RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) – A UNC Health doctor is suing the state in federal court over access to abortion pills.
The lawsuit, filed by Dr. Amy Bryant, claims there is “no medical reason for policymakers to intervene or limit access” to the drug.
In a statement regarding the lawsuit, Dr. Amy Bryant, the plaintiff, writes:
“As a physician, my number one priority is the health and well-being of my patients. We know from years of research and use that medical abortion is safe and effective—there is no medical reason for politicians to interfere or restrict access to it, or for states to force doctors to follow mandates that are not supported by medicine or science. These onerous restrictions on medical abortion force doctors to deal with unnecessary constraints on patient care and the health care system.”
North Carolina requires that the patient receive the medication from a physician in a specially certified surgical facility. The state also requires 72 hours of state duty counseling.
“Unreachable lawmakers should not be singling out pregnant people to force them to comply with restrictions that we don’t impose on any other type of medically necessary care,” said Genevieve Scott, a senior consultant at the Center for Reproductive Care. right.
“It allows them to look at the information provided on our state’s website to look at risk and alternatives,” said Dr. Bill Pincus, president of North Carolina Right to Life.
The drug mifepristone has received increased attention after several states introduced stricter regulations following the Supreme Court’s decision last June to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“We want to tell people and get their informed consent. What’s good, what’s bad, what are the complications, what do I do if we have complications,” Pincus said.
The FDA recently expanded rules that allow retail pharmacies to dispense mifepristone under certain guidelines, with the federal agency saying the pills are safe enough to be dispensed by phone or mailed to patients without an in-person evaluation. According to the Guttmacher Institute, North Carolina is one of 18 states that require the prescriber to be physically present with the patient, effectively banning telemedicine.
“It should be a visionary state that wants to follow the best health care standards, and I think it is. But somehow it turned into a political football instead of worrying about a young girl or woman,” said Eleanor Smil, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, who believes that the current state restrictions are unnecessary.
In a separate lawsuit filed in Texas last fall, the anti-abortion group The Alliance Defending Freedom challenged the FDA’s initial approval of mifepristone.
North Carolina is one of the few states in the south, where abortion is allowed up to the 20th week of pregnancy. However, this may change depending on what the NC General Assembly does when they meet for their first working session.
“There are quite a few states that have restricted access to abortion, and they protect the life of the mother and the child. That’s our goal,” Pincus said.
“There is nothing more important than making the decision to follow your own medical decisions and being able to determine your own body and your own health,” Scott said.
However, this may change depending on what the NC General Assembly does when it meets for itself first working session.
The fight for access to abortion services has returned to the fore after the Supreme Court overturned a landmark case Roe v. Wade.
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Access to abortion pills: UNC health doctor sues state over access to abortion pills
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