October 24, 2023

Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Colorado APR Ban

Bella Health cofounders Dede Chism and Abby Sinnett
Illinois is not the only state infringing on the First Amendment rights of pro-life clinics. In a similar victory to District Judge Iain Johnston's injunction against Illinois's SB 1909, a Colorado law prohibiting pro-life care was temporarily blocked by another federal judge.

On October 21, Federal District Judge Daniel D Domenico granted a preliminary injunction blocking Colorado's new law that would punish pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) for offering abortion pill reversal (APR).

The new law classifies abortion reversal treatment as "unprofessional conduct" to be disciplined by state medical boards.

Some pro-life PRCs offer APR to pregnant mothers who regret taking the first abortion pill and want to save the lives of their unborn children. To do so, these centers prescribe progesterone. Progesterone is a naturally occurring pregnancy hormone that helps regulate the flow of oxygen and nutrients to unborn children.

Mifepristone, the first drug in the abortion pill regimen, ends a child's life by disrupting a mother's natural progesterone. Mifepristone kills the child by starvation and asphyxiation. Progesterone prescriptions, which are also used to help mothers facing difficult pregnancies, can help overcome the effects of mifepristone and save lives.

The injunction comes after Bella Health filed a lawsuit challenging the anti-PRC law. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty represents Bella Health in this challenge. In a press release celebrating the injunction, the Bella Health cofounders Dede Chism and Abby Sinnett wrote, “Some of [the women seeking APR] have had abortion pills forced on them, and others change their minds. We are relieved and overjoyed to continue helping the many women who come to our clinic seeking help.”

Domenico wrote in his decision that Colorado's law "runs afoul of" First Amendment principles. “Because it does, the State must come forward with a compelling interest of the highest order to maintain the law. It has not even attempted to do so.”

Domenico's injunction means that Colorado cannot enforce the anti-APR law while the lawsuit proceeds. Colorado has 30 days to appeal the injunction to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals should the state choose to do so.