- Several state Democratic attorneys general are going after pregnancy centers and nonprofits for their support of the abortion reversal pill, and pro-life advocates who spoke to the Daily Caller News Foundation said it’s a growing “trend of hostility.”
- In Washington state, New Jersey and California, pro-life organizations have been hit with investigations and a lawsuit, claiming that they are violating consumer privacy laws and misleading women about the risks of the abortion reversal pill.
- “We are simply there to serve women who are scared and vulnerable and think abortion is their only option … there are certainly people that don’t like what we do, and we’re feeling that today,” Aimee Huber, executive director of First Choice, told the DCNF.
Blue state attorneys general have been cracking down on pregnancy centers and nonprofits in recent weeks, and pro-life advocates told the Daily Caller News Foundation that it’s a growing “trend of hostility.”
Attorneys general in New Jersey, California and Washington state are at the center of three lawsuits for going after pro-life organizations for allegedly “misleading” women and supporting the use and access to the abortion reversal pill, progesterone. This trend will likely “pick up” as some blue states attorneys general have become more “aggressive” in going after pregnancy centers after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022, Gabriella McIntyre, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom’s Center for Life, told the DCNF.
“This is not an isolated incident. We’re seeing this as part of a larger trend of hostility towards pro-life organizations and particularly towards pro-life pregnancy centers across the nation,” McIntyre said. “These attorneys general are targeting and harassing pregnancy centers, because of their religious and pro-life views. They are using their consumer protection authority to accomplish their purpose, which is clearly to divert and impede the mission of these organizations to serve women and families, and instead shift their focus to complying with these unfounded and unjustified demands.”
ADF filed a lawsuit on Dec. 13 on behalf of First Choice Women’s Resource Center, a Christian nonprofit, after Democratic Attorney General Matthew Platkin of New Jersey opened an investigation into the organization in November regarding privacy concerns about patient data and it’s ability to prescribe the abortion reversal pill . Platkin reportedly did not cite any criminal complaint or any “factual basis for suspecting a violation” of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, the Charitable Registration and Investigation Act, or the AG’s “investigative authority regarding Professions and Occupations,” according to the lawsuit.
First Choice is one of the “leading” groups that offer the abortion reversal pill, according to the lawsuit. Aimee Huber, executive director of First Choice, told the DCNF that a pregnant woman can call a national hotline, which connects her to the nonprofit’s medical director, who can prescribe progesterone if only the first dose of the abortion pills has been taken.
“The woman would pick that up from her local pharmacy and it may be effective, it may not be effective,” Huber said. “But that is something that she can choose to take if she changes her mind about her abortion.”
I urge the Supreme Court to reject this baseless attack on reproductive choice. @GovMurphy and I will not waver in our fight to keep abortion safe, legal, and accessible in the state of New Jersey. https://t.co/8K6cOXErkU
— Attorney General Matt Platkin (@NewJerseyOAG) December 13, 2023
The case is similar to two others in Washington state and California. In November, the Obria Group and Obria Medical Groups PNW, Christian pregnancy organizations, filed a lawsuit against Democratic Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington state after he, too, opened a civil investigation citing the state’s Consumer Protection Act.
Ferguson demanded records regarding the abortion reversal pill, and ADF, who is also representing Obria, said that the attorney general did not note any criminal complaint or allegation as the reason for opening an investigation, according to the lawsuit. A spokesperson for Ferguson’s office confirmed the investigation in a previous statement to the DCNF, but did not give any details about evidence that the group had violated state law.
In California, Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta sued Heartbeat International and its affiliate, RealOptions pregnancy centers, in September for claiming that progesterone can reverse the effects of a chemical abortion on their website. He argued that there is “no credible scientific backing” for the treatment and that it is a “potentially risky procedure.”
Dr. Ingrid Skop, vice president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute and a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist for 25 years, told the DCNF that, contrary to the AGs’ claims, progesterone has been used for decades to help prevent miscarriages and argued that research showed it was a safe treatment for women who wanted to stop a chemical abortion.
“Its name tells you what it does, pro-gest-er-one, it’s a progestational hormone,” Dr. Skop said. “As a gynecologist, if I have a patient who has bleeding in early pregnancy, who’s had recurrent miscarriages, or I measure her progesterone level and it’s objectively lower than is standard in obstetrics I will give her progesterone to support the pregnancy. This has been proven to reduce the risk of miscarriage so there’s nothing medically questionable about using progesterone in this specific case.”
Huber told the DCNF that for nonprofits like First Choice or Obria, complying with the attorneys general’s demands would take significant time and resources away from women who need help.
“We are simply there to serve women who are scared and vulnerable and think abortion is their only option,” Huber said. “And there are certainly people that don’t like what we do, and we’re feeling that today.”
Dr. Skop told the DCNF that she is confident pro-life groups will prevail in these cases because the data is on their side.
“If it works, we may continue to see [lawsuits and investigations], but I don’t think it’s going to work because I think there’s very solid data that supports the use of progesterone to reverse mifepristone,” Dr. Skop said. “I don’t think it’ll stand up in a non-biased court of law to say that these centers are not providing valuable services.”
Platkin, Bonta and Ferguson’s offices did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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