House Democrats are pushing Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to increase access to abortion-inducing drugs.
On Tuesday, 12 Democratic congresswomen from the House Oversight and Reform Committee sent a letter to the HHS Secretary asking him to push the newly formed Reproductive Health Care Access Task Force to act on this measure.
The Biden administration should “take immediate action to protect and expand access to medication abortion care in accordance with the recent elimination of the medically unnecessary in-person dispensing requirement for the medication abortion drug mifepristone,” said the letter, signed by Democratic female congresswomen including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
Becerra did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Wire.
The move comes after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed restrictions requiring that the abortion pill mifepristone be administered in person last year. Women may now receive abortion drugs by mail.
The move was deeply criticized by pro-life lawmakers and activists.
“Every life is sacred: the lives of mothers and the lives of the unborn,” Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said at the time. “Not only does this decision further the tragic taking of unborn lives but it does little to care for the well-being of women in need.”
“Far from the accompaniment that women in crisis pregnancies deserve, this decision would leave women alone in the midst of trauma, often without any medical attention or follow up care,” he added.
House Democrats are now pushing Becerra to make abortion drugs even cheaper and more accessible.
“Now that the in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone has been eliminated, the federal government must continue to use every tool at its disposal to ensure that medication abortion is accessible, affordable, and convenient for patients who seek it,” the Tuesday letter said, “including by facilitating the dispensing and safe provision of care via clinics, mail-order pharmacies, retail pharmacies, the mail and other forms of delivery, as well as telehealth.”
The lawmakers asked to discuss this “urgent work” with members of the Reproductive Health Care Access Task Force, according to the letter, claiming that giving women more abortion drugs helps remove financial burdens for these women.
“Facilitating access to medication abortion care is crucial to advancing reproductive justice,” the women wrote in the letter.
The push for increased access to abortions-by-mail comes in the shadow of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court case involving a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks, addressing whether bans on abortion before fetal viability are constitutional.
It directly challenges the Supreme Court’s monumental Roe v. Wade decision. Should Roe v. Wade be overturned, the power to decide abortion laws would be returned to the states.
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