Press Release

Colorado abortion pill law put on hold Healthcare providers across state allowed to offer abortion pill reversal treatment

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON A federal judge today issued an order finding that Colorado’s new abortion pill law—which would have outlawed helping women who change their minds after taking the first abortion pill—has been put on hold.  

In Bella Health and Wellness v. Weiser, a Catholic non-profit medical clinic filed a lawsuit challenging a state law that makes it illegal to offer women progesterone, a natural hormone commonly used to prevent miscarriage, to reverse the effects of the abortion pill. Two weeks ago, immediately after the law was signed, the Court entered a temporary restraining order preventing the government from punishing providers for offering the hormone treatment. That order allowed an anonymous woman to continue abortion pill reversal treatment at Bella, and a second to begin receiving care at Bella soon after. 

The Court’s original order was set to expire tomorrow, April 29. But rather than defend the law, Colorado committed at a hearing on Monday that it will not enforce the law—promising instead to act as if the law “never existed.” The State’s lawyers said they were “disclaiming any enforcement” of the law, and witnesses from the Attorney General’s Office and the State Medical and Nursing Boards gave sworn testimony that they were not aware of any complaints against doctors or nurses about abortion pill reversal. Dede Chism, one of the nurse practitioners who founded Bella and a plaintiff in the lawsuit, reported that both of her current abortion-pill-reversal patients and their babies are continuing to thrive under Bella’s care.  

“I could never turn away these women in need,” said Dede Chism, NP, cofounder and CEO at Bella Health and Wellness. “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.” 

In today’s ruling, a federal judge held that the State has “agreed to suspend any enforcement that would affect the plaintiffs” and “will not enforce the new Colorado law against any licensee” in the immediate future. The judge emphasized that the State is “treating SB 23-190 as if it were not yet in effect” and that it “will preserve the status quo ante” pending rulemaking by the licensing boards. The judge relied on the State’s “having made it clear to the Court that the plaintiffs’ current and planned activities do not subject them to the threat of enforcement in the imminent future.” 

“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.” 

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket attorney, contact Ryan Colby atmedia@becketlaw.orgor 202-349-7219.Interviews can be arranged in English, Mandarin, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.