Booked titled "Abortion Law" with a pregnancy test stick on top and a stethoscope draped over

Ruling: West Virginia is allowed to ban abortion pill

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Jon Styf

(The Center Square) – A federal court in West Virginia determined that the state is able to ban the sale of abortion pill mifepristone.

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers ruled that states are allowed to regulate public health and morality and thus can ban an abortion pill despite its approval as safe by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

“Morality-based laws often curtail the sale of goods,” Chambers wrote. “The vendors of curtailed goods may lose sales opportunities. Outraged, vendors can feel the laws must somehow be unconstitutional. 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.”

Chambers dismissed much of the lawsuit from mifepristone generic version manufacturer GenBioPro in the Southern District of West Virginia Huntington Division.

West Virginia has implemented a block on telehealth abortion pill prescriptions. GenBioPro argued that the West Virginia block was unconstitutional, and that federal law preempted it due to the FDA approval. The telehealth challenge can proceed but the law was deemed constitutional.

“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,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “I will always stand strong for the life of the unborn.”

GenBioPro CEO Evan Masingill said in a statement that the company was considering its next steps. Morrisey plans to continue his challenge of the telehealth portion of the lawsuit.

“We look forward to arguing the remaining issue of this lawsuit, and we are confident in the merits of our case,” Morrisey said.