The manufacturer of generic mifepristone — a drug used in medical abortions — is suing to overturn West Virginia’s abortion ban.
What is mifepristone?
Mifepristone is the first of two drugs taken in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy to induce an abortion, per the FDA.
The drug was approved by the FDA in 2000 and updated its regulations this month, allowing the medication to be obtained at certified pharmacies and through the mail, according to The Hill.
Why GenBioPro is challenging West Virginia’s abortion ban
GenBioPro filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday, arguing that the FDA’s approval of the drug preempts state laws restricting access to abortion pills, CNBC reported.
“The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs did not displace Congress’s and FDA’s roles in protecting the public health by deciding whether drugs are safe and effective, determining which precautions — if any — are necessary to ensure a drug’s safe use, and ensuring safe and effective drugs are available to the public,” the lawsuit said.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, however, said he was “prepared to defend West Virginia’s new abortion law to the fullest,” per Bloomberg Law.
“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 stated. “I will stand strong for the life of the unborn and will not relent in our defense of this clearly constitutional law.”
If GenBioPro wins the lawsuit, the case could set the precedent that “FDA policy preempts state law,” Greer Donley, associate professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, told Axios.