Court blocks law that banned abortion pill reversal

DENVER, CO — A federal judge blocked Colorado from enforcing its new abortion pill reversal law on a pro-life clinic ruling the law violates the staff’s religious freedoms. Enacted in April 2023, Colorado’s law is the first of its kind in the United States and bars physicians from prescribing medication to help women reverse incomplete chemical abortions to save their unborn babies. The judge’s preliminary injunction only applies to the clinic that brought the lawsuit while the judge considers a permanent injunction.
Colorado SB 23-190 stipulates that any medical professional who “provides, prescribes, administers, or attempts medication abortion reversal in this state” is engaging in “unprofessional conduct” and is “subject to discipline.” The “medication” that many clinics and pregnancy resource centers offer for abortion reversal is progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone that sustains a pregnancy. Progesterone is the same treatment used to help women prevent miscarriages and according to physicians challenging the law, “abortion pill reversal is nothing more than supplemental progesterone.”

The law’s challenger is faith-based health care provider Bella Health + Wellness, which has prescribed progesterone for thousands of women and has helped several women who had initiated a chemical abortion successfully continue their pregnancies with progesterone. According to the lawsuit, Bella Health considers it a religious obligation to protect unborn life and provide treatment to pregnant mothers seeking to stop an abortion in progress. The clinic alleges that biased legislators crafted the bill to “target” both women who have changed their minds about abortion and faith-based pregnancy resource centers that offer abortion alternatives.

The lawsuit provided the Court unofficial transcripts from legislative debates that record legislators who sponsored SB 23-190 explicitly attacking the religious nature of pregnancy resource centers. Several lawmakers are recorded as labeling faith-based organizations that offer abortion alternatives as “fake clinics” that “lure and steer” patients “away from abortion” by offering a “life threatening” procedure. 

Bella Health specifically claims Colorado’s law violates the First Amendment and Free Exercise Clause rights of its workers because it forces them to “choose between giving life-affirming health care according to their sincerely held religious beliefs or face the loss of their licenses and severe financial penalties.” In addition, Bella Health alleges Colorado’s law “chills free speech” and “actively thwarts women” from stopping an abortion in progress.

Judge Daniel D. Domenico agreed the law “is not neutral” and that legislators knew the law would “burden religious practice.”

Judge Domenico wrote, “The target of the bill is plainly abortion bill reversal…it seems clear then, both given this legislative history and the bill’s text itself, that the legislature was aware that the burden of this prohibition would primarily fall on religious adherents…But when the practice [the state] chooses to ban is one that it knows is undertaken for religious reasons, it loses the protections.”

Judge Domenico explained that while Colorado aims to bar the use of progesterone for reversing chemical abortion, the state simultaneously allows the medication for miscarriage prevention. The judge noted that Colorado’s law is also not a “neutral and generally applicable” law in this respect.

“…the law treats comparable secular activity more favorably than Bella Health’s religious activity,” stated Judge Domenico. “The State generally cannot regulate an activity if that regulation burdens religious exercise, provides for individualized exceptions, fails to regulate comparable secular activities that raise similar risks, and otherwise targets religious activity. The law at issue here runs afoul of these First Amendment principles.”

Colorado has until November 20, 2023, to appeal the injunction to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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 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 abortion pill reversal protocol has safely reversed Mifepristone more than 4,500 times across the nation.

More information about reversing the abortion pill can be viewed here.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Colorado’s law is indefensible. This pro-death law is an affront to the Constitution and to women wanting to preserve the lives of their unborn babies. A law like this perpetuates unsupported claims that chemical abortions can’t be safely reversed. This is a deliberate strategy to satisfy the abortion industry’s lust for death and must be permanently blocked.


  1. MsV, the fact that Colorado lawmakers feel they need this law to prevent a woman from changing her mind shows that women are not receiving adequate counselling PRIOR to taking the abortion pill, but Planned Parenthood seems to do everything in their power to prevent that from happening.

  2. Did the people of Colorado truly vote for this law? It makes no sense that a supposedly high majority of citizens that are “freedom lovers” would vote to block someone from making any decisions, let alone a personal or moral one. The physician could be told to go stand in the corner? Fined..Im assuming. Any protects of licenses? What mental sickness even brought this “law” to fruition? Why is this even a thing? Is the state spraying their weed with lithium? It’s the only thing that could even come close to making this make any sense.

    • I’m with you, V. The state has no right whatsoever to come between a woman and her doctor by proscribing the physician’s treatment regimen. This principle is no less intolerable when enacted by the left as when enacted by the right.

      I would be amazed if this scenario arises very often, but truth is always stranger than fiction.