California’s Assault on Abortion Pill Reversal Is an Assault on Women’s Choice
Jay Hobbs /
If there was any doubt about California’s status as the nation’s standard-bearer for abortion, a recent letter sent by the state’s Board of Registered Nursing should clear that up in a jiffy.
Acting at the behest of abortion activists in the state Legislature and online media, the board—which is overseen by California’s Department of Consumer Affairs—reversed its decision from just a month prior, demanding that Heartbeat International “cease and desist” educating nurses on a breakthrough medical intervention that can allow a woman to halt a chemical abortion.
Since doctors Matthew Harrison and George Delgado published initial research in 2012, over 350 doctors have joined the Abortion Pill Reversal network, preparing themselves to follow the Abortion Pill Reversal protocol with patients of their own.
The results on the ground have been significant, with over 300 mothers successfully rescuing their children from abortion through the new medical intervention.
Later that same year, Heartbeat International—a pro-life pregnancy help network that serves 2,200 affiliates worldwide and operates a 24/7 pregnancy helpline—began training nurses on the treatment, which utilizes emergency and ongoing progesterone injections to save the life of an unborn child.
In late July, the board informed Heartbeat International that it could award continuing education units for nurses who demonstrate a grasp for the science and patient care involved in counteracting the effects of a chemical abortion.
The board’s approval seemed to conclude a 17-month audit of hundreds of pages of submitted documentation from Heartbeat International, stretching back to February 2016.
During the audit process, the board had questioned Heartbeat International’s inclusion of Abortion Pill Reversal courses, but ultimately approved those courses after Heartbeat International responded with a multipoint statement demonstrating their relevance to nursing practices.
That reinstatement came in a letter on July 28. No subsequent paperwork or filing of any kind was requested prior to or cited in the most recent letter.
Heartbeat International’s president, Jor-El Godsey, noted that the board’s sudden reversal directly undermines a woman’s ability to “choose” the outcome of her pregnancy—something pro-choice advocates claim to support.
“This is a naked political assault on a procedure that is the very essence of choice,” Godsey said.
“To oppose Abortion Pill Reversal is not only to deny the science and reality that there are children living today because of it, but it’s to materially keep a woman from even so much as knowing she has the option to potentially stop a chemical abortion once it has begun. This is the abortion lobby taking choices away from women.”
Playing Politics With Women, Children, and Nurses
The letter from the board, postmarked Sept. 5 and received Sept. 11, gives Heartbeat International five days from receipt of the letter to remove continuing education unit credit from its online Abortion Pill Reversal courses, which it offers through the Heartbeat Academy.
While Heartbeat International is complying with the letter’s demand to remove continuing education unit credit from its online Abortion Pill Reversal courses, the courses will still be activated while the organization appeals the board’s latest decree.
“How the Board of Nursing can play politics with the lives of women and children is beyond me,” Godsey said. “If there were any hint of noncompliance on our part, it’s clear a 17-month audit would have uncovered it. What could possibly have changed in one month’s time?
“Meanwhile, nurses across California and the nation could be presented with patients who want to reverse their abortion decision before it is too late, and this new mandate prevents nurses from being prepared to serve their own patients.”
A Hunt for Noncompliance
A clear driver of this change in state policy was a radically pro-choice media site, Rewire.news.
Rewire originally influenced San Francisco Bay Area state Sen. Jerry Hill to call for the audit of Heartbeat International and others in early 2016.
After pushing the board to audit Heartbeat International, Hill proposed legislation that was eventually adopted by the state and signed into law in 2016 by Gov. Jerry Brown, which beefed up the requirements for nursing continuing education unit providers.
That law, however—which mandated that courses rely only on “generally accepted scientific principles”—was insufficient to wield against the Abortion Pill Reversal courses. Instead, the board cited California Code of Regulations Section 1456 in its demand letter to Heartbeat International.
Curiously, the section cited by the board pertains only to the need for courses to be “relevant to the practice of nursing,” differentiating between courses that deal with patient care (direct and indirect) and those that “deal with self-improvement, changes in attitude, financial gain, and those courses designed for lay people … ”
Fitting that definition, Heartbeat International only offers continuing education unit credit to nurses for Abortion Pill Reversal courses that it offers online and at its annual conference.
Heartbeat International has been a California-approved continuing education unit provider since 2012. Since 2015, Heartbeat International has issued nursing continuing education units to well over 400 nurses.
A Coordinated Effort to Reduce Access to Abortion Reversal
The board’s flip-flop fits into a larger pattern. Increasingly, California has targeted those who pose an alternative to abortion or otherwise threaten the abortion industry’s marketplace stranglehold.
In addition to pursuing charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt in response to their three-year undercover work—which raised disturbing allegations of Planned Parenthood and others profiting from the sale of body parts harvested from aborted babies—the state of California also launched an assault on community-funded pro-life pregnancy centers and medical clinics with a 2015 law.
That law could be challenged at the Supreme Court as early as this month.
Earlier this month, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by several California churches that are challenging the state’s requirement that all insurance companies cover the cost of their employees’ abortions.
“At this point, it’s hard to say we’re surprised by any effort to prop up the failing abortion industry,” Godsey said.
“But this is a direct effort to steal a mother’s choice right out from under her. Women and men become nurses to help and serve others, but politically driven moves like this keep them from accomplishing their compassionate, God-given mission.”