Committee: House Health & Government Operations Committee
The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.
House Bill 1101 requires that mifepristone be provided under the supervision of a physician and has the Department of Health adopt regulations regarding its administration in compliance with federal regulations already in existence. It also includes a reporting requirement for the Department of Health with regard to complications that arise from the administration and use of the drug.
The Conference strongly supports legislation that protects women’s health and continually advocates for the dignity and protection of pregnant women in all of stages of pregnancy.
Currently, Maryland is not in compliance with federal FDA regulations on the administration of mifepristone. This is an issue of significant concern for both health care providers and women who are seeking use of the drug. It puts women in serious harm’s way that they may not even be aware of when prescribed this drug. An issue of significant concern is that Maryland does not even require mifepristone to be provided in accordance with FDA protocol. This protocol includes restrictions on its distribution, which is often in place to protect the health of the woman if the woman may have adverse reactions or complications after use of the drug, as well as a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) for mitigating the risk of serious complications associated with the drug. The REMS for mifepristone include that the drug be ordered, prescribed, and dispensed under the supervision of the health care provider who prescribed it and a requirement that the patient sign an agreement form before the health care provider dispenses the drug. Maryland is putting the health of women at serious risk by not following federal guidelines on this drug.
The Conference appreciates your consideration and, for these reasons, respectfully requests a favorable report on House Bill 1101.