The reversal regimen has the backing of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which cites drug development literature and the routine use of progesterone in care for pregnant women and in-vitro fertilization treatment.
“Even though Bella can offer the hormone to women in any other circumstance, including natural miscarriage, it is barred [under the new law] from doing so if the purpose is to reverse the effects of the abortion pill,” Bella said in an April 14 statement. “This forces pro-life clinics to choose between their deeply held religious beliefs and their ability to operate as health care ministries in the state.”
Dede Chism, a nurse practitioner and co-founder and CEO at Bella Health and Wellness, said in the statement that the founders of Bella opened the medical clinic “because of our belief that life is a precious gift from God, worthy of protection at all stages.”
“When a woman seeks our help to reverse the effects of the abortion pill, we have a religious obligation to offer every available option for her and her child,” Chism said.
The Colorado bishops praised the legal challenge, saying it “affirms the First Amendment rights of pregnancy centers and the ability of medical providers to freely prescribe APR treatment as a life-affirming option for women in Colorado.”
The other two bills have “serious First Amendment violations,” the bishops said. As examples, they noted the end to notification for parents of a minor seeking abortion, compelled inclusion of abortion costs in insurance premiums, compelling medical centers to include those who perform abortions or provide “gender-affirming” care, and forcing private employers to pay for abortion and “gender-affirming” care in their health care plans.
“We will also support filings against these unjust laws,” the bishops said.
A provision targeting pro-life pregnancy centers characterizes them as “anti-abortion centers.” It bars “false advertising relating to the provision of abortion or emergency contraceptive services, or referrals for those services,” though it is not clear what constitutes “false advertising.”
Crisis pregnancy centers offer pregnant women and families free resources and baby materials. Some provide health care or referrals. The legislation described them as “the ground-level presence of a well-coordinated anti-choice movement.” Abortion advocates have long opposed the centers and contend that some present themselves as abortion providers to attract women considering abortion.
Advocates against the bills included Pro-Life Colorado, a coalition of over 36 pro-life organizations. More than 60 representatives of pregnancy resource centers advocated against the bills.
In the wake of the new laws, the state’s bishops reaffirmed their resolve.
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“We, the Catholic bishops of Colorado, and our three dioceses are committed to do our part to advocate for the sanctity of life, freedom of conscience and expression, and will continue to assist pregnant mothers and families experiencing unexpected pregnancies through the ongoing expansion of medical services, housing, counseling, and resources, both during their pregnancy and after,” they said.
Colorado lawmakers had passed strong pro-abortion legislation in the 2022 Reproductive Health Equity Act, which declared abortion a “fundamental right” and stripped all rights from the unborn child from the point of conception, saying a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus has “no independent or derivative rights” under state law.