Deep Dive 286: Litigation Update: Bella Health and Wellness v. Weiser

RTP's Fourth Branch Podcast

Dec 13 2023 • 55 mins

This is a podcast version of a live webinar held on December 13, 2023. The webinar was co-sponsored by the Regulatory Transparency Project & the Religious Liberties Practice Group.
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In Bella Health and Wellness v. Weiser, a Colorado faith-based healthcare provider is challenging a recent Colorado law banning a treatment commonly known as abortion pill reversal on the grounds it forced them to violate their religious beliefs. The law, passed in April 2023, makes it illegal for healthcare professionals to offer progesterone (a naturally occurring hormone crucial to a healthy pregnancy) to women who have taken mifepristone as part one in a two-step abortion pill regimen but who subsequently want to maintain their pregnancy. The law imposes significant fines and jeopardizes the medical licenses of those who provide or advertise using progesterone to reverse the effects of an abortion pill.

Bella Health, founded by Catholic mother and daughter nurse practitioners Dede Chism and Abby Sinnett, which has traditionally offered this route of care for women as a part of its life-affirming OB-GYN practice, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado for an injunction to stop the law from going into effect. A limited injunction was issued in late April, pending reports by the state's Medical, Nursing, and Pharmacy licensing boards. The last of those regulations were issued in September. The next day, Bella again asked the Court for injunctive relief. In an order issued on October 21, 2023, the district court preliminarily enjoined Colorado from enforcing the law, and the case remains live.

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