Reproductive Rights

“Abortion Reversal” Bill May Become Law in Utah

Utah Republican state lawmakers Keven Stratton and Curt Bramble are in the process of composing a bill that, if passed, would require doctors to notify their patients that medical abortion is reversible, an unproven claim lacking FDA verification.

The process of a medication abortion involves taking two pills: first, mifepristone, which is used to block progesterone, and then, two days later, misoprostol. This is a safe, legal and common way to induce an abortion.

The scientifically unsupported “abortion reversal” procedure calls for ingesting a high amount of progesterone in between taking the two medical abortion pills to counteract the mifepristone.

Utah GOP legislators are not the first to promote abortion reversal as a mechanism of pushing anti-abortion legislation. Arkansas, South Dakota and Arizona have all passed laws requiring doctors to mention “abortion reversal” to their patients while counseling them on abortion.

The legislation in Arizona was repealed after the American Civil Liberties Union challenged it.  According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists “Claims of medication abortion reversal are not supported by the body of scientific evidence, and this approach is not recommended in ACOG’s clinical guidance on medication abortion.”

This is not the first anti-abortion legislation Bramble and Stratton have worked together on. Both played a lead role in passing a law requiring doctors to give anesthesia to women getting an abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy or more. The law is based on the theory that the fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, which is not supported by scientific research. There are no medical benefits to providing anesthesia during abortion, but rather the use of anesthesia risks causing harm to the woman undergoing the procedure.

Senator Bramble and Senator Stratton plan to introduce the “abortion reversal” bill into law in January once the legislative session starts again.

Sources:

Rewire News 11/29/16, The Daily Beast 5/11/16, The Washington Times 11/29/16, CNN 3/29/16