A federal judge has dismissed an abortion drug manufacturer’s claims that West Virginia’s ban on mifepristone violates the Constitution.
GenBioPro, a manufacturer of the generic version of mifepristone, sued West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and others in January over the state’s new abortion law and a prohibition against telehealth abortion pill prescriptions.
The abortion pill maker claimed that the ban has caused them “significant, ongoing economic injury” and that the laws are unconstitutional and preempted by federal law. Specifically, the company’s legal team argued that the state cannot enforce a “ban” on a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug.
District Judge Robert Chambers wrote about the “overwhelming evidence of the safety and efficacy of mifepristone” in his ruling but ultimately determined laws surrounding abortion must be left up to the states, which have a right to impose “morality-based laws.”
“Morality-based laws often curtail the sale of goods. The vendors of curtailed goods may lose sales opportunities. Outraged, vendors can feel the laws must somehow be unconstitutional,” Chambers wrote. “And yet, the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals have repeatedly affirmed that morality-based product bans do not intrinsically offend the dormant Commerce Clause.”
Ultimately, the court allowed the telehealth provision challenge to proceed but said that the new pro-life law was constitutional and not preempted.
GenBioPro CEO Evan Masingill said in a statement that the company is considering its next steps and claimed that “we are confident in the legal strength of our claims,” according to a report from ABC News.
BREAKING: WV AG wins dismissal of virtually all claims in abortion pill case.
— WV Attorney General (@WestVirginiaAG) August 24, 2023
“As I have said all along, the new Unborn Child Protection Act is constitutional,” Attorney General Morrisey said in a statement responding to the judge’s ruling. “I am pleased the court saw it the way we did.”
“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,” the Attorney General continued. “I will always stand strong for the life of the unborn.”
Morrisey concluded his statement saying, “We look forward to arguing the remaining issue of this lawsuit, and we are confident in the merits of our case.”