‘California Won't Be Doing Business With Walgreens': Experts Weigh in on Gov. Newsom's Tweet

Gov. Newsom's impact on Californians who rely on Walgreens for medication could be significant

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"California won't be doing business with Walgreens," Governor Newsom tweeted Monday.

“It’s particularly consequential when you consider that many as half of the abortions in this state are done through pharmaceuticals rather than surgically," legal analyst, Dan Eaton said.

Newsom's tweet is a response to Walgreens' decision last week to not sell abortion pills in 20 states where abortion is outlawed or restricted.

The company made that decision after Republican attorneys general threatened to sue Walgreens if it sold the abortion pills in their states.

Eaton said the governor's tweet could take a long time to unfold into something that has any kind of legal effect, but it does raise a lot of questions.

“What is the regulation going to be that the governor is ultimately going to put forward? What does the contract say between the State of California and Walgreens with respect to Medi-Cal and Covered California? What impact is this ultimately going to have on access to abortion drugs? For example, Californians where Walgreens is the only practical provider of pharmaceuticals?” Eaton asked.

Eaton said its impact on Californians who rely on Walgreens for medication could be significant.

“Understand, not just abortion pills. The governor is talking about eliminating all contractual relationship with Walgreens. That affects people who rely on Walgreens for medication for any reason at all," Eaton said.

Eaton said California is a big player as a buyer of pharmaceuticals, which could have an economic impact on Walgreens, too.

“If the gist of what the governor Tweeted does become some sort of law, or regulation, it will indeed eliminate Walgreens’ ability to get reimbursement from the State of California.”

Thad Krousser, a political science professor at UC San Diego said we will continue to see fights between states to affect the national policy.

“Gavin Newsom wants to protect abortion rights across the country, leaders in some Republican states want to restrict access and want to take a pro-life approach in other states, so really what we’re seeing is a nationalization of a battle over abortion.”

The governor's office has not given any inclination on how this will specifically impact retail Walgreens stores across California, but state officials have not clarified exactly what impact this will have.

A spokesperson for the governor said "California is reviewing all relationships between Walgreens and the state."

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