North Carolina lawmakers ask court to allow them to join litigation to defend state restrictions on abortion pills

Pro-abortion attorney general won’t defend law

By Dave Andrusko

Faced with the certainty that pro-abortion Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein will not defend a North Carolina’s law requiring a woman to make an in-person visit to obtain mifepristone, the first of two drugs making up the chemical abortion technique, “Lawyers for Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore filed papers in federal court asking to enter the case as new defendants, saying someone must be in place to rigorously defend state abortion laws,” Gary D. Robertson reported for the Associated Press.

Under North Carolina law, abortionists must provide mifepristone in person “at a particular type of facility after a 72-hour waiting period and, in some cases, an ultrasound examination,” according to Bloomberg Law’s Mary Anne Pazanowski.

Mifepristone is used in combination with misoprostol to cause an abortion. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, causing the death of the unborn baby, while the second drug, misoprostol, causes powerful, painful uterine contractions to expel the dead baby.

Berger and Moore “have an interest in upholding the validity of state statutes aimed at protecting unborn life, promoting maternal health and safety and regulating the medical profession,” wrote Ellis Boyle, an attorney for the lawmakers.

Dr. Amy Bryant, an abortionist, last month sued Stein, a district attorney, and state health and medical officials. She claimed “that state laws and rules conflict with her ability to provide mifepristone to patients,” Robertson wrote. She said “those restrictions should be preempted by the powers that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received from Congress to regulate the drug.”

Stein gave himself cover by telling Moore and Berger that Bryant’s arguments are “legally correct” and that state Justice Department would agree with those arguments in court filings.

Last month  the FDA formalized a decision made in 2021 to permanently drop the in-person requirement for the distribution of the abortion pill and updated labeling for mifepristone (generic for Mifeprex) that would allow pharmacies (both online and brick and mortar) to dispense the drug.

“While the FDA has the authority to permit the use of drugs and medicines, this authority does not prohibit states from regulating or prohibiting them also,” said Jim Bopp, Jr., general counsel of National Right to Life. “This is another example of the Biden administration unlawfully trying to seize federal power and usurping legislative authority to advance their radical pro-abortion agenda.”

Boyle wrote North Carolina’s abortion regulations apply “with equal force to both surgical and chemical abortion procedures” and that Bryant’s argument would mean states “cannot enact their own laws regulating the safety of chemical abortion for their citizens,” according to Robertson.

“In a chemical abortion, the perfectly healthy mother of a perfectly healthy baby ingests a drug that takes the life of the unborn child and has the potential to endanger the life of the mother,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Contrary to the abortion industry’s latest talking points, abortion is not ‘health care.’ Whether the abortion is surgical or chemical, the abortionist’s intention is the deliberate destruction of a living unborn baby.”