The American Medical Association—the largest association of physicians in the United States—bills itself as the “organized voice of medicine.” Yet it is also seeking to censor life-saving medical information by challenging a North Dakota law.
In 2019, the state of North Dakota passed an informed consent requirement to ensure that women considering abortion are fully informed that the chemical abortion process may be reversible if treated quickly after the first pill is taken. North Dakota’s existing informed consent law also includes a disclosure informing women that abortion terminates the life of a “separate, unique, living human being.”
The AMA is suing to strike down these informed consent requirements, and withhold from women key information about fetal development and pregnancy options prior to an abortion. But life advocates are intervening in the lawsuit because every women deserves to have all the information she needs to make the healthiest choice for everyone involved in her pregnancy.
Let’s take a look.
When Blayne Wittig was a 19-year-old college student, she learned she was pregnant after a visit to the campus health clinic. The only form of “compassion” she received was an abortion referral; no other options were presented. In this time of hurt and confusion, Blayne went with the only option presented to her: get an abortion. When she became pregnant for a second time in school, she believed, once again, her only option was an abortion.
Part of the abortionist playbook is to feed women with half-truths and outright lies. Women are told, time and again, that their careers would be over if they have the baby. It’s not a person, they’re told; it’s just a fetus. Take these two doses and your life will go back to normal.
The North Dakota law, however, gives women all the facts they need to make a well-informed decision based on science: Life begins at conception, and preborn life is a “separate, unique, living human being.” The law also informs women that if they begin the “abortion pill” regimen, they may be able to reverse the effect of the chemical abortion process if they act quickly.
These aren’t controversial opinions; these are scientific facts.
The Abortion Pill Reversal disclosure that the AMA is challenging informs women about a medical treatment that has successfully saved hundreds of lives. Using a cutting-edge application of an FDA-approved medication relied upon for decades to prevent miscarriage, more than 900 women have successfully stopped their abortions and saved their children through Abortion Pill Reversal—a hotline and network of over 800 medical professionals willing and able to administer the treatment.
Women often regret their abortion—sometimes that regret sets in right away. That’s what happened to Rebekah (Buell) Hagan. Thankfully, a doctor in the Abortion Pill Reversal network administered timely treatment to save her son, who was born in 2014. The state of North Dakota understood these facts and saw that women need this information before taking a step they could soon regret for the rest of their lives.
The AMA, however, claims that this is a violation of free speech. The group’s lawsuit to take away the informed consent requirements incorrectly asserts that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra supports their claim.
In NIFLA v. Becerra, Alliance Defending Freedom successfully argued that the state of California cannot compel pro-life pregnancy centers to promote abortion. It was not about a woman’s informed consent to the abortion procedure.
Blayne Wittig was personally involved in that case. After Blayne became a Christian, she learned the value of life in the womb and dedicated her life to help other women from being forced into making the same mistakes she made. She now serves as the executive director for Options for Women of California, a pro-life pregnancy center. And because of the NIFLA v. Becerra decision, she is able to continue that work and give women the whole truth about life in the womb.
Despite what the AMA is claiming about the NIFLA decision, the ruling actually affirms that states can freely enact laws ensuring informed consent to abortion by requiring abortionists to give truthful, relevant information to women. North Dakota’s law deals with exactly that: informed consent prior to a medical procedure with serious consequences, not unconstitutional compelled speech.
Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Heartbeat International, which is intervening to defend the life-saving law in American Medical Association v. Stenehjem. Heartbeat International has two affiliated pregnancy centers in North Dakota and operates the aforementioned international Abortion Pill Rescue Network, which has saved hundreds of lives.
At 19, Emily faced a similar situation to Blayne’s; she was told her only option to her pregnancy was an abortion. She was given two pills but wasn’t told at what stage of development her child was or what the pills would do to her baby. Fortunately, a frantic internet search led Emily to find Heartbeat International’s hotline, which referred her to a local health care provider who helped her reverse the destructive process of the first abortion pill she was given.
Speaking about the North Dakota lawsuit, ADF Legal Counsel Denise Harle points out:
Every woman deserves to know the whole truth about abortion, and that includes the facts about her child and the choices she can make every step of the way. The American Medical Association, which ought to support providing patients with as much information as possible, instead wants to keep vulnerable women in the dark about vital information about fetal development and their pregnancy options prior to an abortion. Women deserve to know the truth.
ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot adds:
It is an established scientific fact that the life of every human being—with his or her own unique DNA —starts at the moment of conception. It is North Dakota’s prerogative if it wishes to ensure that women know about that, as well as about the existence of promising medical procedures available to her if she chooses to reverse the chemical abortion process. A woman who is informed about the many dangerous risks of abortion, the reality of what the abortion will do to her child and to herself, and her options as a parent is far more likely to make a wise decision concerning her health and her child’s life.
Women like Blayne, Rebekah, and Emily deserve to know the whole truth when it comes to abortion—not just what abortion clinics want them to know. And the AMA should be the last organization fighting to withhold medical information from patients. Every woman should have the information she needs to make the healthiest choice for everyone involved in an unexpected pregnancy. Denying women the truth denies them real choice.
Original story here.