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December 16, 2021

Rep. Pressley and Chairwoman Maloney Applaud FDA Eliminating Medically Unnecessary Restrictions on Mifepristone Access

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Task Force and member of the House Oversight Committee, and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statements in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to eliminate the medically unnecessary in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone, one of the two drugs that has been used to safely end early pregnancies in the United States for more than two decades: 

“With abortion rights under attack nationwide and in the courts, we should be using every tool available to affirm abortion care—including medication abortion—as the fundamental human right that it is,” said Rep. Pressley. “I’m glad the FDA has heeded our calls to lift the in-person dispensing requirement, one of many medically unnecessary restrictions on mifepristone, which will help ensure more people—including our low-income siblings, Black, brown, LGBTQ+ folks, and other vulnerable communities who have been disproportionately impacted by these restrictions—are able to access the abortion care they deserve. Our work to affirm reproductive justice continues.” 

“I applaud the FDA’s momentous decision to lift medically unnecessary restrictions on mifepristone, which will expand access to abortion care for patients across the country,” said Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney.  “With abortion rights being bulldozed by hostile courts and state legislatures, the federal government must make every effort to protect and expand access to safe and legal abortion care.  Removing the in-person dispensing requirement to medication abortion care is a crucial step toward ensuring that all people can exercise their constitutional right to abortion without stigma or delay.  The FDA’s decision is particularly important for people of color, people in rural communities, and people with lower incomes, who are disproportionately harmed by abortion restrictions.” 

On February 9, 2021, Rep. Pressley and Chairwoman Maloney led all Democratic Committee congresswomen in sending a letter asking the FDA to lift the medically unnecessary in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone.  

On February 17, 2021, Chairwoman Maloney and Rep. Pressley published an op-ed in ELLE explaining the urgent need for FDA to lift medically unnecessary restrictions on medication abortion care. 

On August 17, 2021, Chairwoman Maloney, Rep. Pressley and Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Diana DeGette and Barbara Lee led more than 70 of their House Democratic colleagues in introducing a resolution in support of equitable, science-based policies governing access to medication abortion care. 

In June, Congresswoman Pressley, along with U.S. Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Veronica Escobar (D-TX) and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI),  introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), bicameral federal legislation to guarantee equal access to abortion care, everywhere.  

As Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, Congresswoman Pressley has fought tirelessly to protect comprehensive reproductive health care for all, including abortion care. 

  • Over the course of her first term serving in Congress, Congresswoman Pressley has filed amendments every year to repeal Hyde from annual Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bills and in July published a Medium post on the importance of doing so.
  • In April, Rep. Pressley, along with Congresswomen Barbara Lee (CA-13), Diana DeGette (CO-01) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), led a group of 131 Democratic members in reintroducing the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act or the EACH Act, which would repeal the Hyde Amendment and ensure that all women, regardless of income, insurance or zip code, can make personal reproductive health care decisions without interference from politicians.
  • In May 2020, she led more than 155 Members of Congress in calling on House Democratic leadership to ensure that any future COVID-19 relief packages rejected Republican efforts to use the public health crisis to diminish abortion access.
  • In May 2019, she led more than 100 colleagues in introducing H.Con.Res.40, a resolution reaffirming the House of Representative’s support for Roe v. Wade. In June 2019, Rep. Pressley introduced H.R. 3296, the Affordability is Access Act, to make oral contraception available without a prescription. 
  • In September 2016, as a member of the Boston City Council, Pressley championed a resolution calling on Congress and President Obama to repeal the Hyde Amendment and reinstate insurance coverage for abortion services.