Nurse Practitioner Asks to Join Abortion Reversal Lawsuit

Nurse Practitioner Asks to Join Abortion Reversal Lawsuit

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys have filed a motion on behalf of a nurse practitioner in Colorado seeking to intervene in a lawsuit to protect her freedom to prescribe the life-saving abortion pill reversal (APR) treatment for mothers who wish to save their babies after having taken the first abortion pill.

The chemical abortion regimen starts with the medication mifepristone, which halts the woman’s production of the pregnancy hormone progesterone. Progesterone is necessary for the baby’s survival. However, if a woman begins the chemical abortion process but then regrets it, progesterone can be given as a pill and has saved lives of unborn babies when begun within 72 hours of the first abortion pill.

Last month, nurse practitioner Chelsea Mynyk, due to an anonymous complaint over her provision of the abortion reversal treatment, received a letter from the Colorado State Board of Nursing informing her that she was being investigated for alleged violation of the Nurses Practice Act.

In April 2023, Colorado enacted a law banning doctors and nurses from providing abortion pill reversal (APR). The law says that “a health-care provider engages in unprofessional conduct or is subject to discipline in this state if the health-care provider provides, prescribes, administers, or attempts medication abortion reversal in this state,” unless Colorado medical boards had rules in effect to make it acceptable by October 2023. It also bans advertisements for APR, citing the American Medical Association’s statement that “[Physicians] do not and cannot, without misleading them, tell their patients that it may be possible to reverse a medication abortion.”

According to ADF’s motion, the Colorado Board of Nursing adopted an administrative rule providing that they would not necessarily subject licensed nurses to discipline for providing APR—instead, it will “investigate all complaints related to medication abortion reversal in the same manner that it investigates other alleged deviations from generally accepted standards of nursing practice under [the Nurses Practice Act].”

Two nurse practitioners, Dede Chism and Abby Sinnett, subsequently filed a lawsuit seeking protection of their freedom to help women not be forced to complete unwanted abortions. The court issued a preliminary injunction that allowed their pregnancy center, Bella Health, to continue to provide APR while the lawsuit continues.

However, the preliminary injunction applied only to Bella Health and no other clinics or facilities.

Mynyk runs Castle Rock Women’s Health, where she provides women’s health services. She feels compelled by her faith to provide women with a possible way out of chemical abortion. She believes that “God made each person unique, beautiful, and wonderful,” the motion says, and “opposes induced abortion as the intentional killing of human life.”

When the ban was passed, Mynyk removed ads on Castle Rock Women’s Health’s website for APR, but continued to provide APR due to her Christian conviction that all life is sacred and women should not be forced to abort their babies if they change their minds.

ADF filed a motion on behalf of Mynyk to intervene as a plaintiff in Chism and Sinnett’s case and therefore be protected under the same preliminary injunction and any other rulings.

Meanwhile, The Washington Stand reported that Rep. Mary Miller (R-Illinois) introduced the Second Chance for Moms Act into the House of Representatives earlier this week. The bill would require the FDA to attach a label to mifepristone that says that “medical evidence suggests that the abortifacient effects of mifepristone can be counteracted by natural progesterone, which can increase the chance of fetal survival.”

The bill would also require the establishment and maintenance of a 24/7 hotline “to provide support … for women seeking to reverse the effects of the drug mifepristone.” The hotline number would be added to the FDA label.

Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council, pointed out that the bill “would give moms desperate to save their baby the chance to do that, and it would save countless women the heartbreak of knowing their child was a victim of the abortion industry.”

Kevin Theriot, ADF senior counsel, said, “Many women regret their abortions, and some choose to reverse the effects of the first abortion drug, often saving their baby’s life. But Colorado’s law wrongly denies women the freedom to make that choice. The state can’t force women to follow through with an abortion when a safe alternative is available—one that [Mynyk] and the pro-life plaintiffs in this case can skillfully provide.”

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday challenging the FDA’s relaxation of safety regulations around mifepristone. Read about the hearing here.

Photo: Alliance Defending Freedom

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