(LifeSiteNews) The abortion lobby filed a lawsuit Monday to block another provision of a sweeping pro-life law enacted in Tennessee this year, this time targeting language requiring that abortion-minded women seeking abortion pills be given information on how to reverse them should they change their mind.
The omnibus law already faces legal challenge over its ban on abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and the latest suit, brought by Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), challenges the requirement that women seeking a chemical abortion (the “abortion pill”) to be made aware of the Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) technique.
The abortion pill mifepristone (better known as RU-486) works by blocking the natural hormone progesterone that developing babies require to survive. APR consists of administering extra progesterone to counteract mifepristone’s effects, ideally within 24 hours of taking the abortion pill.
Specifically, anyone dispensing abortion pills must inform women of the possibility of reversal in person or by phone (depending on how the drugs are being dispensed), as well as post the information in the waiting areas of any facility that commits more than 50 abortions per year. Failure to comply could result in a $10,000 civil penalty as well as a felony charge.
ABC News reports that the lawsuit claims that the provision violates the First Amendment by requiring physicians to “communicate a content-based, viewpoint-based, and/or controversial government-mandated message that they would not otherwise recite concerning an experimental medical treatment that has not been shown to be safe or effective.”
In fact, informational requirements are extensively regulated without objection in most areas of medicine, however, and the American Medical Association calls informed consent “fundamental in both ethics and law.”
Detractors argue that APR is harmful and unproven, but as pro-life OB/GYN Dr. William Lile has explained, the technique is based on principles that are well understood from progesterone’s common, FDA-approved use in a variety of other pregnancy-related situations. APR has helped more than 1,000 women save their babies since 2007, according to Heartbeat International.
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Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Lee has vowed to do “whatever it takes in court” to defend and uphold the pro-life law.