(CNN) — New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing an anti-abortion group and nearly a dozen pregnancy centers in the state for false and misleading statements promoting an unproven procedure they claim can reverse the effects of the abortion pill.

James alleges in the civil suit filed Monday that Heartbeat International and 11 of the anti-abortion pregnancy centers linked to it have engaged in fraud, deceptive business practices and false advertising by promoting “abortion pill reversal,” a procedure that major medical groups say is not backed by science and does not meet clinical standards. James’ office says the pregnancy centers’ “mission is to prevent people from obtaining abortions.”

Medication abortion, which is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, involves a pregnant person taking two oral medications, mifepristone, followed by misoprostol up to 48 hours later.

The so-called “abortion pill reversal” procedure that the centers advertise involves “administering repeated doses of progesterone” to a pregnant person who has taken mifepristone but has not yet taken misoprostol, the lawsuit states.

James says that some of the centers named in the lawsuit claim to facilitate the reversal procedure on-site.

“Heartbeat International and the other crisis pregnancy center defendants are spreading dangerous misinformation by advertising ‘abortion reversals’ without any medical and scientific proof,” James said in a statement.

The lawsuit claims Heartbeat International uses a “multi-media marketing scheme,” which includes advertising the procedure on its own website and offering tips to other centers to promote it in other communities.

The lawsuit aims to stop the pregnancy centers from making these claims and seeks payment for their violations of the law.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says the procedures are “unproven and unethical.”

2019 study to evaluate the effectiveness of using progesterone to stop an abortion after mifepristone was halted due to safety concerns, after three patients – one who received progesterone and two who received placebos – were taken to the hospital for severe hemorrhaging.

Heartbeat International says there are more than 2,000 “pregnancy help organizations,” sometimes referred to as crisis pregnancy centers, affiliated with the organization in the US.

On its website, the organization boasts an “Abortion Pill Rescue Network,” which aims to connect patients who have taken mifepristone with “medical professionals trained to administer the Abortion Pill Reversal protocol.”

“From the moment a woman takes the abortion pill, she has about 72 hours to change her mind and save her baby,” the group’s website states.

The lawsuit points to Heartbeat International’s claims that this network “consists of 1,300 providers, clinics, and hospitals worldwide,” and has “assisted women in all 50 states and in 86 countries.”

Heartbeat International says the attempt to stop its efforts amounts to censorship.

Heartbeat International told CNN in a statement that the lawsuit “is a clear attempt to censor speech, leaving women who regret their chemical abortions in the dark, and ultimately forcing them to complete an abortion they no longer want.” The organization claims James’ actions are “discriminatory and unfair by singling out these organizations solely because they offer an alternative to abortion.”

After receiving a notice of intent to sue from James’ office last month, Heartbeat International and several crisis pregnancy centers filed a complaint against the attorney general April 30 to try to stop the action.

In a release Monday, James’ office framed the lawsuit as part of a larger effort to protect reproductive freedom in New York, where abortion is legal up to 24 weeks into pregnancy, and nationwide.

Last September, the state of California filed a similar lawsuit against Heartbeat International and crisis pregnancy centers in the state. An attempted ban on the reversal attempt procedures in Colorado was blocked by a federal judge in 2023.

Some states have tried to have physicians counsel patients about the procedures. A November 2023 analysis by the Guttmacher Institute found that eight states require patients seeking an abortion to be given “medically inaccurate information that a medication abortion can be stopped after the patient takes the first dose of pills.”

state district court judge blocked legislation in Kansas requiring reversal counseling for patients in the process of a medication abortion in October of last year.

Reproductive health experts say misinformation around medication abortion is especially dangerous during a time when it has become an important option for people with restricted access to abortion services.

In March, the US Supreme Court heard arguments in a case seeking to ban or limit mifepristone, which could impact nationwide access to medication abortion. A decision is expected in July.

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