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Colorado’s Forced Abortion Law

The cult of death is a religion with no forgiveness, serving a god that knows no grace.

(Jamilya Khalilulina/Shutterstock)

Colorado wants a morning-after pill, but not a morning-after-the-morning-after pill. 

In a new law passed earlier this month, the first openly gay man elected governor of a U.S. state endorsed the nation’s first ban on abortion reversal treatment, so that women who regret their abortions may not attempt to save their child’s life. It’s the ideal pro-choice bill, allowing only one possible result: punishment for anyone who administers, dispenses, distributes, or delivers a drug “with the intent to interfere with, reverse, or halt a medication abortion.” 


How’s that for a choice?

The ban on abortion reversal treatment passed on party lines and was endorsed by Jared Polis, the Mountain State’s Democratic governor. An initial legal challenge to the law already failed, as a federal judge ruled the potential for harm as a result of the new bill was “too speculative” and that the ban, which goes in effect immediately while a number of Colorado state medical boards determine if abortion reversal attempts are “generally accepted standard of practice” by October 1, will apparently not be enforced prior to that point. 

Nevertheless, the language of the bill itself describes crisis pregnancy centers that offer abortion reversal as engaging in “deceptive trade practices” and “unprofessional conduct,” which are “grounds for discipline.” 

While complete data on abortion pill reversal usage is unknown, that “deceptive” practice has saved the lives of at least 4,000 babies since 2013, according to internal data from just one abortion-reversal group, the Abortion Pill Rescue Network. While it’s likely the true number is higher, that known rate would work out to about 400 abortions reversed per year nationally, meaning the Colorado lawmakers have gone out of their way to punish approximately eight women annually. A whole law for these eight seems, if you’ll pardon a pun, like overkill. 

The idea behind abortion reversal is pretty straightforward. In fact, it’s based on the same science that supports the popular abortifacient drug mifepristone. While progesterone is naturally released by a pregnant woman to support her growing child throughout pregnancy, it is especially crucial during the first twelve weeks. Mifepristone terminates a pregnancy early on by blocking a woman’s progesterone receptors. Abortion reversal just inverts this, giving a synthetic version of progesterone to women who have had chemical abortions and regret their choice. 


Taken with misoprostol, a drug which has the side effect of inducing early labor, mifepristone is typically irreversible. However, women who are within the first 72 hours of taking the drug may be administered enough progesterone to counteract the abortifacient and save the pre-born child. One study found 64 percent of abortions were successfully reversed among women who received intramuscular progesterone and 68 percent among those who received high-dose oral progesterone. It’s not a sure fix, but it gives the babies a chance, and a chance is better than nothing for a woman trembling with guilt and shame.

Apparently, Colorado’s Democrats and the broader medical establishment don’t think women deserve that choice. Also apparently, women must be made to go through with murder, otherwise this law would be quite unnecessary. 

It has succeeded in part because of the medical establishment’s cast of this reversal process as anti-science. No lesser authorities than the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, that high temple of health and wellness, are cited in the language of the bill to affirm the legislators’ opinion that, in the AMA’s own words, “[Physicians] do not and cannot, without misleading them, tell their patients that it may be possible to reverse a medication abortion.” 

Never mind those 4,000 women. Indeed, never mind the fact that progesterone is used for a number of other fertility-related purposes, purposes that presumably Colorado’s new law still deems acceptable. Far from being unproven, use of the hormone borders on commonplace in the realm of desired pregnancies, especially in our era of low fertility and increasing rates of pregnancy loss: It is often given to women in early pregnancy who are at a higher risk of miscarriage due to hormone imbalance or other related factors. Progesterone is also, notably, a key ingredient in hormonal birth control, capitalizing on the fact that a woman’s body typically will not release subsequent eggs when enough of the pregnancy hormone is present. But it is not polite to notice such things. 

The problem isn’t the drug itself, the problem is its use to reverse an abortion. This is the heart of the issue, and it is the reason we can assume this will only be the first law of its kind, so long as even eight women escape. We know the abortion debate has never been about choice, but what we should have seen coming was the weaponizing of the law to enslave women in a bad decision—even one they regret fast enough to reverse course.


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