Heartbeat International Fights Back Against California’s Attempt to Force Women to Abort Their Babies

HeartbeatFebruary 6, 2024
Heartbeat International
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Thomas More Society Attorneys Ask Court to Throw Out AG Rob Bonta’s Lawsuit

(February 6, 2024 – Oakland, California) Today, Thomas More Society attorneys asked a California Superior Court to throw out the lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Rob Bonta against Heartbeat International and RealOptions Obria Medical Clinics, over their advocacy for “Abortion Pill Reversal,” the medical intervention provided to women who decide to reverse their in-progress chemical abortions. The hundreds of pages of argument and evidence represent the most comprehensive legal counterattack by the pro-life movement against recent legal maneuvers by state government officials like Bonta who are trying to interfere with and stop the efforts of pregnancy centers to help women who regret and want to reverse their chemical abortions.

Heartbeat International, an international network of thousands of pregnancy centers, provides referrals to medical providers for women who are seeking to reverse their chemical abortions through its Abortion Pill Rescue® Network, which is the target of Bonta’s lawsuit, along with the RealOptions pregnancy centers in California, which provide Abortion Pill Reversal services. Abortion Pill Reversal is the process of providing supplemental progesterone to counteract the anti-progesterone effects of the first pill (mifepristone) of the two-pill chemical abortion regimen.

“Women undergoing chemical abortions deserve the truth: even after starting a chemical abortion, they may still be able to save their babies,” remarked attorney Peter Breen, Thomas More Society Executive Vice President & Head of Litigation. “California and its Attorney General Rob Bonta are illegally and unconstitutionally seeking to rip away ‘choice’ from women in dire need by attacking pregnancy help ministries like Heartbeat and RealOptions, to shut down their promotion of Abortion Pill Reversal. Abortion Pill Reversal provides real hope for women who want to stop their abortions and continue their pregnancies. Today’s massive legal filings mark the most ambitious and broad-based counterattack by the pro-life movement against the efforts of state officials, like Rob Bonta, who intend to prevent women from accessing this potentially life-saving treatment option.”

Heartbeat International President Jor-El Godsey agrees:

“California should be more concerned with helping women who desperately want to continue their pregnancy,” stated Godsey. “Targeting women’s opportunity to reverse their abortion is an obvious act of misusing the goodwill of taxpayer funding to shill for Big Abortion.”

Bonta’s aggressive campaign to dismantle Heartbeat International’s Abortion Pill Rescue Network and shut down RealOptions’ Abortion Pill Reversal services went public when he filed a Complaint for Permanent Injunction against both, along with 100 unnamed “Does,” on September 21, 2023, in the Alameda County Superior Court of California.

“Despite overwhelming evidence of Abortion Pill Reversal services’ safety and effectiveness, this lawsuit makes outrageously false claims against Heartbeat International and RealOptions,” explained Paul Jonna, Thomas More Society Special Counsel and Partner, LiMandri and Jonna LLP. “Attorney General Bonta’s lawsuit aims to hide life-saving information from women regarding Abortion Pill Reversal. This is a desperate attempt by Bonta to eliminate any competition to the well-funded abortion lobby with which he has proudly partnered throughout his political career.”

In their February 6, 2024, filings, Thomas More Society attorneys advance three main arguments:

(1) The First Amendment protects the advocacy efforts and information provided by Heartbeat and RealOptions to women about Abortion Pill Reversal.

(2) On Bonta’s claims, the Superior Court cannot decide a “battle of scientific experts” between Heartbeat’s scientific studies and Bonta’s competing studies on Abortion Pill Reversal.

(3) California’s Reproductive Privacy Act and its Constitution totally immunize Heartbeat and RealOptions, prohibiting Bonta from interfering with their aid and assistance to pregnant women who want to stop and reverse their chemical abortions.

Among the information provided to the Superior Court, Thomas More Society provided compelling evidence of the safety of supplemental progesterone for pregnant women and its effectiveness in countering the effects of mifepristone, the first pill of the two-pill chemical abortion regimen. In particular, progesterone has been safely used by obstetrician-gynecologists for decades to thwart potential miscarriage in pregnant women.

Read the Memoranda in support of Demurrers, on behalf of Heartbeat International and RealOptions, and of Motion to Quash Service, on behalf of Heartbeat International, filed February 6, 2024, by Thomas More Society attorneys in the Superior Court of the State of California – County of Alameda, in The People of the State of California v. Heartbeat International & RealOptions, here.

The complete collection of court documents filed February 6 is available here.

About Heartbeat International

Heartbeat International has been providing pro-life pregnancy resources since its inception in 1971. Today, it is the largest and most expansive network in the world with nearly 3,500 affiliated pregnancy help locations providing life-affirming alternatives to abortion. For more information, please visit heartbeatinternational.org.

About RealOptions

RealOptions Obria Medical Clinics is a non-profit 501(c)3 recognized for its quality of care since 1981. Providing caring, compassionate, high quality holistic healthcare with or without insurance, support services, optimal health education, and pregnancy loss healing to women, men, students, and families, RealOptions has five licensed medical clinic locations serving Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties devoted to caring for patients physically, emotionally, and spiritually. RealOptions offer a broad spectrum of prevention, intervention, and restorative services to the community positively impacting thousands of students and families in the Bay Area each year. For more information, please visit realoptions.net.     

About Thomas More Society

Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and freedom. Headquartered in Chicago and with offices across the country, Thomas More Society fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. For more information, please visit thomasmoresociety.org.