September 2, 2020 / Press Releases

NARAL Pro-Choice America Condemns U.S. Senators Joni Ernst and Kelly Loeffler for Joining Effort to Ban Medication Abortion Amid Pandemic

For Immediate Release: September 2, 2020

Contact: [email protected]

Yesterday Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia) joined 18 other anti-choice, anti-freedom Republican senators in a letter asking the FDA to ban mifepristone, which is used in medication abortion care.

Both Ernst and Loeffler have a track record of using health disinformation to manipulate voters and attack reproductive freedom. Mifepristone is an FDA-approved medication used for ending an early pregnancy that has been approved in the United States for 20 years. Medication abortion accounts for nearly 40% of abortion care in the United States.

Earlier this week — amid reports that Iowa officially has the worst COVID-19 rates in the nation — Sen. Ernst amplified a radical conspiracy theory questioning the COVID-19 death toll, downplaying the number of lives lost and dangerously calling into question the motives of healthcare providers. Medical experts have repeatedly confirmed the COVID-19 toll has not been inflated, and evidence suggests the actual number of cases far exceeds current tallies.

In response to news of Sens. Loeffler and Ernst signing onto the letter, NARAL Pro-Choice America National Communications Director Kristin Ford released the following statement:

“This letter is nothing more than a politically motivated attempt to ban abortion, and has absolutely no basis in science and medicine. In the midst of a public health crisis, our leaders should be working to expand, not restrict, access to essential care that women need. Patients’ health and safety must always come first. We cannot stand by as Ernst, Loeffler, and their fellow anti-choice, anti-freedom senators continue to prioritize their dangerous agenda above our collective health and well-being. Now more than ever, medical care should be determined by science and patients’ needs—not extremist ideology.” 

Just last week, a new Public Policy Polling survey found that a large majority (70%) of Iowa voters believe that abortion should be legal, and that the government should not prevent a woman from making that decision for herself. Just 14% say they would only consider voting for a candidate who supports banning abortion in the November election.

A 2019 Public Policy Polling survey of Georgia swing House districts also found that a majority (69%) of voters across parties — including 86% of Democrats, 69% of independents, and 52% of Republicans — believe abortion should be legal and that the government should not prevent a woman from making the decision whether or not to have an abortion for herself.


NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power, and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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