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Colorado court allows nurse practitioner to defend helping women who regret abortion

Federal court grants motion to intervene filed by ADF attorneys in lawsuit challenging state law prohibiting nurses, doctors from providing patients with abortion pill reversal
Chelsea Mynyk (L), licensed nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife, owner of Castle Rock Women's Health, with a patient.
Resonate Films

DENVER – A federal district court issued an order Monday that allows Chelsea Mynyk, a licensed nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife, to intervene in a lawsuit defending her use of providing patients with abortion pill reversal. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Mynyk asked the court to allow her to intervene in the case, Bella Health and Wellness v. Weiser.

“Colorado can’t silence medical professionals and prevent them from saving lives,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “Many women regret their abortions, and some choose to reverse the effects of the first abortion drug, often saving their baby’s life. But Colorado’s law wrongly denies women the freedom to make that choice. The state can’t force women to follow through with an abortion when a safe alternative is available—one that Chelsea and the pro-life plaintiffs in this case can skillfully provide.”

Abortion pill reversal is a safe and often effective treatment for women who change their minds about abortion and is used to reverse the effects of the first chemical abortion drug, saving the unborn child. However, in April 2023, Colorado enacted a law that prohibits doctors and nurses from providing abortion pill reversal, forcing women to undergo abortions they wish to avoid.

As ADF attorneys explain in the proposed complaint they filed with the court last month, “although Colorado claims to recognize the ‘fundamental right to continue a pregnancy,’ this law actively thwarts women from making that choice, and it makes it illegal for nurses and doctors to assist them or even inform them about their options. The law’s implementing regulations leave those prohibitions in place, making it professional misconduct for doctors and nurses to assist a woman in attempting to reverse the effects of the first abortion pill.”

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty sued Colorado on behalf of Bella Health and Wellness, a pro-life pregnancy center, in April 2023 and secured a preliminary injunction, preventing Colorado’s law from being enacted while the lawsuit continues; however, the injunction only applied to Bella Health and Wellness.

Mynyk runs her own clinic, Castle Rock Women’s Health, where she provides reproductive health care services to women. As the proposed complaint notes, Mynyk, like Bella Health and Wellness, believes that she is compelled by her faith to provide abortion pill reversal to women who request it. Two months ago, Mynyk received a letter from the Colorado State Board of Nursing notifying her that she is being investigated for a possible violation of the Nurses Practice Act because of an anonymous complaint about her provision of abortion pill reversal.

  • Pronunciation guide: Mynyk (MIN-ick); Theriot (TAIR’-ee-oh)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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Kevin Theriot
Kevin Theriot
Senior Counsel
Kevin Theriot serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom