CNN analyst John Avlon said Friday that people should “apply the same standard” to Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as they cheer on liberal governors who oppose Walgreens halting abortion pill sales.
Walgreens made the decision to stop selling abortion pills in Republican-led states after receiving a letter from twenty-one attorneys general in February threatening legal action if the sales continued. Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged his state would not do business with Walgreens, while Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James have requested answers from Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid on making the abortion pill, mifepristone, available.
Liberals simultaneously criticized DeSantis for revoking Disney’s special privileges and self-governing status implemented through the Reedy Creek Improvement Act in 1967. Avlon said those who criticize DeSantis for punishing a private corporation should hold the same view for all governors.
“Folks who criticized Ron DeSantis, for example, for punishing private companies for political stances he didn’t like got to play the same lens when it comes to liberal states and liberal governors doing the same thing, in this case, against Walgreens,” Avlon said.
“But is it different though because this is a healthcare thing?” anchor and former Daily Caller reporter Kaitlan Collins asked.
“That would be the argument, but I still think the broader principle stands,” Avlon said.
“That was the first thing I thought about,” anchor Don Lemon added. “Didn’t people get upset because Ron DeSantis did something similar, if not the same thing as Disney?” (RELATED: ‘It’s A Pinata’: Former Trump Adviser Says DeSantis’ Moves Against Disney Make For Good ‘Primary Politics’)
“Yeah, just apply the same standards no matter what political party’s involved, and we’ll be a lot clearer as a country,” Avlon said.
DeSantis clashed with Disney over its opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill—signed into law by the governor on March 28, 2022—which prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and increases school districts’ responsibilities in notifying parents about their child’s health. Opponents of the legislation labeled it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law,” Disney said in a March 2022 statement. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”
Disney is now property of the state of Florida and is required to pay taxes and follow state regulatory rules and approvals.