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Office of the
Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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February 16, 2023

Chicago  — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 23 attorneys general, today welcomed a recent decision by CVS and Walgreens to offer mifepristone and misoprostol in their stores. Once certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CVS and Walgreens pharmacies can fill prescriptions for mifepristone and misoprostol, which are often referred to as medication abortion, consistent with federal and state law.

In a letter, to the companies, Raoul and the attorneys general explained that availability of mifepristone and misoprostol at retail pharmacies would enable millions of individuals to easily access critical, and sometimes lifesaving, reproductive care. Mifepristone and misoprostol have been approved by the FDA for more than 20 years and are also prescribed to treat other common health issues such as miscarriages, life-threatening ectopic pregnancies and gastric ulcers.

“I applaud the decision of CVS and Walgreens to offer accessible reproductive care in their stores. I am proud to collaborate with my colleagues on this letter, not only to support access to medication abortion, but also to share accurate information on the legal availability and medical benefits of mifepristone and misoprostol,” Raoul said. “I will continue to stand up for the rights of women to access reproductive health care both in Illinois and across the country.”

After CVS and Walgreens announced decisions to offer mifepristone and misoprostol last month, a group of anti-abortion attorneys general wrote a letter to the companies, claiming there would be legal repercussions if the pharmacies attempt to dispense the medications by mail.

In today’s letter, Raoul assured CVS and Walgreens that the companies’ decisions to dispense mifepristone and misoprostol are on solid legal footing and supported by over a hundred years of legal precedent. The legal theory cited by the anti-abortion states in their letter has been repeatedly and consistently rejected by federal courts and Congress since the 20th century.

In the letter, Attorney General Raoul highlights: 

  • Mifepristone and misoprostol are safe, effective and reliable medications. Anti-abortion states’ claim that “abortion pills are far riskier than surgical abortion” has been proven utterly false over and over again in numerous scientific studies.
  • Restricting access to medication abortion jeopardizes patients’ health, safety and well-being, often forcing them to delay their care or seek abortions through unsafe means. By contrast, ensuring access to medication abortion as early as possible lowers the risk of complications.
  • Having the option to use medication abortion empowers people to make the personal and confidential choice of which method of abortion is better for them based on factors such as cost, accessibility, medical history, age and a desire to avoid surgery. Many pregnant women choose medication over procedural abortion because it can offer a more private and flexible option.
  • Increased access to reproductive care is especially important for communities underserved by the health care system and for those who face the greatest barriers to getting the care they need in a timely and safe manner, including people of color, low-income people, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals and people living in rural areas.

Raoul is joined in sending the letter by attorneys general from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.