A federal judge on Friday allowed North Carolina lawmakers to defend restrictions on the abortion pill mifepristone, after the state attorney general declined to do so.

Dr. Amy Bryant, a North Carolina physician, sued the state in January to block its restrictions on mifepristone because they go beyond the Food and Drug Administration’s regulations.

State Attorney General Joshua Stein, a Democrat, agreed with Bryant and declined to defend the state’s restrictions on mifepristone. Stein told North Carolina lawmakers the FDA determined that restrictions like those in North Carolina unduly burden patients’ access to a safe and effective drug.