Permanently Lift Restrictions on the Abortion Pill!

Publication Date: October 09, 2020

By: NWHN Staff

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The abortion pill is very safe and very effective. The FDA already permits patients to take it at home on their own, and medical experts overwhelmingly agree it’s safe to get by mail or at pharmacies. So why does the FDA  place medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion pills — with no health benefit and big risks?

Politics. Anti-abortion politicians are trying to push abortion care out reach every way they can. The FDA must lift ALL medically unnecessary restrictions on the abortion pill, so patients can get the pill at home.

The FDA should follow science – not politics.

The FDA’s politically motivated, medically unnecessary restrictions on mifepristone go against its safety record and have long harmed patients’ health by delaying or blocking access to medication abortion.  

With your help we won a big victory to allow pregnant people to get FDA-aproved abortion pills by mail — see details below! — but only during the pandemic.

We’re calling on the FDA to permanently lift these restrictions and let pregnant people receive the abortion pill through the mail so that they can always get the pill where they take the pill — at home!


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You can add your voice by signing the petition to the FDA today. Tell the FDA to let us get the abortion pill where we take the abortion pill – at home!

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Learn About the FDA’s Restrictions

Our animated video tells the story of the FDA’s politically motivated, medically unnecessary restrictions on the abortion pill.

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FDA Announces Review of Harmful Restriction on Medication Abortion

On May 7, the FDA announced that it was undertaking a review of the mifepristone restrictions. The NWHN and dozens of other organizations asked the Biden-Harris administration to instruct the FDA to do exactly that, and we’re delighted that the review is underway.

The FDA’s announcement came in its response to an ACLU lawsuit challenging the agency’s regulation of the medication. According to the ACLU, the FDA has asked the court to pause the lawsuit while it conducts the review.

As FDA watchdogs, we know the agency sometimes moves very slowly, and we’re determined not to let that happen in this case. Join our campaign and send a message to the FDA. It’s time to permanently lift all restrictions on mifepristone.

FDA Lifts Unnecessary Restrictions on Medication Abortion

On April 12, 2021 the FDA announced that, effective immediately, both medication abortion and miscarriage patients are able to access mifepristone via delivery from their providers or through mail-order pharmacies.

While individual states may still impose restrictions, the FDA will no longer require patients to travel far from home or risk exposure to COVID-19 just to access safe and effective abortion care. This tremendous victory will ensure that patients and providers are protected during the pandemic. It also established that the FDA knows what we’ve known for years: mifepristone is a very safe, very effective option that should not be subject to politically motivated, medically unnecessary restrictions designed to limit access.

Now we must fight to make this change permanent, and to lift all medically unnecessary restrictions on medication abortion during the pandemic and beyond.

We call on the Biden-Harris administration to undertake a systemic review of all components of the FDA’s restrictions and permanently remove any restrictions that are not medically necessary.



Protest: The FDA tried to ignore you, so we took your names to the FDA!

With lives on the line, we weren’t going to let the FDA ignore us. On the 20th anniversary of FDA’s approval of the abortion pill, we held a socially distanced protest in front of FDA headquarters to deliver the names of all 12,000+ of you who have signed thus far. It looks like we got their attention!



HuffPost: How Politics and Bureaucracy Halted the Promise of the Abortion Pill

September 28, 2020. On the 20th anniversary of the FDA’s approval of medication abortion, the NWHN’s Cindy Pearson was interviewed by The Huffington Post about her experience advocating for mifepristone in the ’90s and how we’re still haunted by restricted access as a result of FDA’s early fears around anti-abortion violence and political backlash.




Rewire: The Next Big Anti-Abortion Fight: Keeping You From Having an Abortion at Home

July 22, 2020. The NWHN’s Cindy Pearson warns that “some form of some interference-or ‘wink-wink’ implied interference-is preventing the FDA from making a science-based decision. But the restrictions have been political from the start. They were political then, and they’re political now.”




Statement: NWHN applauds Court order allowing patients to receive medication abortion pills by mail during COVID emergency

July 14, 2020. The NWHN applauds the recent decision by District Court Judge Theodore Chuang to allow pregnant people to receive medication abortion care through telehealth, including receiving mifepristone through the mail. However, the court’s order will only last as long as the Department of Health and Human Services determines that the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency.


Article: Lift Unnecessary Restrictions – Access to Medication Abortion During the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 1, 2020. The NWHN’s Isabelle Chaudry writes on the dangerous risks during the pandemic outlining why the FDA should lift the REMS on medication abortion. She also discusses how the FDA and state restrictions put patients and others at risk for COVID-19 transmission or worse.




Ms. Magazine: Feminist Multi-Front Battle to End FDA’s Abortion Pill Restriction

May 20, 2020. In-depth coverage of the NWHN’s #MailTheAbortionPill campaign in Ms. Magazine.






Article: The FDA’s Convoluted Stance on Abortion Pills Doesn’t Protect Patients – It Endangers Them

May 8, 2020. The NWHN’s Sarah Christopherson writes about the contradictions baked into FDA’s current stance. The feds say pregnant people can meet with their doctors remotely and have their abortion at home – but first, they must travel during a global pandemic just to pick up their pills.





The Hill: The UK allows home use of the abortion pill – the US should do the same

April 27, 2020. The NWHN’s Cindy Pearson and former FDA Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Health (and former NWHN board member) Susan Wood write that the U.K. protected the health of patients using early medication abortion weeks ago. The FDA must lift its restrictions and protect medication abortion patients in the United States now. Every day makes a difference.




Orgs to FDA: Permit Pregnant People to Get the Abortion Pill Where They Have Their Abortion – at Home!

April 6, 2020. The National Women’s Health Network led a diverse coalition of over 80 organizations in urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to lift medically unnecessary restrictions on medication abortion which put pregnant people and clinics at risk during the COVID-19 outbreak. See our letter and press release HERE.




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