Walgreens in abortion fight: Private companies can’t evade politics?

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People walk by a Walgreens, owned by the Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Photo by Shutterstock.

The debate over abortion rights has entered a new phase. Last year’s Supreme Court decision to strike down the federal right to the health procedure and leave it up to states is now playing out with private companies. 

The country’s second-largest pharmacy chain, Walgreens, is facing criticism from both sides of the aisle after announcing it would not ship or sell mifepristone in 21 states. The medication is used to terminate a pregnancy or treat a miscarriage. 

This came after Republican attorneys general threatened legal action if the pharmacy didn’t stop selling the medication. However, abortion is still legal in a few of the states on that list such as Alaska, Kansas and Montana. 

Then, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state was cutting ties with Walgreens and its $54 million contract. He claimed the pharmacy caved to pressure from the right. 

Can big companies no longer stay out of these polarizing debates? 

Host David Greene discusses with Mo Elleithee, executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, and Sarah Isgur, senior editor at The Dispatch.

Plus, while the Supreme Court was once considered a major polarizing force, its perception with Americans is improving. 

A Marquette Law School poll from January found that 47% of respondents approve of the Supreme Court, up from 38% last July when the court struck down Roe v Wade. And surprisingly, the rise is mostly among Democrats. Can the court continue boosting its standing?

Special guest Charles Franklin, pollster and director of the Marquette Law School, weighs in on restoring faith in the High Court. 

And Stanford Law School’s invitation to a controversial federal judge ended up a complete mess. Before he could start his speech, hecklers interrupted the event and even a school administrator questioned if allowing his talk was worth it. 

How can universities ensure a public speaker and dissenters can have their voices heard? And where do we draw the line between free speech and hate speech?




David Greene