May 10, 2023
Pressley Applauds FDA Panel Recommendation on OTC Birth Control
Pressley, Colleagues Have Led Efforts To Expand Affordable Over-The-Counter Birth Control
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Chair of the Pro Choice Caucus’ Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, issued the following statement on the FDA Advisory Committee’s unanimous, 17-0 vote to approve the first-ever application for over-the-counter birth control.
Rep. Pressley, along with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and colleagues, have led efforts in Congress to expand affordable over-the-counter birth control, and have introduced legislation to ensure that once the FDA determines an over-the-counter birth control option to be safe, it approves it without delay.
“This is a major step forward in our fight to protect our bodily autonomy and affirm folks’ right to make decisions about their body, when to start a family, and their future. The FDA should move to make birth control available over-the-counter without delay,” said Rep. Pressley. “With this far-right Supreme Court and anti-choice legislatures across the country stopping at nothing to attack our reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy, we must use every tool available to protect reproductive health care and affirm it as the fundamental human right that it is.”
Last year, Rep. Pressley, along with U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Congressman Ami Bera (CA-06), Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), introduced the Affordability is Access Act (AAA) to ensure that people across the country can access and afford over-the-counter birth control options and plan their own reproductive lives, on their own terms.
In her time serving in Congress, Congresswoman Pressley has fought persistently to protect fundamental reproductive and sexual health care rights.
- Rep. Pressley is a lead co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), bicameral federal legislation to guarantee equal access to abortion care, everywhere.
- Rep. Pressley is also a lead co-sponsor of the EACH Act, bold legislation to repeal the Hyde Amendment and help guarantee abortion coverage—regardless of how a patient gets their health insurance.
- Shortly before the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Rep. Pressley led a group of her Black women colleagues in writing to President Biden urging him to declare a public health emergency amid the unprecedented threats to abortion rights nationwide.
- Rep. Pressley condemned the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade., and implored the Senate to protect abortion rights and slammed the white supremacist roots of anti-abortion efforts.
- In September 2021, Rep. Pressley issued a statement condemning the Supreme Court’s inaction on SB-8, Texas’ restrictive abortion law. Later that month, she participated in a House Oversight Committee hearing to examine the threat posed by abortion bans and underscored the urgency of the Senate passing the Women’s Health Protection Act.
- In April 2021, 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 people, regardless of income, insurance or zip code, can make personal reproductive health care decisions without interference from politicians. She re-Introduced the legislation In January 2023.
- Rep. Pressley has led calls in Congress for the FDA to remove medically unnecessary restrictions on the medication abortion drug mifepristone, and applauded the FDA’s action in January 2023 to allow retail pharmacies to dispense abortion medication pills.
- In March 2023, Rep. Pressley delivered a speech in which she discussed the pending court case in Texas, which aims to restrict access to medication abortion across the entire nation. In her remarks, Rep. Pressley affirmed medication abortion as routine medical care, and accessibility to the abortion pill mifepristone as essential.
- As Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, Congresswoman Pressley has led the fight to repeal the Hyde Amendments from annual Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bills and in July 2020 published a Medium post on the importance of doing so. She applauded the removal of the Hyde Amendment in President Biden’s FY2022 budget.
- In March 2023, Rep. Pressley, along with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Reps. Schakowsky, Lee, DeGette, Torres and Strickland, reintroduced the Abortion is Healthcare Everywhere Act harmful and discriminatory Helms Amendment and expand abortion access globally.
- In March 2023, Rep. Pressley and Senator Hirono led their colleagues in reintroducing a bicameral congressional resolution honoring abortion providers and clinic staff.
- 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 August 2021, Rep. Pressley, Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, 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 January 2023, Rep. Pressley introduced a resolution to condemn all forms of political violence in the U.S., regardless of its target or intent. That same day, she delivered a powerful speech on the House floor slamming Republicans’ harmful, misleading anti-abortion resolution.
- In September 2022, Rep. Pressley hosted U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra at the Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester for a convening on their work to address the Black maternal health crisis and the criminalization of abortion care in states across the nation following the harmful U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.
- 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.