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Federal Judge Affirms North Carolina Residents’ Right to Use Abortion Drug at Home


Some of North Carolina’s restrictions on access to abortion pills were thrown out by a federal judge, but others were upheld. This was only a partial win for people in North Carolina who support abortion rights.

Obama’s choice for judge, Catherine Eagles, said that a state law that made it illegal to get abortion drugs for home use went against what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could do.

In his letter, Eagles said that the state laws “thwart the goal of Congress to establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework under which the FDA determines conditions for safe drug distribution that do not put undue burdens on the health care system or patient access.”

The decision, which was made public on Monday, stops North Carolina from putting other limits on access, like making people who need abortion drugs get prescriptions and pick them up in person. Also, local officials can’t charge people with breaking the law because of it.

Eagles supported restrictions that said people had to see a doctor in person before they could get a prescription or an ultrasound. She said the FDA hadn’t looked at those standards and said no to them.

In a statement, the plaintiff in the case, abortion doctor Dr. Amy Bryant, said that Eagles’ decision will “enable more people across North Carolina to get safe and effective medication abortion care.”

The Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein decided not to defend the case because he thought that the FDA already had the power to do so. Stein is the Democrat’s choice for governor. She supports abortion rights.

Stein said that the decision “gives women back some control over the choices they make about their health care.”

They, along with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Leader of the Senate, could appeal the decision. This term, the Supreme Court will hear a different case about the abortion pill mifepristone. This case could affect the North Carolina case.

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