A federal judge blocked a Tennessee pro-life law Tuesday that requires abortion facilities to inform women about the abortion pill reversal procedure.
Bloomberg Law reports the court said part of the information required in the law is misleading and may violate the First Amendment.
The pro-life legislation requires abortion facilities to display signs informing women that a chemical abortion may be reversed to save their baby’s life after the first dose of the two-drug abortion procedure. It also requires the abortionist to provide the same information during informed consent, 48 hours prior to the abortion. At least nine states have passed similar informed consent laws.
U.S. District Judge William L. Campbell, Jr. temporarily blocked the state from enforcing the law Tuesday, just two days before it was scheduled to go into effect, the Tennessean reports.
Part of the judge’s problem was a portion of the law that requires abortion facilities to refer women to the Tennessee Department of Health for more information beginning Oct. 1. However, the law does not require the department to have that information available to the public until January, according to the report.
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“With this built-in delay, [the law] requires abortion providers to tell patients that ‘information on and assistance with reversing the effects of a chemical abortion’ is available on the Department of Health website, when in fact, such information and assistance may not be available,” Campbell wrote.
The American Civil Liberties Union and several abortion facilities in the state are challenging the law in court. They claim it requires them to share “false and misleading” information with patients.
Here’s more from the Tennessean:
Abortion providers said they have experts ready to testify such a reversal is not possible. The state points to research from doctors suggesting it could be possible.
Campbell said he would consider testimony from dueling experts at a hearing. In the meantime, he said, the abortion providers had justified blocking the law temporarily.
Another hearing is scheduled for later in October.
According to Tennessee Right to Life, the abortion pill reversal procedure has saved more than 900 unborn babies so far, and at least 800 medical professionals, including several in Tennessee, are trained to administer the protocol.
“More than one-third of abortions in the U.S. occur through the ‘abortion pill.’ As these numbers continue to rise, we know that no woman should ever feel forced to finish an abortion she regrets,” the pro-life organization said.
Abortion activists claim the abortion pill reversal procedure may not be safe, and there are few studies about its effectiveness.
However, doctors who developed the procedure say hundreds of unborn babies have been saved from abortions as a result of the treatment. In 2018, they published a study demonstrating its effectiveness in saving babies’ lives. Even a prestigious Yale School of Medicine doctor told the New York Times that the treatment “makes biological sense,” and he would recommend it to his own daughter. The American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists also supports it.
As currently administered, a chemical abortion involves taking the drug mifepristone, which makes the uterus inhospitable to new life by blocking the hormone progesterone. One or two days later, a second drug, misoprostol, is taken to induce contractions and expel the unborn child. The reversal process, which is gaining in usage as it becomes more widely known, can reverse the impact of the first drug by giving women high doses of progesterone.
The legislation is particularly important now as abortion activists push to expand abortion drugs even further. They have been pressuring the FDA to end safety regulations and allow the drugs to be mail-ordered.
Anyone who has taken the first abortion pill and wishes to stop the abortion is urged to immediately visit www.abortionpillreversal.com or call the Abortion Pill Reversal hotline at 877-558-0333.