WASHINGTON (AP) — Supporters of abortion rights filed separate lawsuits Wednesday challenging two states' abortion…
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supporters of abortion rights filed separate lawsuits Wednesday challenging two states’ abortion pill restrictions, the opening salvo in what’s expected to be a protracted legal battle over access to the medications.
The lawsuits argue that limits on the drugs in North Carolina and West Virginia run afoul of the federal authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has approved the abortion pill as a safe and effective method for ending pregnancy.
The cases were brought by a North Carolina physician who prescribes the pill, mifepristone, and GenBioPro, which makes a generic version of the drug and sued in West Virginia.
While the federal court lawsuits target specific state laws, they represent key legal tests that could eventually determine access to abortion for millions of women. Medication recently overtook in-clinic procedures as the most common form of abortion in the U.S.
The new litigation turns on a longstanding principle that federal law, including FDA decisions, pre-empt state laws. Indeed, few states have ever tried to fully ban an FDA-approved drug because of past rulings in the agency’s favor.
But with the fall of Roe v. Wade there’s little precedent for the current patchwork of laws governing abortion.
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