Booker, Smith introduce legislation to confirm federal regulation of reproductive health products

WASHINGTON, DC. – Today, US Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tina Smith (D-MN) Protection of the national law on access to reproductive care, legislation confirming the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) long-standing preemptive authority over state law for all FDA-approved reproductive health products, including drugs used in drug-induced abortion. The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from interfering with the federal government’s power to regulate drugs. The bill codifies this preemptive power and the Department of Justice’s authority to enforce federal laws and regulations. It also gives individuals and health care providers a way to sue states with laws prohibiting or restricting access to these reproductive health products.

Medication abortion involves the use of prescription drugs mifepristone and misoprostol, which are regulated under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Many states have restricted access to drug-induced abortion following the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, despite the fact that, based on science and not political ideology, the FDA has approved mifepristone and misoprostol to terminate pregnancies up to 10 weeks. Medication abortion is also used to control miscarriages to ensure the health and safety of the mother.

“Since the Supreme Court defied nearly 50 years of legal precedent by overturning Roo to Wade, endangering the healthcare and reproductive freedoms of millions of Americans, Republicans in the state legislature have continued their assault on reproductive rights by limiting access to abortion medications. said Senator Booker. “These restrictions threaten the right of Americans to make their own medical decisions and undermine the clear legal authority of the FDA. With this legislation, we reaffirm that the FDA is the supreme agency that regulates and approves reproductive health products, and that no state law can replace this authority. This bill gives the federal government and aggrieved individuals the means to challenge these unconstitutional laws and will help Americans living in areas where there are few or no abortion providers access abortion care.”

“After successfully overthrowing Roe and destroying 50 years of precedent protecting a woman’s freedom to make her own decisions about abortion, extremist Republicans aren’t stopping there.” said Senator Smith. “We are already seeing the heartbreaking impact of this decision, but Republican lawmakers across the country continue to roll back critical protections and target drug-induced abortion. We must do everything we can to protect women’s access to this vital care. No FDA-approved medication has ever been banned by a state, and this bill will ensure that abortion medications and other FDA-approved reproductive health products remain accessible, regardless of Republican efforts at the state level.

In particular, the Law on the protection of reproductive health products would:

  • Confirm FDA’s Preventive Authority on Reproductive Health Products.
  • Allow the Department of Justice to take coercive action against states and state officials that prohibit or restrict access to reproductive health products (including drug-induced abortion) in violation of the FDA’s preventive authority.
  • Create a private case for individuals and providers to seek injunctive relief against state and local officials in violation of federal law.
  • Provide money for the Department of Justice to enforce the statute.

The full text of the legislation can be found here here.

Booker, Smith introduce legislation to confirm federal regulation of reproductive health products

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