In its continued battle to bulletproof the right to abortion, California is suing two major anti-abortion groups over claims made about the viability of “abortion pill reversal,” Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Thursday.
Heartbeat International, a national anti-abortion group, and RealOptions Obria, a chain that operates five crisis pregnancy centers in Northern California, both promote services to “reverse” the medication abortion process. Bonta is suing both groups in Alameda Superior Court under the state’s False Advertising and Unfair Competition laws.
“(Heartbeat International) and RealOptions took advantage of pregnant patients at a deeply vulnerable time in their lives, using false and misleading claims to lure them in and mislead them about a potentially risky procedure,” Bonta said in a statement. “We are launching today’s lawsuit to put a stop to their predatory and unlawful behavior.”
The 30-page complaint alleges the two organizations use fraudulent and misleading claims to promote the safety and efficacy of an experimental hormone therapy to stop medication abortion from proceeding.
Medication abortion typically involves two drugs — mifepristone and misoprostol — taken between 24 to 48 hours apart, according to the FDA.
Mifepristone, which is taken first, inhibits the body’s ability to use the pregnancy hormone progesterone, while misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and expel the contents similar to a miscarriage, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The advertised “abortion pill reversal” service administers extra progesterone to people who have taken mifepristone but have not yet taken the second drug, according to the complaint and materials published by both organizations. RealOptions’ website characterizes it as an “effective process” and states “IT MAY NOT BE TOO LATE TO SAVE YOUR PREGNANCY.” Heartbeat International runs the national hotline known as the Abortion Pill Rescue Network that local crisis pregnancy centers like RealOptions direct pregnant people toward….
The lawsuit accuses RealOptions of misleading pregnant people about the possibility of serious side effects by failing to disclose the potential for severe bleeding….
Two bills aiming to increase transparency about crisis pregnancy centers’ services and goals were quietly killed in the Legislature earlier this year. One of the authors, Assemblymember Pilar Schiavo, a Democrat from Santa Clarita, said in a statement she was grateful for Bonta’s lawsuit because “abortion pill reversal” is “one of the most dangerous procedures (crisis pregnancy centers) offer….”
From the Long Beach Post