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February 09, 2023

With Healthcare Rights Still Facing Threats, King Continues Work to Protect Access to Medication Abortions

The Protecting Access to Medication Abortion Act would codify current FDA guidelines on existing medications

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) is cosponsoring legislation to maintain access to medication abortions where currently available, a critical safeguard as the treatment option faces new threats and restrictions across the country. The Protecting Access to Medication Abortion Act would codify into law current FDA guidelines that allow patients to access the medications through certified pharmacies, telehealth visits, and mail-order pharmacies.

“A doctor and patient should never have to worry about government interference in personal medical decisions, and yet, reproductive healthcare is under siege across the country,” said Senator King. “This bill will protect currently available medicines that have been safely used for decades, so that doctors and their patients can continue making extremely personal decisions. Codifying current FDA regulations is a commonsense step to defend these medications from further political attacks, prevent blatant federal overreach, and help patients avoid unnecessary obstacles to getting the care they need.”

“Throughout his career, Senator King has repeatedly stepped up to defend and advance access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health care services,” said George Hill, President of Maine Family Planning. “His support of the Protecting Access to Medication Abortion Act, a bill that would maintain access to mifepristone to patients without having to do an in-person visit is just the latest example of his commitment. The bill, and his support of it, couldn’t be more timely.”

Of the one in four American women who will have an abortion, over half will use medication abortion. In the 23 years since its approval, evidence has shown that abortion medications can be prescribed to patients without an in-person appointment, is safe and effective for people to take in their own homes, and can be sent through the mail. But extremist lawmakers have sought to block access to medication abortion and some states have imposed restrictions that contradict scientific evidence and take away women’s reproductive freedom.

The Protecting Access to Medication Abortion Act would allow patients in states with existing healthcare protections to continue accessing medication abortions. The bill is cosponsored by a group of ten Senators. A full summary of the bill is here.

Senator King has been a strong supporter of a woman’s right to reproductive healthcare. He opposed the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade calling it “a dangerous, blatantly political ruling that will rob millions of women the fundamental right to make decisions about their own health, safety, and lives.” Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, King voted to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation which would codify the longstanding precedent of Roe v. Wade into federal law and protect the right to these vital healthcare decisions.

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