CALIFORNIA, USA — Governor Gavin Newsom took to Twitter to blast drugstore giant Walgreens over its decision not to offer abortion medication in twenty states.
Newsom said in a Tweet on Monday that California will cease doing business with the national drugstore chain.
The governor's announcement comes in response to Walgreens' decision that the drugstore chain will not distribute the abortion pill Mifepristone in 20 Republican-led states, bowing to pressure from anti-abortion lawmakers and lawsuits targeting the legality of abortion pills.
"It's like we don't have any say in our own body," said San Diegan Berks Montoya, who supports Governor Newsom's social media statement that "California won't be doing business with @walgreens-- or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women's lives at risk."
"It makes sense," she told CBS 8. "Why do business with people who don't want to help us?"
A spokesperson from Governor Newsom's office tells CBS 8 that "California is reviewing all relationships between Walgreens and the state. We will not pursue business with companies that cave to right-wing bullies pushing their extremist agenda or companies that put politics above the health of women and girls."
"This is consistent with his record of supporting women's reproductive rights and reproductive health," said Professor Ushma Upadhyay, Ph.D., a public health scientist at UC San Francisco.
"This decision by Walgreens is not based in science: it was based on politics," she told CBS 8
She worries that people who need this essential care won't be able to access it.
"I am concerned about people of low income, adolescents, and people of color who will be the most affected by this decision," Dr. Upadhyay added.
While Walgreens did not respond directly to Governor Newsom's tweet, it did say in a statement to CBS 8 that the chain does plan to dispense Mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legally permissible to do so,
adding, "Once we are certified by the FDA, we will dispense this medication consistent with federal and state laws. Providing legally approved medications to patients is what pharmacies do and is rooted in our commitment to the communities in which we operate."
On Sunday, Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois, where Walgreens is headquartered, spoke out on 'Face the Nation.'
"These pharmacies need to protect women's health," Pritzker said. "That is the business that they should be in. And so in states where it's legal to have an abortion and legal to sell an abortion pill, they should still be doing it."
This comes as a federal judge in Texas is expected to rule soon on a lawsuit that seeks to block the use of medication abortion nationwide, the biggest abortion-related case since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade last year,
Planned Parenthood issued this statement in response to Governor Newsom's announcement in response to the news that Walgreens will not distribute abortion pills in 20 states:
"Like others, we were disappointed to learn of Walgreens' response to demands made by anti-abortion Republican Attorneys General saying that the company will not provide medication abortion in 20 states, including somewhere it is still legal. These kinds of politically influenced actions create confusion and fear in the national abortion healthcare landscape and inconsistency in the ability of patients to get the care they need, purely based on zip code.
"This is the exact result anti-abortion actors want from their intimidation tactics. When politicians can interfere in the patient-provider relationship — in defiance of well-established science and medical evidence — people seeking access to timely, essential health care suffer. The decisions companies make regarding health care services should be rooted in public health and safety and the needs of patients — not in response to threats by politicians committed to controlling people's health care decisions, bodies, and lives.
"Every person should be able to access abortion care when and how they need it. Healthcare providers should be empowered to provide patients' care — full stop."
"Planned Parenthood thanks Governor Newsom for continuing to stand strong in his support of abortion access and push back against the anti-abortion movement that will not stop until they ban and criminalize abortion nationwide. Planned Parenthood in California will continue to work with all leaders who prioritize protecting and expanding access to abortion care and ensure all California patients or those seeking care from other states have access to the care they need."
WATCH RELATED: 'Plan C' helps women find access to abortion without going to a clinic (2021)