FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2021
Katie Wysong, West End Strategy Team
WASHINGTON — Today, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the removal of the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) restrictions on mifepristone, removing roadblocks to accessing medication abortion for many patients in the United States. National Council of Jewish Women CEO Sheila Katz issued the following statement in response:
“When National Council of Jewish Women launched our abortion access campaign, 73Forward, we chose to focus on removing roadblocks to life-saving and safe medication and self-managed abortion because this is the best way to make an impact immediately for those seeking abortion care. Today, the Food and Drug Administration followed the science and permanently lifted unnecessary restrictions on mifepristone, a drug used in early abortion and miscarriage care. Everyone deserves to choose when, where and how they access abortion care, especially those who already face barriers to accessing health care, including women and people of color, undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, and all those struggling to make ends meet.
“With the added restrictions in place, people were forced to travel potentially outrageous distances — even across state lines — to a hospital or clinic to pick up abortion medication in person, a requirement that was not imposed on any of the other more than 20,000 FDA-approved drugs. Medication abortions are safe, effective and increasingly common, allowing patients to recieve care in the place they are most comfortable whether that is a doctor’s office or their home.
“Not only does Jewish tradition permit and in some case require abortions, but also our Jewish tradition teaches us to recognize the dignity of every human being, kavod habriot. Allowing pharmacy prescriptions of mifepristone, mail-order prescriptions and telemedicine appointments for medication abortion returns dignity to this medical procedure to millions of people.
“However, we recognize that not everyone will be able to benefit from this game-changing decision as 19 states have laws requiring in-person visit or restricting telehealth, and the cost can be prohibitive to many. The FDA’s ruling is an important first step and we will continue to work until everyone can make their own moral and faith-informed decisions about their body, health and future.”
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 200,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights, and justice, and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.