Federal lawsuit against North Carolina aims to overturn state restrictions on abortion pills


GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – An Orange County gynecologist has filed a federal lawsuit in Greensboro to ask the state of North Carolina to lift a restriction on access to the controversial abortion drug mifepristone, creating another battleground in the drug access dispute.

Dr. Amy Bryant, who practices under UNC Health in Hillsborough and Chapel Hillfiled suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, This was first reported by ABC Newsbecause the state is one of several that restricts access to the drug used to terminate early pregnancy.

Access to the abortion drug mifepristone is limited in North Carolina. A lawsuit filed in Greensboro seeks to overturn that. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)

Her lawsuit names Attorney General Josh Stein in his official capacity. She is represented by the Atlanta law firm King & Spalding, which has an office in Charlotte.

Her lawsuit says the state’s ban is illegal because the drug is FDA-approved. Access to abortion pills were banned in some states since then The US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June and its federal abortion access provision.

Thirteen states have passed laws which prohibit almost all legal abortions. North Carolina has 20-week limit on abortions – although the legislators discussed such a possibility narrowing this window currently – but banning mifepristone is separate from that.

“North Carolina cannot stand still [the] The FDA should impose restrictions on access to drugs that the FDA has determined are inappropriate and that violate the careful balance that the FDA has ordered to strike,” ABC News quoted Bryant as saying in the complaint.

Mifepristone is usually available take according to the scheme of two drugs during the first 11 weeks of pregnancy to induce a miscarriage. It is said to be about 95% effective.

In North Carolina, mifepristone is allowed in early pregnancy, but the state also requires the drug to be obtained with a prescription from a doctor in a “specially certified surgical facility” and with a 72-hour prior consultation, according to ABC.

The FDA says the drug is safe enough to be prescribed in a telemedicine appointment and mailed to a person without an in-person review. This is reported by ABC. Some pharmacies, including Walgreens and CVS, have said they will join the plan.

Bryant told the ABC there was “no medical reason for politicians to intervene or limit access” to the drug.

A similar lawsuit was filed in October in Wake County Superior Courtwith three doctors and a nurse practitioner joining an earlier lawsuit filed in the region by Planned Parenthood.

In June, immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a statement saying that states cannot ban mifepristone in dispute with the federal government because it was approved by the FDA.

But the medical organization filed a federal lawsuit in Texas late last year looking for drugs is completely prohibited. The Hippocratic Medicine Alliance is challenging FDA approval. A ruling could come next month, with other courts to follow.

Walmart had it last fall overturned a company policy that barred North Carolina pharmacies from filling prescriptions. The policy has come under attack from Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) and the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy.

Stein, who recently announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor and it was vocal accompanimenteswith the right to abortiondid not immediately respond to a statement about Bryant’s lawsuit.

Federal lawsuit against North Carolina aims to overturn state restrictions on abortion pills

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