January 04, 2023

Chairwoman Barbara Lee Applauds FDA Action on Access to Medication Abortion

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) issued the following statement applauding the Federal Drug Administration’s action to expand access to the medication abortion drug mifepristone. As Co-Chair of the Pro Choice Caucus, Lee lead members in urging the FDA to approve the drug.

“In a huge win for reproductive freedom, retail pharmacies in states like California can now stock abortion pills. As Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, I’m proud we were part of the fight to lift harmful in-person dispensing requirements and expand abortion access,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Mifepristone is proven to be a safe and effective way of inducing early abortion or treating an early miscarriage. As this country faces the worst reproductive health crisis in decades and an anti-choice Republican majority in the House, this is a critical step in improving access to care. Congress must find the political will to make all forms of reproductive care available and accessible—including by repealing the racist and classist Hyde amendment.”

Last year, Co-Chairs Lee and DeGette led 155 members in filing an amicus brief in the case of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists v. United States Food and Drug Administration (ACOG v. FDA), challenging the FDA’s in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawmakers also led pro-choice members in a letter opposing the previous administration’s refusal to relax rules around medication abortion.

Even prior to her time in Congress, Rep. Lee was a vocal advocate for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which restricts abortion access for low-income women and women of color, from Appropriations bills. Each year since 2015, she has introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Act to reverse Hyde.