(CNN) — The legal battle surrounding medical abortion — the two-pill regimen women can use to terminate their pregnancy — escalated Wednesday with separate lawsuits filed in two states challenging their restrictions on the method.
A lawsuit was filed in West Virginia by GenBioPro, a major manufacturer of mifepristone, the first drug used in the medical abortion process, to challenge state laws restricting access to the drug, including last year’s outright ban on the abortion legislature.
The second lawsuit was submitted by an OB-GYN in North Carolina and addresses the state’s requirements for the procurement of abortion pills that go beyond federal standards for the provision of medical abortions.
The lawsuits represent one of several new legal battlefronts that have emerged since the June Supreme Court Judgment that reversed the decades old Precedent Roe v. Wade to protect abortion rights across the country, allowing states to introduce restrictions and bans on the procedure.
medical abortion, which now has the majority of abortions performed in the United States has become a particularly acute focus in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision. In November, anti-abortion activists sued the US Food and Drug Administration to block its 20-year-old approval of mifepristone; The Texas federal court in which this lawsuit has been filed could decide as soon as next month whether the FDA’s abortion pill policy should be halted.
While many states already have laws banning medical abortions, lawmakers have signaled they will explore new ways to curb the avenues abortion seekers have to access abortion pills as the Statehouses reconvene this year.
The two new lawsuits in North Carolina and West Virginia make similar arguments, alleging that those states’ restrictions violate the US Constitution because they are anticipated by federal laws that give the FDA the power to authorize and regulate medical abortions .
GenBioPro argues that West Virginia law violates the power that the Commerce Clause grants to Congress to regulate interstate commerce. Amy Bryant, the medical provider suing in North Carolina, alleges that the state’s strict requirements for where women can access abortion pills and the required waiting period for an abortion “impose unnecessary costs on the plaintiff and her practice and interfere with her ability to to provide medical care to their patients to the best of their medical judgment and in accordance with federal law.”
A spokesman for North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat charged in the North Carolina lawsuit, said his office is reviewing the complaint.
The offices of West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Putnam County Attorney Mark Sorsaia, both of whom were being sued in the GenBioPro lawsuit, did not immediately comment
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