Skip to Main

May 11, 2023

VIDEO: Pressley Urges FDA to Approve Over-The-Counter Birth Control

Pressley, Murray, Colleagues Have Led Efforts To Expand Affordable OTC Birth Control, Applaud FDA Panel’s Unanimous Recommendation

Video (YouTube) | Photo (Dropbox)

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Chair of the Pro Choice Caucus’ Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray and advocates at a press conference to applaud the FDA Advisory Committee’s unanimous, 17-0 vote on Tuesday recommending that the FDA approve the first-ever application for over-the-counter birth control.

Rep. Pressley and Sen. Murray encouraged the FDA to follow the science and not delay in getting over-the-counter birth control on the shelves as soon as possible. The lawmakers also announced that, next week, they will be reintroducing their Affordability is Access Act, legislation to ensure that once an over-the-counter birth control option is approved, it is fully covered by insurers without any out-of-pocket costs.

A full transcript of Rep. Pressley’s remarks is available below, and the full video is available here.

Transcript: Pressley Urges FDA to Approve Over-The-Counter Birth Control
U.S. Senate Swamp
May 11, 2023

Thank you Dana, thank you Senator Murray and all of our advocates for your partnership in the fight for our bodily autonomy.

At a time when this far-right Supreme Court and anti-choice legislatures across the country are stopping at nothing to attack our reproductive freedom, it’s imperative that we use every tool available to protect reproductive health and affirm it as the fundamental human right that it is.

And when we say reproductive health care, that includes over the counter birth control.

Now let me make it plain: the advisory committee’s unanimous recommendation that the FDA make birth control available over the counter is historic.

It will be life-changing for millions, and it represents a major step forward in our fight to affirm folks’ fundamental right to bodily autonomy.

Our work certainly doesn’t stop here but we know that birth control plays a critical role in supporting people as they exercise their reproductive freedom and their power.

The power to protect one’s health.

The power to plan if and when and how to start or grow a family.

The power to determine one’s future and thrive, free from coercion and interference.

So we applaud this unanimous recommendation, and we urge the FDA to follow the science, trust the experts, and to move swiftly to make birth control available over-the-counter, without delay.

And their decision could not come soon enough.

Not for the millions of people in America who still struggle to access contraceptive services, particularly our Black, brown, indigenous, low-income, disabled, and our immigrant neighbors.

It’s imperative that we ensure birth control is not only available over the counter, but also affordable and accessible to everyone who needs it.

I am so proud to co-lead legislation with Senator Murray and our colleagues that would do just that.

So, I thank our colleagues and movement partners for being here today to take stock of this important victory and speak plainly about the work that remains.

Reproductive rights are human rights and we won’t let up.