State of California Sues Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers Over Abortion Pill Reversal Drug

The lawsuit accuses the pregnancy centers of violating California’s False Advertising Law and Unfair Competition Law.

The California State Capitol in Sacramento.
The California State Capitol in Sacramento. (photo: Susanne Pommer / Shutterstock)

California’s pro-abortion attorney general, Rob Bonta, sued five pro-life pregnancy centers Sept. 21 over their promotion of a drug that is meant to reverse chemical abortions.

In his lawsuit against Heartbeat International and affiliated pregnancy center chain RealOptions, Bonta accused the pregnancy centers of using fraudulent and misleading claims when advertising the abortion pill reversal drug.

The state’s lawsuit claims that there is no scientific evidence supporting the safety or efficacy of the abortion pill reversal drug despite the pregnancy centers describing them as an effective and safe way to reverse chemical abortions. It argues that pregnant women must have access to accurate information when deciding whether to use the drug.

“Those who are struggling with the complex decision to get an abortion deserve support and trustworthy guidance — not lies and misinformation,” Bonta said in a statement. 

“HBI 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 alleged. “We are launching today’s lawsuit to put a stop to their predatory and unlawful behavior.”

The lawsuit accuses the pregnancy centers of violating California’s False Advertising Law and Unfair Competition Law. It asks the court to order the pregnancy centers to stop advertising the drug as safe and effective. 

In response to the attorney general’s lawsuit, Heartbeat International issued a statement rejecting the claim that their advertisements of the drug are false or misleading.

“All major studies show that using progesterone to counteract a chemical abortion (Abortion Pill Reversal) can be effective since it’s the very same hormone a woman’s body produces to sustain her pregnancy,” the statement read. 

“One study even shows an effective rate of 80%,” the statement continued. “Progesterone has been safely used with pregnant women and their babies since the 1950s. To date, statistics show more than 4,500 women have had successful abortion pill reversals and that number grows higher each day.”

According to Heartbeat International, the organization receives calls through its hotline from women who want to reverse their chemical abortions. 

“Through our Abortion Pill Rescue Network hotline, we know that some women almost immediately regret their chemical abortion choice,” the statement read. “These women deserve the right to try and save their pregnancies. No woman should ever be forced to complete an abortion she no longer wants.”

This is not the first time California has tried to impose pro-abortion talking points on pro-life pregnancy centers. In 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down a state law that forced the centers to display written notices with state-sanctioned language about abortion.

Other states have also gone after pro-life pregnancy centers this year. In Illinois and Vermont, legislation went into effect that is meant to regulate what pregnancy centers can advertise and say. In both cases, pregnancy centers filed lawsuits against the states because of the laws, which are still being litigated.