New York AG Letitia James sues pregnancy help centers over abortion pill reversal

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News

 

New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing Heartbeat International and 11 crisis pregnancy centers in the state for promoting an abortion reversal medication. James announced the suit in a May 6 press release in which she accused the defendants of using “false and misleading statements” about the effectiveness of the progesterone medication.

James incorrectly asserted that “[a]bortions cannot be reversed,” and that “treatments that claim to do so are made without scientific evidence and could be unsafe.”

She went on to claim that Heartbeat International and the other named parties in the suit are “spreading dangerous misinformation by advertising ‘abortion reversals’ without any medical and scientific proof.”

The suit seeks a court order instructing pregnancy help centers to stop promoting the life-saving treatment as well as the imposition of “civil penalties” for violations.

‘AN ATTACK ON THE VERY ESSENCE OF HEALTHCARE’

A spokesperson for Heartbeat International told the Washington Examiner that the lawsuit is “a clear attempt to censor speech, leaving women who regret their chemical abortions in the dark, and ultimately forcing them to complete an abortion they no longer want.”

“This is a political witch-hunt against small nonprofits that have selflessly served New York’s pregnant women and their children for over 50 years,” Peter Breen, head of litigation at Chicago-based Thomas More Society, said in a statement on the lawsuit. The nonprofit pro-life legal group represents Heartbeat International and its affiliates in the suit.

Thomas More Society accused James of “attempting to silence the life-saving message of Abortion Pill Reversal and threatening ruinous prosecution against the Empire State’s pregnancy ministries” in a tweet

The post included a statement from Andrea Trudden, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Heartbeat International.

“Women’s health should never be a pawn in political agendas. Denying access to crucial options like abortion pill reversal undermines women’s autonomy and their right to make informed choices…Targeting life-affirming pregnancy help organizations is not just unjust, it’s an attack on the very essence of healthcare.”

The attorney general’s lawsuit is the latest move in an ongoing legal battle between James and New York pregnancy help centers.  Thomas More Society, on behalf of Heartbeat International and affiliates, sued James in the state’s Supreme Court on April 30 after her office sent “Notice of Intention to Sue” letters to 10 pregnancy help organizations in the state that offered or promoted abortion pill reversal protocols.

The complaint accused James of violating the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution as well as New York civil rights laws by threatening and intimidating pregnancy help organizations.

NATIONAL PRO-LIFE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION BACKS ABORTION-REVERSAL PILL AS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE

The so-called “abortion reversal pill” is actually a high-level dose of natural progesterone, which counters the effects of mifepristone, the first step in a two-step chemical abortion, according to the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG).

As explained in an AAPLOG Fact Sheet, Mifepristone – commonly referred to as the “abortion pill” – blocks the production of progesterone, a hormone produced by the mother that provides nutrients to her unborn child. When progesterone is deficient, the infant essentially starves to death. Another drug, misoprostol, is taken by the mother to expel the baby’s body parts from the mother’s womb.

Natural progesterone has been used for more than 50 years to prevent miscarriages in women in the early stages of pregnancy who are deficient in progesterone, according to the document It has also been used to support fetal viability in pregnancies conceived through IVF for more than three decades, according to AAPLOG, which cites several studies on the safety and efficacy of the progesterone protocol.

“The Abortion Pill Reversal process is safe for both the mother and for her unborn child and offers a real chance for the woman to rescue her unborn child when she has changed her mind about abortion,” the document states.

THE LEFT DECLARES WAR ON CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTERS

These vital organizations are increasingly under attack from pro-abortion activists and lawmakers. 

Hundreds of pro-life organizations throughout the U.S. were vandalized, set ablaze, and received death threats from pro-abortion activists following the 2022 Roe repeal, resulting in only a handful of arrests by the Justice Department., 

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced a bill to criminalize PHCs that “mislead and deceive” women into choosing life for their babies. The Stop Antiabortion Disinformation Act would subject PHCs that “spread disinformation” to fines of up to $100,000 or 50% of the parent entity’s total revenue from the previous 12 months. 

Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer cut millions in state funds for crisis pregnancy and adoption programs.

Pennsylvania State Rep. Melissa Shusterman introduced legislation in March that would end state subsidization of crisis pregnancy centers, claiming that they pose a threat to pregnant women and “birthing people.”

More recently, California State Attorney General Rob Bonta subpoenaed at least ten PHCs for information regarding their compliance with a new law mandating that only licensed clinics can perform baby ultrasounds.

“The pro-abortion left operates on the assumption that all women are weak, selfish, and unable to succeed as mothers,” Auguste Meyrat wrote in a guest essay for The Federalist. “Pregnancy centers thwart these assumptions by empowering women and helping them turn what seems like a problem into a blessing with limitless potential.”

Amid these increased attacks from the left, Meyrat exhorted pro-life Americans to begin “sharing in the work of helping mothers and building up a pro-family culture.” 

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