By Tierin-Rose Mandelburg
The abortion scene in Colorado has been playing ping-pong on the issue of abortion drugs and abortion pill reversal. Its latest move puts the ball in the court of pro-lifers.
Late Saturday evening, Judge Daniel Domenico blocked a state ban that prohibited pregnancy centers from administering abortion pill reversal drugs for mothers who start the process of an abortion but then change their mind, saying the ban violated the First Amendment religious and speech rights for the staff at the Bella Health pregnancy center.
The Bella Health and Wellness center was founded by a Catholic mother and daughter duo. They’re both nurse practitioners and their center offers help to men, women and children and focuses on establishing life-affirming care. One of the things the clinic offers is progesterone, which is a naturally occurring hormone that is blocked when women take the first of two abortion drugs, mifepristone. Studies have shown that taking a progesterone drug, even after an abortion has started, can flood a woman’s body with enough of the hormone to kickstart her pregnancy and prohibit mifepristone from killing her child.
At Bella, this is a common practice to help women in Colorado who decide first to get an abortion and then change their mind and hope to save their child’s life.
In April, however, the state of Colorado agreed to halt the use of progesterone to save babies whose mothers changed their mind. Supposedly the state wanted more information about the effectiveness and safety of the abortion pill reversal and eventually banned the drug.
In his ruling, Judge Domenico stopped the ban from affecting pro-life facilities like Bella after the center argued it was a breach of its religious freedom to protect, honor and save as many lives as possible.
“There is no question whether Section Three burdens Bella Health’s free exercise of religion. It does. Bella Health considers it a religious obligation to provide treatment for pregnant mothers and to protect unborn life if the mother seeks to stop or reverse an abortion,” Domenico said in his ruling.
Becket Law, a firm that seeks to fight for religious liberty for all, sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of Bella Health to stop the state from targeting religious healthcare clinics who offer care “in accordance with their faith,” the group listed on its website.
In a statement, Becket noted, “Bella Health has a religious duty to provide life-affirming medical care to every patient, including women at risk of miscarriage—regardless of whether that risk is posed naturally or by an abortion pill. Colorado cannot single out and attack clinics that provide all-encompassing care to pregnant women who seek out their help.” Judge Domenico’s ruling helps the clinic administer the care they feel aligns with their religious convictions.
Colorado has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, But until then, it’s likely that Bella Health and Wellness Center will save many, many innocent babies.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.