State Attorney General Cautions Pharmacies Not To Distribute Abortion-Inducing Pills In Tennessee

  • Wednesday, March 22, 2023

"In an effort to uphold Tennessee law as enacted by the General Assembly," Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti sent letters to Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid seeking confirmation that they will not sell or dispense mifepristone, an abortion-inducing drug, in Tennessee.

Dobbs returned the authority to regulate or prohibit abortion to the people through their state governments,” General Skrmetti wrote. “Tennessee has unequivocally elected to prohibit elective abortions and to strictly regulate the use of abortion-inducing drugs such as mifepristone.”

Elective abortions are illegal under state law. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-213(b). Tennessee law allows for abortions that prevent a pregnant woman from suffering death or serious risk of substantial and irreversible bodily harm, but only when performed or attempted by a licensed physician.

General Skrmetti’s letter emphasizes both the Tennessee and federal laws which prohibit providing an abortion-inducing drugs via courier, deliver, or mail. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-6-1103, 18 U.S.C. § 1461. Mifepristone and other abortion-inducing drugs as particularly dangerous for pregnant mothers and are contraindicated in ectopic pregnancies.

The letter responded to recent announcements by these companies that they intend to obtain and distribute mifepristone. General Skrmetti sought confirmation from each pharmacy that they will not sell, distribute, dispense, or otherwise provide mifepristone in Tennessee.

Walgreens has already clarified that it will not distribute mifepristone in 20 states, including six states bordering Tennessee.

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