Court asked to bar Planned Parenthood from distributing abortion pills
Michael Tierney, attorney for New Hampshire Right to Life, filed a petition for a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief on Friday in Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene.
State law allows non-pharmacists to dispense prescription drugs in family planning clinics operated by, or under contract with, the state Department of Health and Human Services, provided each clinic has obtained a "limited retail drug distributor" license from the Board of Pharmacy.
That's because the Executive Council in 2011 voted to end a contract with the agency to provide family planning services.
NH Right to Life has been fighting for two years to get the pharmacy board to reject licenses for those clinics, but the board has continued to grant the licenses.
Planned Parenthood President and CEO Meagan Gallagher called the court action "the latest effort by a politically motivated group to interfere with women's access to high quality, affordable health care, including birth control, at PPNNE."
Lynmarie Cusack, assistant attorney general in the civil bureau of the Attorney General's Office, said her office is reviewing the petition filed against the Board of Pharmacy and said it would be "premature" to comment on specific allegations.
N.H. Right to Life alleges that Planned Parenthood violates Food and Drug Administration safety protocols by sending patients home with the medical abortion drug instead of administering it in a physician's office and by using it later in pregnancy than the FDA recommends.
Here, he said, "The Board of Pharmacy is allowing the distribution of the abortion pill contrary to FDA safety protocols, and that is unlawful."
Meanwhile, some states, most recently Texas, have passed laws requiring clinics to comply with the FDA safety protocols for medical abortion.
But she recently withdrew her Legislative Service Request.
With a Democratic majority in the House, Peterson said, pro-life Republicans decided to focus their efforts on another bill, to adopt regulations for abortion clinics.
In addition to N.H. Right to Life, Tierney filed the petition on behalf of two Richmond residents, Betty Buzzell and Robert Carbone.
Reached for comment, Carbone referred questions to Tierney. But Buzzell said she happily agreed to put her name on the lawsuit when Right to Life asked.
The FDA estimates that 1.52 million women have used the drug since 2000, and 14 deaths have been reported. Eight deaths were associated with sepsis; all but one involved vaginal use of the drug.