney General Letitia James told CVS and Walgreens it is illegal to restrict healthcare products. 

"The actions taken by some CVS and Walgreens employees in other states have sparked concerns nationwide and have raised serious questions that must be addressed," Ms. James wrote in an Aug. 30 news release, detailing she sent letters to both companies. "Let me be clear: I will not accept New Yorkers being denied access to essential healthcare products and services."

In the weeks following the Supreme Court's landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, posts with #BoycottWalgreens and #BoycottCVS have swirled on social media after the two pharmacy retail companies revealed similar restrictive policies with respect to certain products. At  Walgreens, a worker can refuse to sell a product or fill a prescription if it conflicts with their beliefs as long as the service is redirected to another employee. And at CVS, pharmacists in some states have to double check that prescriptions are not intended to end a pregnancy. 

Ms. James said these policies "may infringe upon New Yorkers' rights" and asked the companies to revise their rules. And on July 28, Illinois senators penned a similar letter to Walgreens about the issue.

Despite HHS' clarification that it is illegal to deny reproductive care, access to other products, including emergency contraceptives and some drugs that could induce an abortion, is also at stake.

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