December 15th, 2023
Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Laphonza Butler (D-Calif) joined Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) to lead 37 other lawmakers in introducing a resolution in support of equitable, science-based policies governing access to medication abortion.
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights have been increasingly under attack, with more than a dozen states banning or restricting access to abortion care, and anti-abortion extremists attempting to ban medication abortion nationwide. Medication abortion is currently used for over half of all abortions.
This resolution expresses the sense of Congress that the scientific judgment of the FDA that mifepristone is safe and effective should be respected, and that law and policy governing access to life-saving, time-sensitive medication abortion care in the United States should be equitable and based on science. The resolution affirms that mifepristone is safe and effective, while acknowledging the significant harm that would be posed to both health care providers and patients across the nation if mifepristone were sharply curtailed.
This action comes as Americans continue to grapple with the reversal of Roe v. Wade, and follows this week’s announcement that the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to medication abortion access.
“In a post-Roe world, we must follow the science and maintain access to lifesaving abortion medication,” said Senator Butler. “Generations of women are watching their rights get stripped away in real-time, and this resolution underscores the need to protect their reproductive freedom. The Supreme Court must preserve access to essential reproductive health care and the right to bodily autonomy.”
“I am fed up with extremists trying to turn back the clock and deny women reproductive health care – especially after decades of science that show that medication abortion is safe and effective. Any threat to the accessibility of this drug would be devastating to both health care providers and patients across the country, and Senate Democrats are demonstrating with this resolution that we’re determined to fight back,” said Senator Warren.
“In Wisconsin and across the country, the right to comprehensive health care is under attack. We need to fight on all fronts to restore and protect the freedom of every American to make their own health care decisions, and that includes protecting access to medication abortion. Mifepristone is a safe, effective, and sometimes lifesaving medication, and it’s high time politicians and judges leave women alone and allow Americans to make their own decisions about their health, families, and future,” said Senator Baldwin.
“MAGA Republicans have been clear they’ll stop at nothing to enact a national abortion plan – even questioning the scientific expertise of FDA. Make no mistake, Mifepristone is safe and effective. And Congress gave FDA the authority to evaluate and ensure the safety and efficacy of drugs. Democrats will never stop fighting for women’s health,” said Senate Majority Leader Schumer.
“The district court’s decision earlier this year to invalidate longstanding approval for mifepristone contradicts scientific evidence and threatens Americans’ access to essential health care. Medication abortion remains safe and legal in Colorado, and I’ll keep fighting to keep it that way,” said Senator Bennet.
“Our resolution resoundingly reaffirms the need for abortion medication to remain accessible. This medication has been used safely and effectively for twenty years, and is the most common form of abortion care. With Republicans imposing draconian restrictions on reproductive care across the country, we must ensure abortion medication remains available to all who need it,” said Senator Blumenthal.
“Health care decisions should be made between women and their doctors, and we must protect women’s access to all FDA-approved treatments, including Mifepristone,” said Senator Carper. “This resolution reaffirms that access to lifesaving, time-sensitive medication should be equitable and based on science.”
“More than two decades ago, the FDA determined mifepristone to be safe and effective. Since then, this medication has been widely and safely used by women to end early stage pregnancies and help manage miscarriages,” said Senator Durbin. “If the Supreme Court upholds the Fifth Circuit’s decision, which ignored science and the law in turning back the clock on mifepristone regulations, it would upend the FDA review process, jeopardize access to a host of critically important medications, and impose new restrictions on abortions even in states where the procedure remains legal. This Resolution restates the obvious: that the FDA, not politically-motivated organizations, should be trusted to make determinations about what drugs are safe and effective. And that, ultimately, reproductive health care decisions ought to be made between women and their doctors, not politicians or judges.”
“It’s plain and simple: abortion is health care, and health care is a human right,” said Senator Markey. “Pregnant people and their health care providers are facing escalating attacks on their care including the criminalization of abortions. Our government has a moral obligation to protect not only the right but also the ability to access abortion medication — safe and effective medication that is backed by science. Let’s keep medical decisions between patients and doctors—not between patients and the GOP.”
“Mifepristone is a safe, effective drug approved by the FDA more than 20 years ago that millions of women rely on, so it should come as no surprise it’s been chosen as the right wing’s next target. Cutting off access to medication abortion would bring us one step closer to a national abortion ban. I will keep fighting to keep government out of women’s health care,” said Senator Murphy.
“Reproductive freedom is a fundamental right, and we must stand resolute in affirming access to lifesaving abortion care,” said Senator Padilla. “With the Supreme Court and MAGA Republicans constantly threatening longstanding, essential reproductive freedoms, it’s imperative that safe, science-based drugs like mifepristone are equitably accessible and protected to the fullest extent under the rule of law.”
“Mifepristone is a safe, effective, and FDA-approved drug. I helped introduce this resolution because it is dangerous to restrict access to this critical medication,” said Senator Stabenow.
“Individuals’ health care decisions should be grounded in science and made along with their doctors – not left to the whims of far-right judges and politicians. As Trump-appointed judges and Republican lawmakers continue their ruthless attacks on reproductive freedoms – and the health care providers and resources that support them – we will keep fighting to ensure scientifically tested, safe, and effective options remain accessible to everyone who needs them,” said Senator Van Hollen.
The resolution was also co-sponored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Angus King (I-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Wyo.), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-N.M.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).
The resolution has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Power to Decide, National Council of Jewish Women, The Century Foundation’s Health Equity and Reform Team, National Partnership for Women and Families, Guttmacher Institute, Center for Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America), In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, and the EMAA Project.