February 28,2019

Press Contact:

Taylor Harvey (202) 224-4515 

Wyden Presses Trump Administration to Improve Access to Reproductive Health Services for Women in Medicaid

After Independent Study Finds 14 State Medicaid Programs Do Not to Cover Medical Abortion Drug, Wyden Calls on Trump Administration to Ensure Women Have Access

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today wrote to the Trump administration demanding answers on the lack of coverage for federally mandated health care services and drugs in a number of state Medicaid programs. A recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 14 state Medicaid programs do not cover mifepristone—formally known as RU486 and currently available under brand name Mifeprex—an FDA-approved drug for ending early pregnancy as part of an approved regime.

“All women, no matter their circumstances, have a right to access the reproductive care services that they need,” Wyden said. “Without access to this safe and effective drug, women may not be able to choose the care that is best for them, including a non-surgical abortion procedure like Mifeprex. Since the beginning of my time in Congress I have fought for this drug to be available to those who need it – that is why I am calling on the Trump administration to make sure this is the case for women in Medicaid as well.”

While serving in the House of Representatives, Wyden introduced the first bill to lift the import ban on RU486 after chairing a groundbreaking hearing on access to the drug. After more than a decade of work, the drug became available in the United States under the brand name Mifeprex in 2000. Shortly after, Mifeprex became a covered outpatient drug under the Medicaid drug rebate program. In order to receive federal funding, state Medicaid programs are required to provide coverage for abortion services in the case of rape, incest, or if the woman’s life is endangered.

Full text of the letter is available here