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Pro-life centers accuse New York attorney general of threatening illegal prosecution

New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a press briefing, Feb. 16, 2024, in New York. The Associated Press/Photo by Bebeto Matthews, File

Pro-life centers accuse New York attorney general of threatening illegal prosecution

More than a dozen pro-life groups filed a joint lawsuit on Tuesday against New York Attorney General Letitia James. The complaint alleges James threatened and intimidated pregnancy centers that offer abortion pill reversal treatments, or APR. Her office sent at least a dozen pregnancy centers a notice of her intention to sue, accusing the centers of repeated misleading statements and omissions regarding APR. Heartbeat International leads the coalition of pregnancy centers represented by the Thomas More Society. New York protects abortion facilities but targets places that help women exercise their right to choose to continue a pregnancy, said Heartbeat International President Jor-El Godsey.

What does the lawsuit spell out? James’ attacks on protected speech and activities are the latest development in her politically motivated campaign against pregnancy centers, the lawsuit reads. The complaint accuses James of breaking the organization’s First Amendment right to free speech and exercise, along with the Fourteenth Amendment for selective and arbitrary law enforcement.

What proof does James have for her claims? The coalition lawsuit describes James’ lawsuit threats as “evidence-free.” WORLD reached out to James for a comment but did not receive a response by Thursday afternoon. California Attorney General Rob Bonta launched a similar campaign against APR treatments last September, suing Heartbeat International, alleging false advertising. Bonta’s office said the efficacy claims of APR were unproven and alleged the clinic’s advertisements violated state laws on false advertising.

How does APR even work? A woman undergoing a chemical abortion takes two drugs. First, a dose of mifepristone causes the uterine lining to thin, making the uterus uninhabitable for the embryo. A second drug, misoprostol, would be taken a day or two later to induce labor. However, between the two drugs, a woman can reverse the process and take doses of progesterone to restabilize her uterus.

Dig deeper: Listen to Mary Reichard’s report on The World and Everything in It podcast about a Colorado court decision protecting APR treatments.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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