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Legislative Leaders Seek Dismissal of Chemical Abortion Lawsuit

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger filed a motion last Friday, March 24, requesting the dismissal of a lawsuit that is seeking to overturn restrictions on chemical abortion drugs in North Carolina. As NC Family staff discussed last month in our February 24 Weekly Update video, Speaker Moore and Senator Berger filed a motion to intervene in this case, and their request was granted by the federal judge overseeing it. Now they are seeking to have the legal action thrown out in its entirety.

These legislative leaders felt the need to intervene in this important case, because NC Attorney General Josh Stein, who was named as a primary defendant in the lawsuit, refused to defend the laws being challenged. On Twitter, he said, “Health care decisions—including those involving reproductive health—should be made by patients & their providers, not politicians. The state of NC’s restriction of women’s use of the prescriptions they need to exercise their reproductive freedoms violates federal law and the Constitution.”

The Background on the legal challenge Bryant v. Stein

Dr. Amy Bryant, who filed the lawsuit, is an abortionist in the Triangle, an OB/GYN in the UNC Healthcare system, and an associate professor at UNC Chapel Hill. She filed the lawsuit in an attempt to eliminate restrictions on the administration of chemical abortion drugs in North Carolina. These laws require that:

  • Chemical abortion drugs can only be administered by a “qualified physician;”
  • The first of the two drugs in the RU-486 abortion drug protocol (mifepristone) must be administered to the patient in the presence of the doctor; and
  • Surgical or chemical abortions can only take place after the woman has been informed about the abortion procedure, alternatives to abortion, available resources, and other information at least 72-hours before the abortion is to take place.

Note: You can read more about chemical abortions and their restrictions here.

It is interesting to note that Dr. Bryant was one of the plaintiffs in Bryant v. Woodall, which led to a federal district court declaring North Carolina’s 20-week abortion ban unconstitutional in 2019. It was not until the Dobbs decision in the summer of 2022 that the 20-week ban was reinstated, but only after our legislative leaders intervened in that case. U.S. District Judge William Osteen oversaw Bryant v. Woodall, and is overseeing Bryant v. Stein as well.

More Information

We recently welcomed Erica Steinmiller-Perdomo, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, as a guest on NC Family’s Family Policy Matters radio show and podcast to discuss this case. In this interview, she shared, “The takeaway here is that North Carolina protects health, safety and welfare of women and girls from the dangers of chemical abortion drugs, and abortionists can’t disregard state laws protecting women and girls just to bolster their businesses.  The fact is chemical abortion drugs are dangerous to women. North Carolina has enacted common sense protections for unborn life and for women and girls from the dangers of these drugs, and those laws are entitled to be defended by legislative leaders who will accurately and adequately protect the state’s interest in this case.”

To learn more about pro-life legislation in North Carolina and what we can do to further protect the unborn, check out our Family Policy Matters interview with Dr. Bill Pincus, president of NC Right to Life.


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