EngenderHealth Supports Continuing Access to Mifepristone in the US

Here we are again—waiting for a ruling in a court case that may restrict access to abortion even further than it already is in the United States. In the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), anti-choice groups and doctors argued that the medication abortion drug mifepristone, which is used in combination with another medicine, misoprostol, and has been approved in the US for more than 20 years, should no longer be available for use. The judge in this case could rule to take mifepristone off the market, greatly limiting access to the two-medicine regimen, which is the method used for more than half of the abortions in the US.

The FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services are appropriately defending the approval and distribution of mifepristone, as they should. But given our current anti-abortion, anti-science, anti-rights environment, we must pay attention, and be ready.

The facts are simple. Mifepristone is safe. Used in combination with misoprostol, it is highly effective. Past reviews of the FDA filing demonstrated that it was complete and correct. And—as is the case with all things related to abortion access—removing this medication abortion regimen will disproportionately affect people in states with the greatest restrictions, and people who already have the least access to healthcare.

We must support mechanisms to ensure that all people have access to safe abortion care, whether with medications or in a clinic, whenever they need it. We have said it before, and we say it again: “EngenderHealth recognizes that abortion is healthcare and a human right. We believe that everyone should have the autonomy to decide whether and with whom to have sex, to use a preferred contraceptive method, to access emergency contraception, and to have a safe abortion.”

We stand with the FDA; the healthcare providers who make abortion safe and available; the community groups supporting people who need abortions; the advocates and project leaders who design ways to increase access to medications and care; the lawyers who defend our rights; and, most of all, those who need access to safe abortion. Regardless of the outcome of this case, we continue to stay in the fight for our rights.

Traci L. Baird,
President and CEO, EngenderHealth