House Affirms FDA Can Block States From Banning Abortion Pills

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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The House of Representatives approved a measure Thursday put forward by Democratic Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette and New York Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones. The measure reaffirms the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ability to block states from banning abortion pills.

The FDA allowed abortion pills to be delivered via mail in Dec. 2021, overturning restrictions requiring women to obtain the pills from doctors in person. Most recently, a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Kansas announced it would begin offering abortion pills virtually in-state and to women in states with more severe restrictions, following a court ruling to that effect. (RELATED: Federal Judge Who Struck Down State’s Gay Marriage Ban Stepping Down After 25 Years)

The resolution passed the House 216-19 and maintains that the FDA’s decision supersedes state laws.

“Every woman in this country should have the freedom to make her own health care decisions – including whether to use birth control or seek abortion care,” DeGette said in a press release. “FDA has the power to prevent states from limiting patients’ access to reproductive health care products the agency has approved. This resolution reaffirms that power and sends a clear message to states that Congress will not allow any attempt to block women’s access to abortion pills by mail to go unchallenged.”

Several states have passed laws restricting the use of abortion pills. Georgia’s heartbeat bill, for instance, effectively bans the use of medication-induced abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy. Ohio law requires that medication-induced abortions be provided in-person by a licensed professional in a medical setting. Tennessee’s governor signed a bill requiring a medical professional to be present when an abortion pill is administered.