West Virginia sued for abortion pill restrictions

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 1:47 PM EST
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - A lawsuit against West Virginia was filed on Wednesday challenging abortion pill restrictions.

The lawsuit alleges the state abortion ban passed following Roe v. Wade being overturned and other restrictions on medication violate the Supremacy Clause and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, according to a release from GenBioPro, the pharmaceutical company that filed the lawsuit with a North Carolina physician.

“Congress subjected [mifepristone] to a substantial and detailed federal regulatory program with which West Virginia law interferes. That state law must give way to the comprehensive federal regime Congress enacted and the Food and Drug Administration implemented,” the Complaint states.

The Complaint further alleges West Virginia’s ban and restrictions “impermissibly restrict patients’ access to mifepristone and GenBioPro’s opportunity and ability to market, promote, and sell the medication in the State.”

Mifepristone is a generic drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2019 as part of a two-drug regimen for the termination of early pregnancy, the release says.

“GenBioPro was founded out of a deep conviction that all people, regardless of income level, race, sex, or geography are entitled to the benefits of evidence-based medicine and state-of-the-art medication,” said GenBioPro CEO Evan Masingill. “We have sought to make mifepristone more accessible through commercializing the first FDA-approved generic version of the medication. And, consistent with our commitment, we are challenging laws in the state of West Virginia that in effect ban mifepristone, a drug that is safe and effective and which Congress and FDA have subjected to a specific regulatory regime.”

After Roe v. Wade was overturned, West Virginia imposed limits on how physicians can prescribe and dispense abortion medications.

“West Virginia cannot override the FDA’s safety and efficacy determinations, nor can it disrupt the national market for this medication,” David Frederick, an attorney representing GenBioPro, said in a statement.

In the lawsuit, GenBioPro argues that state laws interfere with drug regulations crafted by the FDA, which has sole authority over the approval and labeling of all U.S. drugs.

West Virginia’s law outlaws most abortions, with some exceptions for rape and incest victims and in cases of life-threatening medical emergencies and nonviable pregnancies.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he is prepared to defend the new state abortion law to the fullest.

“We are prepared to defend West Virginia’s new abortion law to the fullest. While it may not sit well with manufacturers of abortion drugs, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that regulating abortion is a state issue,” Morrisey said. “I will stand strong for the life of the unborn and will not relent in our defense of this clearly constitutional law.”