September 26, 2023

California Attorney General Sues Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers over Abortion Pill Reversal

California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D)
On September 21, California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) filed lawsuits against five pro-life pregnancy centers for promoting abortion pill reversal.

Bonta's lawsuit accused the pregnancy centers of misleading women about abortion pill reversal, thereby violating California laws regarding false advertising and unfair competition.

The first drug in the abortion pill regimen, mifepristone, suppresses the pregnancy hormone progesterone. Progesterone helps support a developing child by facilitating the flow of oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the child. When Progesterone is blocked by mifepristone, the child dies of starvation and asphyxiation.

Abortion pill reversal involves prescribing additional progesterone to ensure the unborn child receives the oxygen and nutrients needed to survive. If a mother regrets taking mifepristone, abortion pill reversal can save her child's life. Progesterone is also prescribed to help prevent miscarriage during difficult pregnancies.

Bonta's lawsuit claims that no scientific evidence supports the safety and efficacy of abortion pill reversal.

“HBI and RealOptions took advantage of pregnant patients at a deeply vulnerable time in their lives, using false and misleading claims to lure them in and mislead them about a potentially risky procedure,” Bonta alleged. “We are launching today’s lawsuit to put a stop to their predatory and unlawful behavior.”

Heartbeat International is one of the organizations named in Bonta's lawsuit. It is affiliated with several pro-life pregnancy centers in the area, and it hosts the Abortion Pill Rescue Network Hotline. The Hotline takes calls from women who regret taking mifepristone, and it helps connect them with doctors who prescribe abortion pill reversal. Heartbeat International released a statement in response to Bonta's lawsuit.
“All major studies show that using progesterone to counteract a chemical abortion (Abortion Pill Reversal) can be effective since it’s the very same hormone a woman’s body produces to sustain her pregnancy. One study even shows an effective rate of 80%. Progesterone has been safely used with pregnant women and their babies since the 1950s. To date, statistics show more than 4,500 women have had successful abortion pill reversals and that number grows higher each day.”

Bonta's lawsuit in California reminds us of the dangers posed by political prosecution. In Illinois, pro-life pregnancy centers are threatened by SB1909. Though it is currently blocked pending litigation, this law would threaten legal action against any pro-life pregnancy center accused of "deception" or "omission of any material fact." The law does not provide a definition for "material fact," thereby allowing prosecutors to interpret the phrase broadly and potentially require pro-life pregnancy centers to refer women for abortions.

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