Over the weekend, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the nation’s first law banning abortion pill reversal treatment, citing free speech and freedom of religion concerns.
Abortion pill reversal is a hormone treatment for women who have started a medication abortion but have a change of heart and want to save their babies.
This year, Colorado lawmakers enacted a law (Senate Bill 190) banning hormone treatment to reverse a chemical abortion.
As reported by the Daily Citizen, the law was immediately challenged by Bella Health and Wellness, a Catholic health clinic in Colorado that offers abortion pill reversal treatment. They contend the law violates their freedom of speech and religion.
In April, a 14-day temporary injunction was issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, allowing the clinic to continue serving women who wanted to reverse their chemical abortion.
Colorado’s attorney general promised not to enforce the law until regulators met and completed their rulemaking, which was completed in September.
Bella Health and Wellness immediately filed suit again with the same legal claims. They maintain that the law is not neutral or generally applicable and instead specifically targets religious viewpoints for negative treatment.
Bella Health also asked the court to issue a preliminary injunction allowing them to continue to help women save their babies from abortion while the underlying case makes its way through the judicial process.
The judge agreed with Bella Health about the serious constitutional concerns and issued an injunction blocking the law from taking effect until the merits of the case are decided.
Judge Daniel D. Domenico wrote in his October 21st order,
There is no question whether [the law] Section Three burdens Bella Health’s free exercise of religion. It does. Bella Health considers it a religious obligation to provide treatment for pregnant mothers and to protect unborn life if the mother seeks to stop or reverse an abortion.
The judge continued,
Because [the law] Section Three of S.B. 23-190 is not neutral and generally applicable, it must satisfy strict scrutiny…“[H]istorically, strict scrutiny requires the State to further ‘interests of the highest order’ by means ‘narrowly tailored in pursuit of those interests.’”
…the State has not carried its burden to show that it has narrowly tailored its restrictions to an interest sufficiently compelling to justify an infringement on Plaintiffs’ Free Exercise rights.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (Becket), a public interest law firm specializing in advocacy for religious freedom, represents Bella Health.
In a statement released by Becket, counsel in the case, Rebekah Ricketts, said,
This ruling ensures that pregnant women across the state will receive the care they deserve and won’t be forced to have abortions against their will.
Dede Chism and Abby Sinnett, cofounders of Bella Health and Wellness, said this of the court order,
We are relieved and overjoyed to continue helping the many women who come to our clinic seeking help.
Focus on the Family’s Vice President of Advocacy for Children, Robyn Chambers, had this reaction to the court order,
I am so thankful for the decision, win, for Bella Health. This organization and many like them can continue to serve women with true healthcare. Every woman should have the right to change her mind and make a choice to save the life of her pre-born child!
Real lives are already being saved.
Since the legal battle over enforcement began in April of this year, Bella Health has helped multiple women successfully continue their pregnancies after starting chemical abortions. In fact, one mother just recently gave birth to a healthy baby.
The state of Colorado has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The pro-life community should pay close attention to this case. It has the potential of going all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
The case is Bella Health and Wellness v. Weiser.
The Daily Citizen will keep you apprised of significant developments.
Some women, after taking the first abortion pill (mifepristone), come to regret their decision. Thankfully, there is a way to reverse the pill’s effects if prompt action is taken.
To learn more about the abortion pill reversal protocol, visit abortionpillreversal.com or call 1-877-558-0333 to be connected with a medical professional who can guide callers through the process of reversing the pill’s effects.
Additionally, if you’re struggling and need a listening ear, Focus on the Family offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.
Image from Shutterstock.