A total of 12 states in the US have launched a lawsuit saying that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is hampering access to a popular abortion pill, the media reported.
Mifepristone, part of a two-drug regimen that induces abortions was approved in 2000, with restrictions to assure its safe use. reports the BBC.
The combination of mifepristone and another drug, misoprostol, is considered safe and highly effective in terminating pregnancies within the first 10 weeks.
But while misoprostol is freely available, the FDA tightly controls who can prescribe and dispense mifepristone.
The states of Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont launched the lawsuit on Thursday at a federal court.
The lawsuit has claimed that the limits on the drug were not supported by evidence, adding that thus has created "burdensome restrictions" on a drug that is the "gold standard" for abortions and has a high safety profile.
"The availability of medication abortion has never been more important," wrote the plaintiffs, noting that approval of the drug was "based on a thorough and comprehensive review of the scientific evidence".
But restrictions on the drug have made it "harder for doctors to prescribe, harder for pharmacies to fill, harder for patients to access, and more burdensome... to dispense", the BBC reported citing the lawsuit as saying.
Medication abortion is the most common method of the procedure in the US.
Now accounting for more than half of all abortions in the country, it has become the focus of growing political attacks since the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion last year.