SB23-190 would prohibit deceptive advertising by anti-abortion centers, including the so-called “medication abortion reversal”
DENVER, CO – The House Judiciary Committee today passed legislation to protect those seeking reproductive health care by prohibiting the use of deceptive advertising by anti-abortion centers (AACs). Part of the Safe Access to Protected Health Care legislative package, SB23-190 cracks down on AACs, also known as crisis pregnancy centers, posing as comprehensive reproductive health care clinics to mislead patients seeking abortion care.
“Patients seeking reproductive health care are often misled or outright lied to by anti-abortion clinics – our bill puts an end to those deceptive practices,” said Rep. Karen McCormick, D-Longmont. “Every patient deserves access to real, accurate medical information so they can make informed decisions about their own reproductive health care. AACs purposely blur the line between health care and misinformation, making it difficult for patients to know if the care they’re receiving is based on fact and science or fueled by the anti-abortion movement. Our bill cracks down on these misleading practices to ensure Coloradans are able to make informed decisions about their own care.”
“In Colorado, we’ve made important progress in protecting reproductive health care,” said Rep. Elisabeth Epps, D-Denver. “Abortion is legal, but legality doesn’t mean accessibility and anti-abortion centers impede access to care, especially for our most marginalized communities. Our legislation helps make sure patients receive accurate, honest information about what is being offered at anti-abortion centers and what is not. Taking these steps to protect patients from the misinformation that some AACs spread will help Coloradans' make informed medical decisions about their reproductive health care.”
Prohibiting Deceptive Practices at Anti-Abortion Centers: SB23-190 passed committee by a vote of 8 to 5. This bill would make it a deceptive trade practice to share information or advertise providing abortion care, emergency contraceptives or for referrals of either of these services when the service is not actually provided.
This bill also clarifies it is unprofessional for a health care professional to provide or administer a “medication abortion reversal”. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists describes “medication abortion reversal” as “unproven and unethical,” and explains that “claims regarding abortion ‘reversal’ treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards'' of care.
Earlier this legislative session, Colorado Democrats on the House Health and Insurance Committee defeated HB23-1150 which would have required physicians and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to spread and maintain information about the so-called “medication abortion reversal”.
In Colorado, AACs outnumber abortion-providing clinics 51 to 20 and Custer, Fremont, Las Animas, Otero and Rio Blanco counties have AACs but no state or federally funded birth-control options.
AACs particularly target locations that may lack a comprehensive clinic, often posting Spanish-language billboards in neighborhoods with large immigrant populations and offering free services, such as ultrasounds and counseling, to low-income communities.
Anti-abortion centers are the on-the-ground presence of the national anti-abortion movement, posing as comprehensive reproductive health care clinics to intercept patients seeking abortion care, provide false information, and prevent people from seeking abortions.