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Judge Won’t Block Colorado Law That Stops Pregnancy Centers From Saving Babies From Abortions


Micaiah Bilger  |   Apr 28, 2023  

Reprinted with permission from


A federal judge in Colorado refused Friday to block a new state law that bans the life-saving abortion pill reversal treatment after Colorado officials promised to put the law on hold, pending a medical recommendation.

Bella Health and Wellness, a Catholic OB-GYN and family medical practice based in Englewood, challenged the pro-abortion law in court, saying medical providers could lose their licenses just for trying to save an unborn baby’s life. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is representing the organization.

“Colorado’s attorney general ran away from this law once he realized the legislature had shot from the hip,” said Rebekah Ricketts, counsel at Becket. “Now that the state has promised under oath to act as if the law does not exist, women in Colorado will not be forced to undergo abortions they seek to reverse.”

U.S. District Judge Daniel D. Domenico temporarily blocked the law for 14 days earlier this month – an order that allowed two pregnant mothers to receive the life-saving treatment from Bella Health and Wellness, Becket lawyers said this week.

Then, on Friday, the judge denied the pro-life medical practice’s request to block the law for longer, saying state officials agreed not to enforce the law for now, The Denver Post reports.

“A preliminary injunction is not necessary, and therefore not appropriate, at this time because the defendants have represented to the court that they are treating SB23-190 as if it were not yet in effect and has not changed preexisting law,” Domenico said in his ruling.

Pro-abortion state lawmakers claimed the law is needed to prohibit “deceptive practices at anti-abortion centers,” but Senate Bill 190 actually censors pregnancy resource centers and bans the life-saving abortion pill reversal treatment. The new law claims the treatment is “unprofessional conduct” even though studies show it is safe and effective and at least 4,000 babies’ lives have been saved.

Those who violate the law could be fined up to $20,000 per offense and doctors could lose their licenses.

The federal judge based his decision on a promise from state authorities that they will not enforce the law until October when the Colorado Medical Board and the state boards of pharmacy and nursing are due to issue a recommendation about the abortion-pill reversal treatment, according to the newspaper.


Here’s more from the report:

Colorado regulators and the attorney general’s office told the court that they would not enforce the ban until rules governing the use of the medication are written. …


Under the new law, the ban is to be reversed if the boards issue new rules by Oct. 1 that find the treatment to be acceptable and a generally accepted standard of practice.


In their lawsuit, Bella Health and Wellness argues that the law violates the First Amendment by targeting pro-life and religious medical providers, the Denver Catholic reports.

“Even though Bella can offer the hormone [progesterone] to women in any other circumstance, including natural miscarriage, it is barred from doing so if the purpose is to reverse the effects of the abortion pill,” the medical clinic said in a statement. “This forces pro-life clinics to choose between their deeply held religious beliefs and their ability to operate as healthcare ministries in the state.”

Dede Chism, a nurse practitioner and co-founder of Bella Health and Wellness, said she began the medical clinic with her daughter to provide life-affirming healthcare to men, women and children.

“I could never turn away these women in need,” Chism said. “I know from experience that we can help women who have changed their minds after taking the abortion pill—I’ve held their beautiful babies in my arms, and Bella still treats some of those babies now as toddlers and schoolkids.”

Its OB-GYNs offer women progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone that is essential for a healthy pregnancy, to women at risk of miscarriage. They also offer it to pregnant mothers who have taken the first abortion pill, mifepristone, but quickly regret it. Mifepristone works by blocking progesterone and basically starving the unborn baby to death. Much like miscarriage prevention treatments, the abortion pill reversal involves giving women progesterone to counteract the abortion drug and save her baby’s life.

A recent study found that nearly 70 percent of women who underwent the treatment were able to reverse the effects of the abortion drug and save their babies’ lives. The study did not find any increased risks of complications or birth defects.

Chism’s daughter, Abby Sinnett, who also is a nurse practitioner, said the law bans them from helping pregnant mothers who want to save their unborn babies’ lives.

“All we want is to continue our ministry of serving expecting mothers in need, regardless of circumstance,” Sinnett said. “In their most vulnerable state, a pregnant woman needs to know that she and her unborn child will be treated with the utmost dignity and care.”

In a statement earlier this month, the Catholic bishops in Colorado thanked Bella and the Becket law firm for taking action against the new pro-abortion law.

“The Colorado bishops applaud and support this legal effort by Becket and Bella, which affirms the First Amendment rights of pregnancy centers and the ability of medical providers to freely prescribe [the abortion pill reversal] treatment as a life-affirming option for women in Colorado,” the bishops said.

Anyone who has taken the first abortion pill and wishes to stop the abortion is urged to immediately visit or call the Abortion Pill Reversal hotline at 877-558-0333.


   Bioethics in Law & Culture                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Spring 2023      vol.  6  issue  2

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