For Immediate Release
Women’s Health Advocates Speak About New FDA Label Change of Medical Abortion Pill, Mifeprex
WASHINGTON - Today, the Food and Drug Administration announced the approval of an updated label for mifepristone, which is used for medical abortion. Mifepristone provides women with a safe and effective medication option for ending pregnancy. The updated labeling is more closely aligned with evidence-based medicine.
Join women’s reproductive health experts to hear what this label change means for abortion providers and those seeking abortion, including in states where medical abortion is heavily restricted by state laws. More than 2.75 million women have used mifepristone as a safe option to end an early pregnancy. Despite its safety and efficacy, this drug is still unnecessarily regulated and unavailable in pharmacies. As a result, barriers to access remain.
March 30, 2016
1:00 pm EST/ 10:00 am PST
· Beverly Winikoff, M.D., M.P.H., President, Gynuity Health Projects
· Carolyn Westhoff, M.D, Senior Medical Advisor, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
· Janet Crepps, Senior Counsel, Center for Reproductive Rights
· Chrisse France, Executive Director, Preterm
· Vicki Saporta, President and CEO, National Abortion Federation
Where: Audio Press Conference
Below are statements from abortion providers celebrating this change:
Amy Hagstrom Miller, President and CEO, Whole Woman’s Health:
“Today’s FDA announcement of a label change to Mifepristone is a significant advancement for women in the United States. All of us at Whole Woman’s Health are thrilled that the updated FDA labeling reflects evidence-based care that is best for women. People who visit our clinics deserve options for abortion care without worrying about medically unnecessary obstacles and this change allows for more women to get the care they deserve.
“We are particularly encouraged that this updated labeling could expand the availability of abortion in Texas, where anti-choice politicians continue to interfere in women’s personal health decisions, enacting laws such as HB2 that deny women the ability to make their own decisions about whether and when to become a parent.
“Prior to HB2, 40 to 50 percent of our patients at Whole Woman’s Health chose medication abortion. Since HB2 went into effect, that figure has decreased dramatically. For the past two years only about 5 percent of the women we serve in Texas have been able to get the medication abortion care they wanted because HB2’s barriers were insurmountable. This label change will dramatically expand access for women not only in Texas, but throughout our clinics nationwide.
“While we appreciate this step forward, we also acknowledge that there are still too many restrictions preventing women from quality care. The reality is that low-income women, women of color and rural women bear the brunt of abortion care restrictions. We will continue to fight for the day when all women have access to the compassionate and comprehensive reproductive health care that we provide at our clinics.
“Whole Woman’s Health has a strong commitment to make medication abortion an option for all our patients and we look forward to implementing this new label change in our clinics in the coming days.”
Chrisse France, Executive Director, Preterm:
“Today’s FDA announcement is good news for Ohio women and families. The label change for medication abortion will mean that it will once again be a real option for Preterm’s patients and women across the state. We will no longer be forced to practice medicine mandated by politicians whose ultimate goal is to shut us down. The updated label is more aligned with evidence-based medicine and has the potential to expand abortion access for Ohio women.
“In 2011, in an attempt to decrease access to abortion, politicians forced Ohio abortion providers to follow an outdated FDA protocol, under the guise of protecting women’s health. In reality, this law simply made medication abortion unnecessarily costly and nearly impossible to access.
“The situation isn’t perfect. Medication abortion is still being treated more restrictively than other medications. That said, we are pleased to announce that as of today we will be offering medication abortion to more women, with fewer required visits.
“Preterm is proud to have been part of the clinical trials in the 1990s that led to FDA approval of medication abortion and we look forward to offering medication abortion to a broader group of women immediately in our clinic."