WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, as first reported in NBC News, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12-D), Pro-Choice Caucus Abortion Rights and Access Task Force Chair Ayanna Pressley (MA-7-D), and Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chairs Diana DeGette (CO-1-D) and Barbara Lee (CA-13-D), introduced a resolution, H.Res.589, in the House of Representatives. Joined by 75 cosponsors, the resolution supports equitable, science-based policies governing patient access to medication abortion, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president & CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The science is clear: The current restrictions on mifepristone are medically unnecessary. For two decades, these restrictions have only created additional barriers for patients seeking abortion care. It is critical that the FDA follow the science and lean into facts to ensure that all people can access a safe and legal abortion without obstacles. I thank Reps. Maloney, Pressley, DeGette, and Lee for their leadership in highlighting the importance of equitable, science-based policies that protect the health and rights of patients.”
Mifepristone is the first of two medications used in a medication abortion and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more than 20 years ago. Since then, more than 4 million people have used this safe, legal medication to end pregnancy.
Yet for decades, the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) restrictions on mifepristone have imposed medically unnecessary requirements on providers. They've mandated that patients pick up the medication directly from a doctor’s office, hospital, or health center — rather than from a pharmacy or by mail, as allowed for other equally safe medications. During the pandemic, suspension of the in-person dispensing requirement has reduced unnecessary COVID-19 exposure for both patients and health care staff without decreasing the safety or efficacy of medication abortion. In May, the Biden-Harris administration told the court in Chelius v. Becerra — a case challenging the restrictions on medication abortion — that the FDA is currently reviewing these medically unnecessary requirements.
The American College of Obstetricians, Gynecologists and American Academy of Family Physicians, and other leading medical associations have maintained that the FDA’s long-standing restrictions on mifepristone are not based on medical evidence and do not benefit patients. In fact, out of 20,000 prescription medications regulated by the FDA, mifepristone is the only one the FDA permits patients to self-administer at home but requires to be dispensed in person.
See the full resolution introduced in the House here.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.