NRL News

Colorado Nursing Boarding breaks with Colorado Medical Board over abortion reversal treatment

by | Sep 21, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

Breaking with the state medical board, the Colorado Nursing Board refused to classify “abortion reversal” treatment as unprofessional conduct.

“The nursing board passed a rule declaring it will not treat abortion reversal as a ‘per se act subjecting a licensee to discipline’ for providing the treatment, but will instead review individual complaints of abortion reversal treatment on a case-by-case basis,” Hannah Metzger reported for Colorado Politics.

“The (nursing) board, historically, has pretty much treated everything case-by-case for review and discipline,” said Joe Franta, president of the nursing board, during Wednesday’s vote. “We don’t make general standards of care. We don’t create those. … I don’t think we have the basis to do that.”

Metzger wrote, “The new Colorado law states that providing the reversal treatment is considered engaging in unprofessional conduct, subject to discipline. That will hold unless three professional licensing entities — the medical board and the state boards of nursing and pharmacy — all decide, by Oct. 1, that they consider the treatment a generally accepted standard of practice.”

However, as noted, since the Colorado Medical Board has already adopted rules that do not consider the reversal treatment a generally accepted practice, “it’s now impossible for the three boards to reach a consensus in its favor.”

This week the Colorado Medical Board voted to push back enforcement of its rules until at least Oct. 23. “The Colorado Medical Board cited a pending lawsuit by a Catholic clinic challenging the state’s new ban on the treatment when it voted Wednesday to push back enforcement of its rules until at least Oct. 23,” according to Saja Hindl of the Denver Post.

Bella Health and Wellness is a “Catholic-founded nonprofit clinic that offers abortion pill reversal for women who have taken the first pill of the abortion pill regimen, mifepristone, had filed the lawsuit on April 14  — the same day the governor signed the law into effect,” Nancy Flanders reported. “The clinic has a main campus in Englewood along with centers in Denver and in Lafayette, with a total of 18 healthcare providers who serve more than 20,000 patients.”

U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Domenico ruled that the law, S.B. 190 or “Prohibiting Deceptive Practices at Anti-Abortion Centers,” signed by Gov. Jared Polis on April 15 as part of pro-abortion law package, ‘burdens their own First Amendment rights.’” He issued a temporary restraining order.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed the lawsuit on behalf of Bella.

“Colorado’s new law is the opposite of choice — it targets women who have changed their minds and forces them to undergo abortions they want to stop,” Laura Wolk Slavis, counsel at the Becket Fund, told Catholic News Agency. “This law tramples the constitutional rights of these women and their doctors. We are grateful for the court’s late-night order halting this draconian law, allowing our clients to continue their good work of serving women in need.”

“The legislation was part of a package of reproductive health and gender-affirming care bills that lawmakers passed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2022 overruling the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which had recognized a right to abortion,” according to Hindl of the Denver Post.