New lawsuits target state restrictions on abortion pills

FILE - Boxes of the drug mifepristone sit on a shelf at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on March 16, 2022. Lawsuits have been filed in West Virginia and North Carolina challenging the states' restrictions on the use of abortion pills.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supporters of abortion rights filed separate lawsuits Wednesday challenging two states' abortion pill restrictions, the opening salvo in what’s expected to be a protracted legal battle over access to the medications.

The lawsuits argue that limits on the drugs in North Carolina and West Virginia run afoul of the federal authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has approved the abortion pill as a safe and effective method for ending pregnancy.

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