Emily Rice Published

Attorney General Moves To Dismiss GenBioPro Abortion Lawsuit

A brown gavel rests on a table while blurred books are shown in the background.Pixel-Shot/Adobe Stock

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by GenBioPro challenging the state’s abortion ban.

GenBioPro, a manufacturer of generic mifepristone, a medical abortion pill, filed a January lawsuit, suing in federal court to invalidate West Virginia’s medication abortion ban on the grounds the state is blocking its residents from accessing a drug approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to a press release from Morrisey’s office, mifepristone is not banned under the Unborn Child Protection Act, also known as House Bill 302, West Virginia’s abortion ban.

He said the drug could still be used in legal abortions in the state, which are only allowed in cases of rape or incest, or to protect the life of the mother.

“As I have said before, 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. “I will stand strong for the life of the unborn and will not relent in our defense of this clearly constitutional law.”

Morrisey was assisted by attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom, a self-proclaimed Christian-led legal organization, in filing the motion to dismiss GenBioPro’s lawsuit.

While not directly related to this lawsuit, the law is also being questioned in court by the ACLU. The group filed a lawsuit saying the state’s abortion law passed through the West Virginia Legislature in less than 24 hours, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

House Bill 302 outlaws abortion in West Virginia, with limited exceptions. In instances of legal abortion, the procedure is limited to M.D.s and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine.

During the 2023 regular legislative session, several lawmakers have also signed on to a bill removing exemptions for rape and incest. 

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

In response to Morrisey’s Feb. 21 filing, Perryman said, “We are reviewing Attorney General Morrisey’s response and are confident in the merits of our case.”