New York attorney general sues pregnancy centers over abortion pill reversal statements


CNA Staff, May 6, 2024 / 14:57 pm

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday filed a lawsuit against multiple pregnancy resource centers and a pro-life group over what the prosecutor alleged were misleading statements about abortion pill reversal. 

James said in the filing that the defendants — the group Heartbeat International and 11 crisis pregnancy centers affiliated with the nonprofit — have engaged in “repeated and persistent misleading and/or false claims” regarding the medical procedure of abortion pill reversal. 

The abortion pill is a two-step procedure in which a pregnant woman first ingests the drug mifepristone, which cuts off the unborn baby’s supply of the hormone progesterone, leading to the baby’s death. 

The woman then takes a second drug, misoprostol, which causes the uterus to contract, eventually expelling the baby’s body. 

Abortion pill reversal works by administering progesterone in high doses after a woman has ingested mifepristone; the hormone is meant to counteract the effects of the abortive drug. Several surveys have found evidence that the drug can be effective at halting a medicated abortion. 

Downplaying that evidence by pointing to scientific disputes over the studies in question, James in her filing alleged that there is “no competent and reliable scientific evidence” to support the abortion pill reversal procedure. 

The defendants “distort the evidence and mislead New Yorkers” with claims about the effectiveness and safety of abortion pill reversal, James argued. 

The filing asks that the defendants be ordered to “remove from their websites, social media accounts, and other promotional materials” their claims about abortion pill reversal, that they be fined thousands of dollars for their purported violations of state law, and that they be prohibited from making similar claims in the future about abortion pill reversal. 

In a statement announcing the filing, James claimed that abortions “cannot be reversed.”

The state “must protect pregnant [women’s] right to make safe, well-informed decisions about their health,” she argued in the press release. 

This is not the first time that abortion pill reversal has been targeted by pro-abortion politicians and government officials. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta in September 2023 sued five pro-life pregnancy centers and Heartbeat International, accusing them of utilizing fraudulent and misleading statements when advertising the abortion pill reversal drug.

In April 2023, meanwhile, Colorado enacted several new pro-abortion laws including a ban on abortion pill reversal treatments.

A mother-and-daughter team of Catholic nurse practitioners brought suit against the Colorado law in October in order to be allowed to continue their ministry helping women reverse unwanted chemical abortions.

A judge quickly issued an injunction against the reversal ban, allowing the women to continue their medical practice while the lawsuit plays out in court. 

Daniel Payne

Daniel Payne is a senior editor at Catholic News Agency. He previously worked at the College Fix and Just the News. He lives in Virginia with his family.


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