It’s been several weeks since I’ve shared an update on Colorado potentially becoming the first and only state to ban Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) – a process that has saved more than 4,500 babies in the U.S., including at least 20 through the Colorado Springs Pregnancy Centers.
This proposed restriction was part of anti-pregnancy center legislation written by pro-abortion groups and signed into law by Governor Jared Polis in April. This law also included threats of fines for “deceptive advertising” designed to intimidate pregnancy centers.
The Abortion Pill Reversal has been successfully used nationally and internationally to reverse the effects of the first abortion pill, mifepristone. Mifepristone stops progesterone, which leads to the end of a preborn baby’s life. The reversal protocol reintroduces progesterone, which has been used safely for decades to help women who are prone to miscarriage achieve a healthy pregnancy. When administered orally, it is effective 68% of the time according to Heartbeat International.
The law tasked the Colorado Medical Board, the Pharmacy Board, and the Nursing Board with determining if APR is a “generally accepted standard of practice to engage in medication abortion reversal.”
In late July, the three boards issued a combined notice of proposed rulemaking, which stated they “will not treat medication abortion reversal as a per se act of unprofessional conduct.” They initially declined to state whether medication abortion reversal pills is “an acceptable standard practice,” the standard called for by the Colorado law.
Politics Influences Medical Board Decision
In the wake of this, the pro-abortion groups that drafted the ban – and the legislators who championed it – urged the Board to update this notice and explicitly declare APR not to be a standard medical practice. On August 17, the Colorado Medical Board folded under this pressure.
The Board’s revised ruling said it “does not consider administering, dispensing, distributing, or delivering progesterone with the intent to interfere with, reverse, or halt a medication abortion undertaken through the use of mifepristone and/or misoprostol to meet generally accepted standards of medical practice.” The Board goes on to say it will investigate “conduct that could meet the definition of medication abortion reversal … on a case-by-case basis.”
The Nursing Board will hold its hearing on Sept. 20 and the Board of Pharmacy on Sept. 21. Regardless of those rulings, the Medical Board ruling ensures the three boards will not be unanimous in support of abortion pill reversal, which means the APR ban will remain intact.
Sadly, this means doctors who perform APR in Colorado could be subject to an investigation. This could make the option for women to choose life after taking the abortion pill far more challenging.
Last week, the Colorado Medical Board voted to push back enforcement of its rules until at least Oct. 23, citing a pending lawsuit by Bella Health, a Catholic women’s clinic in Denver. In the suit, Bella asserts that this law targets clinics with a religious mission to provide “life affirming care.” We will keep you updated on the status, but please join us in praying for the Lord’s favor in this lawsuit and the Board’s enforcement decision.
Interestingly, during testimony in the course of Bella’s lawsuit challenging the APR portion of the law, Chief Deputy Attorney General Natalie Hanlon Leh testified that the advertising portion of the law did not change anything legally since consumer protection law already makes deceiving consumers in any way illegal. To our knowledge, no centers have been prosecuted under the new law.
What does this mean for APR care in our city?
With the latest Medical Board ruling, only Bella Health in Denver will be afforded legal protection until their lawsuit is resolved.
Knowing the law is aimed squarely at pregnancy centers like ours, Life Network will suspend providing this treatment in this season. If a woman contacts us, she will be immediately referred to Heartbeat International’s Abortion Pill Reversal Network to discuss her options for care, which will include Bella Health.
Take Heart, You Are Making a Huge Difference
Your support and prayers continue to make a profound impact helping women and men and saving babies’ lives through our pregnancy centers. We are bad for the abortion businesses, and they know it. That’s what this legislation is about.
Be assured, we will continue advertising to women desperately seeking support in the face of an unexpected pregnancy – and then serving them with excellence in our centers. With your help, in the last 12 months, we served a record 2,127 patients.
When you support our life-affirming mission, your generosity not only serves families in El Paso County, it enables us to impact other pregnancy center ministries, too. In two weeks, Life Network will host the annual Rocky Mountain Conference, a gathering of pregnancy center leaders that provides an opportunity to share best practices and encourage one another. We anticipate 170 pregnancy staff and volunteers from more than 25 pregnancy centers in our state and beyond will join us. It’s our privilege to help empower our sister ministries to value life and transform lives in their communities.
Thank you again for your continued support, prayers and encouragement in the face of this legislative opposition. Let us not grow weary in doing good!
Changing lives together,