Statement from Rep. Pressley and Chairwoman Maloney on FDA’s Decision to Temporarily Lift Restrictions Preventing Access to Mifepristone

April 13, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to temporarily lift the medically unnecessary in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency:

“We are pleased that the FDA has temporarily lifted the in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone, which will allow people seeking medication abortion to access this critical drug safely during this public health emergency,” said Congresswoman Pressley and Chairwoman Maloney. “For too long, this requirement and other medically unnecessary restrictions have created barriers for people seeking medication abortion care. But this is just a first step. While the coronavirus crisis has exacerbated the harm of these restrictions, the danger they pose to people seeking care existed well before the pandemic and will remain long after we have overcome it. It is imperative the federal government make every effort to protect and expand access to safe, legal abortion in the United States—including by permanently eliminating outdated, ideological restrictions on medication abortion care.”

On February 9, 2021, Congresswoman 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—a prescription medication that has been used to safely end early pregnancies in the United States for more than two decades.  

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

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.

Last month, 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.

 

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