Jan 25 (Reuters) – An abortion pill maker and doctor have filed lawsuits challenging state restrictions on drugs, in the first such lawsuits since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law federal constitutional abortion.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Huntington, West Virginia, GenBioPro Inc said the state could not override the US Food and Drug Administration’s 2000 approval of mifepristone by banning the drug. drug, the first of a two-drug regimen for medical abortions.
The doctor, Amy Bryant, has filed a separate lawsuit in federal court in Durham, North Carolina, challenging state restrictions on obtaining mifepristone, which she says prevented her to treat patients.
Many states have banned abortions or made them significantly more difficult since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June.
GenBioPro, which sells a generic version of mifepristone, said West Virginia’s pill ban enacted in September under the state of Virginia’s Unborn Child Protection Act “conflicts with the strong national interest in ensuring access to a federally approved drug to terminate a pregnancy”.
The lawsuit said the ban violates the US Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which gives federal laws priority over the laws of conflicting states, and the Commerce Clause, which prevents states from burdening interstate commerce.
Bryant objected to North Carolina requirements that patients obtain abortion pills only in person from physicians at specially certified facilities and submit to state-mandated counseling at least 72 hours before to have an abortion.
His lawsuit said the restrictions “interfere with his ability to provide medical care to his patients in accordance with his best medical judgment and in accordance with federal law.”
The offices of West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Morrisey is a Republican and Stein is a Democrat.
The West Virginia trial was reported earlier by The New York Times and the North Carolina trial by ABC News.
The cases are GenBioPro Inc v Sorsaia et al, US District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, No. 23-00058; and Bryant v Stein et al, US District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, No. 23-00077.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York Editing by Tomasz Janowski
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