Emily Rice Published

Abortion Pill Manufacturer Files Suit Against W.Va.

A gavel next to a sign that reads the word abortion.Credit: Dollar Photo

GenBioPro, a manufacturer of generic mifepristone, commonly known as an abortion pill, is suing in federal court to invalidate West Virginia’s medication abortion ban.

Medication abortion using the two-drug regimen involving Mifepristone early in pregnancy is the most common form of abortion care in the U.S., accounting for more than half of all pregnancy terminations.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued a statement in response to the GenBioPro lawsuit Wednesday stating his office is prepared to defend West Virginia’s new abortion law to the fullest.

“While it may not sit well with manufacturers of abortion drugs, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that regulating abortion is a state issue,” Morrisey said in a statement. “I will stand strong for the life of the unborn and will not relent in our defense of this clearly constitutional law.”

This is the first lawsuit of its kind since the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24, 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, ruling that the Constitution of the United States does not confer a right to abortion.

GenBioPro’s legal counsel, Democracy Forward, is going after state abortion bans on behalf of drug manufacturers with its President and CEO Sky Perryman at the lead.

“What the state of West Virginia has done is presently maintain a series of laws and regulations that in effect ban mifepristone that substitutes the judgment of the state for the judgment of FDA, and the laws deprive patients of federally approved safe and effective medication,” Perryman said. “Laws, like the ones in effect in West Virginia, are harmful and unlawful.”

GenBioPro’s lawsuit comes just after the FDA’s announcement earlier this year that enabled mifepristone to be accessed through certified pharmacies.

“We know that people living in West Virginia who need this basic health care are being forced to travel out of state or forego care altogether, which is clearly inequitable,” Perryman said. “This is the first case challenging an abortion ban that was passed postdocs based on the theory of FDA approval.”

GenBioPro developed mifepristone, a generic version of the two-part abortion pill to provide ease of access.

“GenBioPro spent a decade developing a generic version of mifepristone so that people could access this essential medication that has been approved and regulated, specifically by FDA, so that they can access this medications more easily and at lower costs,” Perryman said. “And in line with those values, GenBioPro has engaged in a number of actions in order to make medication more accessible, and is committed to challenging unlawful state overreach that deprives people of the ability to access safe and effective medication.”