1,000 signatures reached
To: FDA and state leaders
Tell the FDA and State Leaders: Lift abortion restrictions!
Abortion is essential and time-sensitive health care. In a country where most communities do not have access to quality health care overall--and especially not to abortion care--the ability to work with a provider from the comfort of your own home is essential. This is even more true now, during a pandemic, when it is so much harder and less safe to travel to see a doctor in person.
Pregnant people have to make complex decisions about their health and future, even in the best of times, often having to navigate significant barriers for care or travel great distances. But these decisions can be more fraught during a crisis or public health emergency, when access can be even more difficult, and time is especially of the essence. It should be the goal of policy in these moments of crisis to expand access to health care, not arbitrarily restrict it. The FDA and state lawmakers must work to lift restrictions on telemedicine abortion care during this pandemic--and beyond it, too!
Why is this important?
More and more healthcare providers are turning to telemedicine to ensure continued access to health care for patients while reducing the need for patients to travel to receive medical care, risking exposure to coronavirus. Both patients and doctors win in this scenario.
Medication abortion, when a pregnant person takes two types of pills that induce an abortion before 10-12 weeks, can also be conducted under the supervision of a physician via telemedicine. It is a safe and effective way to broaden access to abortion care for pregnant people.
And yet, 18 states force patients to travel to a clinician's office for medication abortion, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), despite the recommendations of medical experts including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, refuses to lift restrictions on mifepristone, one of the medications needed for medication abortion, that would enable providers to mail it to patients or prescribe it for pickup at a pharmacy.
These restrictions are nothing more than ideological, anti-woman excuses to restrict access to abortion. The impact of these restrictions fall disproportionately on women of color, indigenous people, disabled people, and low-income folks. But if enough of us raise our voices and demand the FDA lift restrictions on mifepristone and that state lawmakers expand access to telemedicine for abortion, we can raise enough pressure to force the FDA and state lawmakers to expand access to abortion care and allow telemedicine!