Federal judge partially blocks North Carolina’s abortion pill regulations – LifeSite

(Live Action) — A judge last week overturned a portion of a North Carolina law regulating abortion pill distribution in the state.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles gave a partial victory to Dr. Amy Brant, the abortionist who had sued the state and argued that its regulations go above and beyond the guidance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In her ruling, Eagles overturned the portion of the law mandating that mifepristone be prescribed only by doctors and only in person, as well as a requirement that patients have an in-person follow-up appointment.

Eagles allowed other portions of the law to stand, including an in-person consultation 72 hours before an abortion, an in-person examination, and an ultrasound before prescribing the drug to remain, because she said the FDA had not explicitly rejected those guidelines.

“North Carolina cannot second-guess the FDA’s explicit judgment on how to manage risks from and safely prescribe, dispense, and administer REMS drugs, including mifepristone,” Eagles wrote. “The state here is imposing restrictions on who can prescribe a REMS drug and how that drug can be prescribed, dispensed, and administered. Those exact restrictions have been explicitly rejected by the FDA as unnecessary for safe administration and as unnecessary burdens on the health care system and patient access,” Eagles wrote.

READ: North Carolina could become the South’s abortion capital after Florida’s heartbeat law takes effect

Though the FDA has loosened the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) safety protocols by eliminating the in-person dispensing requirement and enabling the abortion pill to be permanently shipped by mail, the abortion pill remains as dangerous as ever. Chemical abortion (the abortion pill) has been found to be four times more dangerous for women than a first-trimester surgical abortion. Risks include hemorrhaging, incomplete abortion, infection, and possible follow-up second surgical abortion.

The case was unusual because Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein refused to defend the law when it was challenged in the courts, instead forcing several Republican lawmakers to step up and intervene in the law’s defense. Stein doubled down on his disregard for state law in a statement following Eagles’ ruling.

“The court held that parts of North Carolina’s anti-abortion law that make it harder for women, especially in rural North Carolina, to get medication abortion are unconstitutional,” Stein said Tuesday. “Republican legislators enacted the law to control, not protect, women.”

The state’s lawmakers have not yet said whether or not they will appeal the ruling.

Reprinted with permission from Live Action.

Previous ArticleNext Article