Jan 26, 2023 - Politics

N.C. doctor sues state over abortion pills restrictions

Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

A UNC Health doctor sued North Carolina Wednesday over a law that restricts the use of abortion pills, arguing that its limitations run counter to federal law.

  • The lawsuit asks for the courts to block North Carolina's laws around the drug, mifepristone.
  • A similar lawsuit was filed in West Virginia the same day.

Why it matters: North Carolina's case is one of the first challenges to abortion laws since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in its Dobbs decision last year.

  • The case is expected to be watched closely by abortion opponents and advocates alike, as North Carolina has the least restrictive abortion laws in the Southeast.

State of play: UNC OB-GYN Amy Bryant's lawsuit argues that the state should follow Food and Drug Administration guidelines that the drug can be prescribed in person or through telehealth and dispensed by a health care provider or at retail pharmacies so that patients can take the medication where they wish.

  • North Carolina currently requires patients to obtain the drug from a doctor at a certified surgical facility following a 72-hour wait.

State Attorney General Josh Stein, who is named as a defendant, told news outlets through a spokesperson he is reviewing the lawsuit.

  • Stein, who supports abortion rights, previously recused himself from defending the state's blocked 20-week abortion ban after Roe v. Wade was overturned.
  • Republican lawmakers have repeatedly criticized Stein, saying his job is to defend the state's laws.

Go deeper: Pair of lawsuits kick off state-federal battle over abortion pills (Politico)


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