WASHINGTON (AP) – Supporters of abortion rights have filed separate lawsuits challenging abortion pill restrictions in North Carolina and West Virginia.

The lawsuits were filed Wednesday. They are the opening salvo in what’s expected to a be a protracted legal battle over access to the medications.

The lawsuits argue that state limits on the drugs run afoul of the federal authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The agency has approved the abortion pill as a safe and effective method for ending pregnancy.

More than half of U.S. abortions are now done with pills rather than surgery.