Column: The Catholic Investor
I’d like to start this article by wishing all of you a very happy 2023! Hopefully, it will prove to be more rewarding from an investment standpoint than the exceedingly disappointing 2022.
Also disappointing is the recent, January 3rd, policy change by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that allows pharmacies to sell mifepristone.
What is Mifepristone, and why should I care?
Mifepristone is the drug that is the first of two different pills that are used in chemical abortions. Up until this policy change, the drug had to be dispensed in-person directly to the “patient” in a medical office, hospital, or clinic per FDA regulations. No in-person visit with a doctor is required for a prescription. With this regulatory change, mifepristone may now be dispensed by a pharmacy. (The fact that the drug was ever approved, given that it is solely intended to end the life of a human being, is impossible to justify.)
In 2020, according to statistics from the CDC, mifepristone accounted for 51% of all abortions in the United States. And that was well before this change in regulation which will make the drug more easily obtainable.
So, you may be wondering, why discuss this in an article about investing?
The answer lies in the USCCB Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines which state that companies involved in the manufacture or marketing of materials for the specific purpose of abortion should be avoided. In other words, do not invest in companies involved in abortion.
Unfortunately, two otherwise excellent companies, Walgreens and CVS, the two largest US retail pharmacy chains, have decided to hop aboard this train and offer the death-dealing pills to their customers.
Per Walgreens’ spokesperson Marty Maloney: “We intend to become a certified pharmacy under the program. We are working through the registration, necessary training of our pharmacists, as well as evaluating our pharmacy network in terms of where we normally dispense products that have extra FDA requirements and will dispense these consistent with federal and state laws.”
CVS’ Amy Thibault said, “We plan to seek certification to dispense mifepristone where legally permissible,” and, “We have policies in place to ensure no patient is ever denied access to medication prescribed by a physician based on a pharmacist’s individual religious or moral beliefs.”
What can I do?
Both Walgreens and CVS are part of the S&P 500, so they are somewhat ubiquitous and hard to avoid. But, if you don’t want to be a junior partner in these two companies’ quest to profit from abortion, you should eliminate them from your portfolio. Unfortunately, if you own mutual funds that hold them, you will have no ability to do so short of exiting the fund(s).
Thomas "Tom" Carroll, CFA, is the president of Catholic Investment Strategies, a position in which he has passionately enjoyed serving since 2012. Prior to this position,... MORE »