California is suing two pro-life pregnancy resource centers in the state to stop them from advertising abortion pill reversal (APR) services claiming that the natural hormone used to reverse the abortion pill is “risky” and “has no credible scientific backing” to validate its safety and efficacy.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed the lawsuit last week in the Alameda County Superior Court against two faith-based pregnancy centers, Heartbeat International (HBI) and RealOptions. Both organizations are part of the Abortion Pill Rescue Network (APRN) which asserts that “thousands of lives have been saved through the APR protocol.” HBI is an international network of more than 3,000 affiliated centers and clinics worldwide, and RealOptions operates a chain of five crisis pregnancy centers in Northern California.
In the lawsuit, AG Bonta claims there is no evidence the abortion pill protocol reverses abortion or even “contributes to the continuation of a pregnancy.” Even though several safety studies on abortion pill reversal exist and find the opposite to be true, he discredits them as having errors in methodology and conflicts of interest. He alleges that the pregnancy resource centers have taken “advantage of pregnant patients at a deeply vulnerable time in their lives, using false and misleading claims to lure them in and mislead them about a potentially risky procedure.”
The lawsuit then cites a 2021 study that found out of 1,000 women that 95 percent of them did not regret their abortion. AG Bonta uses this statistic to imply that advertising to this small remainder of women is out of bounds. In a press release, he characterizes these women as emotionally “vulnerable” where advertising abortion pill reversal to them is “predatory and unlawful.” He claims that touting the treatment as “safe and effective” is false advertising violating “California’s False Advertising Law and Unfair Competition Law” and seeks an injunction to block the two pregnancy centers from advertising it as a “valid treatment option.”
According to RealOptions, a pregnant woman’s body produces the natural hormone progesterone to sustain a pregnancy. In chemical abortions, the drug Mifepristone blocks progesterone and starves the baby to death. The abortion pill reversal protocol consists of giving extra progesterone within 72 hours after taking Mifepristone to “outnumber and outcompete” the abortion drug so the baby can survive.
According to the FDA, the abortion pill has been used by more than 5.9 million women since the agency approved it in 2000. AG Bonta uses a single study of 1000 women to claim that 95 percent of all women truly do not regret their abortion. So according to his rationale, out of the 5.9 million women who have taken Mifepristone, even the remaining five percent, or 295,000 women, who experience regret from their abortion do not matter. AG Bonta also appears to imply abortion pill reversal should not be advertised to these women because of their “heightened emotional state.” Both HBI and RealOptions offer the APRN 24/7 helpline that receives more than “150 mission-critical calls” monthly from women regretting taking the abortion pill. These numbers contradict both AG Bonta’s statistics and his “predatory” allegation because large numbers of women are actively searching for help.
AG Bonta argues there is “no credible scientific backing” for progesterone’s safety and efficacy, yet HBI cites six peer-reviewed studies showing progesterone “is nothing new” and has been used “routinely and safely with pregnancy since the 1950s.” One of the studies was published in 2018, which AG Bonta tries to discredit in the lawsuit, and it followed 754 women who all wanted to stop their chemical abortions already in progress. The study showed a 64-68 percent success rate in saving unborn babies by administering progesterone within 72 hours of taking Mifepristone. Notably, the study also found no apparent risk of birth defects associated with taking extra progesterone. AG Bonta claims the researchers had conflicts of interest since the lead author, Dr. George Delgado, created the APRN.
According to Dr. William Lile, who is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and who has delivered thousands of babies, progesterone is “bio-identical” and “as natural as it can possibly be” to what a pregnant woman produces. Dr. Lile told Liberty Counsel that he has personally reversed the abortion pill 15 out of 19 times (a 78 percent success rate) and that the APRN has safely reversed Mifepristone more than 4,500 times.
While California’s lawsuit labels the natural progesterone hormone as “risky,” it completely ignores that Mifepristone’s whole purpose is to kill a living unborn baby which presents actual safety risks to women. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports there have been 32 deaths and 4,218 adverse events associated with Mifepristone since 2000.
Mifepristone is manufactured under the label Mifeprex, and comes with a “black box warning,” which is the FDA’s strongest warning for drugs with major risks. The medication guide advises abortive mothers to expect cramping, vaginal bleeding, and that they may potentially see blood clots and tissue. What the Mifeprex packaging doesn’t say is the “tissue” mentioned in the package warning could be recognized by the mother as her dead baby, and there is no mention of the potential psychological repercussions from that experience. The nonprofit Support After Abortion group studied post-abortive women and discovered after a chemical abortion “34% of women reported an adverse change in themselves, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and thoughts of suicide.”
In addition, women often administer chemical abortion drugs alone and at home and it can be very difficult to tell the difference between the expected pain and bleeding from the abortion and actual life-threatening complications. Ectopic pregnancies, for instance, require an ultrasound to diagnose and usually involve major bleeding. As a result, ectopic pregnancies account for about 10 percent of pregnancy-related deaths.
More information about reversing the abortion pill can be viewed here.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The California Attorney General’s office does not want woman to know that some chemical abortions may be safely reversed. This is a deliberate strategy to obstruct, suppress, and misinform people about abortion pill reversal.”