NCHR Letter to Sen. Smith in Support of Women’s Health Legislation

September 22, 2022

The Honorable Tina Smith
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Senator Smith,

The National Center for Health Research (NCHR) would like to thank you for introducing the Protecting Access to Medication Abortion Act (S. 4467) and the Protecting National Access to Reproductive Care Act of 2022 (S. 4748). We strongly support these important pieces of legislation to promote better women’s health and access to reproductive care. As a nonprofit think tank that focuses on evidence-based policymaking to ensure medical products are safe and effective for patients and consumers, we strongly agree that women’s health must be enhanced due to recent Supreme Court and legislative developments, and drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must remain accessible to all women nationwide.

We support your efforts to protect FDA guidelines ensuring women can always access medication abortion (i.e., mifepristone) through telehealth and certified pharmacies, including mail-order pharmacies. The current Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for mifepristone, which eliminated in-person dispensing requirements, should be codified. There is no evidence-based reason for this requirement, given the indisputable safety record of medication abortion. Additionally, the in-person REMS requirement creates delays in care and limits women’s privacy and control over their health needs. S.4467 will take the necessary steps to defend access to medication abortion in states where the right to an abortion is still protected.

We also appreciate your leadership with Senator Booker in introducing S. 4748, which will protect the FDA preemptive authority over state law for all FDA approved reproductive health products, including drugs for medication abortion. The FDA has a rigorous process to evaluate the safety and efficacy of drugs compared to the potential risks. Restrictions placed by states on reproductive products undermine FDA’s legal authority, as well as public health. We are enthusiastic about the provisions of S. 4748 that will allow the Department of Justice to enforce federal law in this area and allow individuals and providers to sue states that restrict access.

These bills take critical steps to help protect access to safe and effective reproductive health care products. We at NCHR are appreciative of the work you have done to act in the face of the many challenges presented following the Dobbs decision. We look forward to working with you on these issues and are hopeful Congress will swiftly pass these bills to safeguard women’s health.



Diana Zuckerman, PhD


National Center for Health Research