For Immediate Release: Friday, May 7, 2021
Washington, DC — Today, in a federal court filing, the federal government announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing the outdated and medically unnecessary Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) for mifepristone, one of two medications used in the medication abortion regimen. This welcome news comes after years of advocacy by reproductive health, rights, and justice groups, including NARAL, urging the FDA to follow the science and review these unnecessary restrictions.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Chief Campaigns and Advocacy Officer Christian LoBue released the following statement in response:
“NARAL and our partners have long sought a comprehensive review of the outdated restrictions on medication abortion care. We are thrilled to see the FDA undertaking this long-awaited review and are confident that the evidence-based evaluation will result in the removal of medically unnecessary restrictions on medication abortion care.
For too long, medication abortion care has been subject to politically motivated restrictions that have no basis in medical science and serve only to push access to care out of reach—particularly for those already marginalized by our healthcare system. We look forward to the results of the FDA’s review and a future where our medical care is determined by science—not an ideological agenda.”
Earlier this year, a coalition of reproductive health, rights, and justice groups, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, sent petitions signed by over 200,000 supporters and a letter signed by 55 organizations asking the Biden-Harris administration to take immediate action to expand access to medication abortion. The letter called for the immediate suspension of the FDA’s in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone during the pandemic, as well as a comprehensive review of the FDA’s outdated and unnecessary restrictions on mifepristone.
On April 12th, the FDA announced that it would suspend enforcement of a restriction that forced people to travel to a hospital, clinic, or medical office to access medication abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s announcement means that the FDA is undertaking a comprehensive review of the full set of restrictions on medication abortion care extending beyond the pandemic.
Medication abortion care is a safe, effective, and FDA-approved option for ending an early pregnancy. Medically unnecessary restrictions on medication abortion care disproportionately harm Black, Indigenous, and other people of color; those in rural areas; and those with low incomes. Pregnant people should be able to have medication abortion prescribed by their healthcare provider, either during an in-person visit or through telemedicine, and then be able to receive their medications in the way that makes the most sense for them, in consultation with their provider—whether that is at a health center, their local pharmacy, or delivered to their home.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.