Cleveland — Rob Portman was one of 20 senators who signed on to a letter to the FDA making misleading claims of the safety record of mifepristone, a commonly used medication for patients seeking an abortion.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “Medication abortion is a common, FDA-approved method for ending an early pregnancy with pills. After two decades of use in the U.S., as well as numerous studies from around the world, we know it is extremely safe and effective. What is dangerous, however, is a member of the US Senate spreading lies about health care options that tens of thousands of Ohioans rely on each year. When a person decides to end a pregnancy, they deserve access to safe, legal, and affordable abortion care in their community. Medication abortion makes that possible. As always, our decisions about health care should be based on fact and science, not political interference.”

Copeland continued, “The signers of this letter claim they are concerned about the health and well-being of pregnant individuals, but their bias is clear in this letter. Claiming that pregnancy is not a life-threatening condition ignores the fact that the United States has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world, and that the maternal mortality rate for Black women in the U.S. is more than two and a half times greater than the maternal mortality rates for white women. Instead of following the example of their leader President Trump in trying to use the FDA to do their political bidding Senator Portman and his allies should be working to enhance access to the full spectrum of health care during pregnancy, and instituting policies and practices that reduce these shameful racial disparities in health.”

Medication abortion makes up nearly one-third of all non-hospital abortions in the US and its usage continues to increase — with good reason. It offers a person a safe, effective, FDA-approved option for ending an early pregnancy. Despite its impeccable safety record, medication abortion remains unnecessarily over-regulated. Currently, a patient can only get it directly from a certified medical provider—not by picking it up from a pharmacist as they would with any other equally safe medication. Leading medical associations—including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists—support making it available at the pharmacy by prescription.

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