Attorney General James works to protect access to reproductive health care at major New York City pharmacies

AG James reminds CVS and Walgreens to deny New Yorkers
Access to reproductive health care services is illegal in New York

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James has taken steps to protect New Yorkers’ access to prescriptions and reproductive health products at CVS and Walgreens pharmacies. Employees at CVS and Walgreens stores in other states have reportedly refused to provide customers with contraceptives, condoms, emergency contraceptives, and / or other reproductive health-related medications. Attorney General James has sent letters to both CVS and Walgreens reminding retail pharmacy giants that it is illegal in New York to deny customers prescription or over-the-counter or reproductive health care drugs or products.

“Pharmacies have a responsibility to safeguard the health of New Yorkers, including by providing drugs and reproductive health products,” he said. The Attorney General Giacomo. “The actions taken by some CVS and Walgreens employees in other states have raised concerns nationwide and raised serious questions that need to be addressed. Let me be clear: I will not accept that New Yorkers are denied access to essential health products and services. I am proud to stand up for the reproductive rights of New Yorkers and will always strive to preserve access to birth control and other drugs and reproductive health options. ”

New Yorkers looking for contraception or other reproductive health products in these two main chains have the right to receive those essential products. Reports from other states indicate that some CVS and Walgreens employees have refused to provide reproductive health products or services, and some Walgreens employees have even abused consumers by publicly harassing, embarrassing and shaming them. In letters from him, Attorney General James makes it clear that similar behavior by CVS or Walgreens employees at any of their more than 1,000 locations across New York State is a violation of public health and civil rights laws. New York.

Attorney General James requires CVS and Walgreens to provide more information on their refusal policies, which Walgreens says allow pharmacists to refrain from submitting a prescription for which they have a moral objection. It seems that politics, in practice, may violate the rights of New Yorkers. Attorney General James also asks Walgreens and CVS to provide more information on:

  • The amount of time CVS and Walgreens consider “in time” to fulfill a prescription or complete a sales transaction if it is rejected.
  • Training of companies on waste matters and related policies.
  • All documents relating to whether CVS and Walgreens track waste and / or that such prescriptions and over-the-counter sales have been filled in and / or completed in a “timely” manner.
  • All complaints regarding CVS and Walgreens waste in New York offices over the past six years.

Attorney General James has been a leader in the fight to protect abortion rights and access to reproductive health care. In June, Attorney General James asked Google to correct search results that directed people seeking abortions to dangerous and misleading anti-abortion clinics in New York. Last week, the Attorney General praised the fact that following his letter, Google fixed this problem and improved search results. In May, Attorney General James supported state legislation to establish a state program to provide financial resources to abortion providers in New York and called for a New York state constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to abortion.

Attorney General James recently launched a pro bono legal hotline to provide legal assistance and resources to patients, healthcare professionals and advocates seeking information on their legal rights to access and provide abortions. The hotline is free and available in the 12 most common languages ​​spoken in New York. To access the hotline, dial (212) 899-5567. For more information, visit https://ag.ny.gov/reproductivehealth

The matter is handled by Assistant Attorney General Jason L. Meizlish of the Office of Fraud and Consumer Protection and Assistant Attorney General Nancy Trasande of the Office of Civil Rights. The Bureau of Fraud and Consumer Protection is headed by Bureau Chief Jane M. Azia and Deputy Bureau Chief Laura J. Levine and is part of the Division for Economic Justice, headed by Deputy Chief Attorney General Chris D’Angelo. The Civil Rights Bureau is headed by Deputy Chief of the Office Travis England and is part of the Division for Social Justice, headed by Deputy Attorney General Meghan Faux. Both the Division of Economic Justice and the Division of Social Justice are overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.

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