Colorado Democrats move to outlaw abortion pill reversal, target pregnancy help

Colorado Democrats move to outlaw abortion pill reversal, target pregnancy help (Sarah Chai/Pexels)

Dems’ bill goes after both pregnancy help and APR, pushes further to enshrine abortion as a ‘right’

Democrat lawmakers in Colorado have passed a bill that aims to prevent life-affirming pregnancy help organizations from marketing their services and penalize medical professionals from providing life-saving medication to women trying to save their pregnancies.

An obvious effort to more boldly declare abortion as a ‘fundamental right’ in Colorado, Senate Bill 23-190 moved from introduction to being passed by both chambers of the Colorado General Assembly in less than a month – a marked rarity.

It follows on the heals of the Reproductive Health Equity Act which was signed into law by Colorado Governor Jared Polis on April 4 of last year and made abortion a ‘right’ in the state.

Sponsored by 50 of the 69 Democrats in the Colorado legislature, Senate Bill 23-190, “Concerning policies to make punishable deceptive actions regarding pregnancy-related services,” was introduced March 9, passed through the Senate and House, the latter on April 1, and has since moved on to Democrat Polis, who is expected to sign it.

“This bill is designed to target, harass, and intimidate pregnancy help organizations for the sole reason that they do not provide nor refer for abortion services,” said Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International, the world’s largest network of pregnancy help. “Through this bill, Colorado is audaciously proclaiming that abortion is a fundamental right in its state.”

Tweet This: Colorado SB 23-190 is designed to target, harass, & intimidate PHOs because they don't provide or refer for abortion

The Colorado law targeting pregnancy help comes as pro-life advocates continue to await the federal government to move beyond the handful of arrests in the attacks on at least 83 pro-life groups and 144 churches since the May 2022 leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion signaling that Roe v. Wade would be overturned, this, while the U.S. Department of Justice had charged at least 26 pro-life individuals in 2022 with violations of the FACE Act even though the Face Act protects both pro-life pregnancy centers and abortion facilities

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Additionally, Colorado has existing deceptive advertising laws making the bill at best redundant and unnecessary. 

Abortion states have ramped up pushing and passing anti-pregnancy help legislation as a means of protecting legalized abortion since the Dobbs ruling struck down Roe v. Wade last year. Colorado’s Senate Bill 23-190 draws from the pro-abortion playbook of projecting “deceptive” actions on to pregnancy help organizations as rationale to supposedly protect the state’s citizens. 

The legislation states the act is “necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety.”

Further from the bill summary:

The bill makes it a deceptive trade practice for a person to make or disseminate to the public any advertisement that indicates, directly or indirectly, that the person provides abortions, emergency contraceptives, or referrals for abortions or emergency contraceptives when the person knows or reasonably should have known that the person does not provide those specific services. 

A health-care provider engages in unprofessional conduct or is subject to discipline in this state if the health-care provider provides, prescribes, administers, or attempts medication abortion reversal in this state.

The claim that pregnancy centers use deception to “target” potential clients is regularly stated by abortion proponents as an accepted fact without accompanying substantiation. 

Senate Bill 23-190 claims that some pregnancy help organizations “use deceptive advertising tactics to target and acquire clients from historically marginalized groups.” 

In reality, the some 3,000 pregnancy help organizations across the U.S. provided nearly 3M (2.85M) people with free services in 2021 - almost all services and programs provided at no cost to clients. And over 95% of those who visit pregnancy centers for services report a positive experience in exit surveys.

Part of the pro-abortion attempt to defame pregnancy help organizations involves painting the centers as unprofessional or non-medical – when the fact is the majority of pregnancy help centers are medical, providing ultrasound, prenatal care, STD testing and treatment, numbering at roughly10,000 licensed medical professionals.

The Colorado Democrats’ bill also slanders abortion pill reversal, stating, “Some anti-abortion centers go so far as to advertise medication abortion reversal, a dangerous and deceptive practice that is not supported by science or clinical standards.”

Abortion pill reversal has been shown to be safe, effective, and is often a life-saving option for women who change their mind after taking the first drug of the two-drug chemical abortion regimen and wish to continue their pregnancy. 

The abortion pill reversal (APR) protocol involves administering a bioidentical version of progesterone - the natural hormone in a woman’s body necessary to sustain pregnancy - to counter the first of two abortion drugs in a chemical abortion

The progesterone hormone has been used safely to combat miscarriage in pregnant women since the 1950s.

A 2018 peer-reviewed study showed positive results, with 64%-68% of the pregnancies saved through abortion pill reversal, no increase in birth defects, and a lower preterm delivery rate than the general population.

Further, statistics show that as of December 2022 more than 4,000 lives and counting have been saved thanks to APR. One of those 4,000 lives is a recent case in Colorado, where the mom who saved her child's life with APR said, “Any mom who’s in this situation, I want you to know that you are loved, that your baby is loved, and that you can do this.” 

Heartbeat International manages the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN), a network of roughly 1,300 medical providers that administer APR worldwide, and also the website created several years ago to correct the misinformation directed at pregnancy centers. Pregnancy Center Truth also contains facts refuting misinformation promulgated by abortion proponents about APR.

“A woman deserves to have all information when making a life-changing decision, specifically one that ends the life of her child,” said Christa Brown, senior director of Medical Impact for Heartbeat International. “No woman should be forced to finish an abortion she no longer consents to or wants.”

Likewise, Brown said, “Medical professionals should not be punished for helping a pregnant person save the life of their growing child through medication abortion reversal.”

Heartbeat has advised affiliates that the Colorado bill is aggressive, and while it will not close pregnancy centers, it will encourage those already pressing pregnancy help organization to press harder.

Pregnancy Help News will provide additional reporting as the situation in Colorado develops.

Prime Sponsors of Senate Bill 23-190 are Sen. J. Marchman, Sen. F. Winter, Rep. E. Epps, and Rep. K. McCormick.

Sponsors of the law are Sen. L. Cutter, Sen. J. Gonzales, Sen. S. Jaquez Lewis, Sen. D. Moreno, Rep. M. Froelich, and Rep. B. Titone.

Co-sponsors are Sen. J. Buckner, Sen. J. Coleman, Sen. J. Danielson, Sen. S. Fenberg, Sen. R. Fields, Sen. J. Ginal, Sen. N. Hinrichsen, Sen. C. Kolker, Sen. T. Sullivan, Rep. J. Amabile, Rep. J. Bacon, Rep. S. Bird, Rep. A. Boesenecker, Rep. K. Brown, Rep. L. Daugherty, Rep. R. Dickson, Rep. L. Garcia, Rep. S. Gonzales Gutierrez, Rep. L. Herod, Rep. J. Joseph, Rep. C. Kipp, Rep. S. Lieder, Rep. M. Lindsay, Rep. W. Lindstedt, Rep. M. Lukens, Rep. J. Mabrey, Rep. J. McCluskie, Rep. B. McLachlan, Rep. D. Michaelson Jenet, Rep. J. Parenti, Rep. N. Ricks, Rep. S. Sharbini, Rep. E. Sirota, Rep. T. Story, Rep. A. Valdez, Rep. E. Velasco, Rep. S. Vigil, Rep. J. Willford, Rep. S. Woodrow, and Rep. C. deGruy Kennedy.

Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN) and Pregnancy Help News. This article has been updated with additional information.


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