The following statement can be attributed to Cynthia A. Pearson, Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Network.
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The FDA announced that it is reviewing its restrictions on mifepristone, a medication used for miscarriage and abortion care. The announcement came in the evening of May 7, as part of legal filings submitted by the agency, in response to an ACLU lawsuit challenging the restrictions.
The FDA’s announcement comes after years of legal, professional, and consumer-led calls to lift the restrictions, including the NWHN’s #MailTheAbortionPill campaign. The FDA does not allow pharmacies to stock mifepristone, instead limiting its use to a small group of clinicians who agree to dispense the medicine on-site. Last month, the FDA temporarily suspended the in-office dispensing requirement during the COVID-19 public health emergency, also in response to legal and advocacy demands that the agency stop requiring people who need abortion care to make unnecessary trips to clinics and doctors’ offices.
“The in-person dispensing requirement is medically unnecessary, as patients can safely take their pills at home, and the abortion always occurs at home,” said Cynthia Pearson, the NWHN’s Executive Director. “We’re pleased that the FDA has agreed to review its restrictions on mifepristone, but we’ll be watching carefully to make sure that they follow the science. Anything less than permanently lifting all of the restrictions will be a capitulation to anti-abortion pressure.”
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