On Monday 30th March, the Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey, passed a law, SB 1318, that requires doctors to tell patients who undergo medication abortions that the procedure can be reversed, even though there is no quality evidence to support this statement.
Supporters of the legislation provided no peer-reviewed studies to support the statement.
Bustle are reporting that the only evidence to support medication abortion reversal is being provided by Dr. George Delgado, who runs the “Abortion Pill Reversal Program”, in which patients are given progesterone after they take the first dose of the medication abortion (mifepristone, also known as RU 486), and before they take the second dose, of misoprostol.
Gabrielle Goodrick, a NARAL Arizona board member who provides abortion services, told RH Reality Check, “There is no medical data or any legitimate studies done to show this is effective”. Dr. Ilana Addis, chairwoman of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists chapter in Arizona, said using progesterone to reverse an abortion works “about as well as placebo”.
According to Bustle, Dr. Eric Reuss of the Arizona Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told Arizona Central earlier this month that legislators should re-think this provision: “If ever there is an example of Legislative overreach, this would be it. There is absolutely no evidence-based data that the [medication abortion] process can be reversed. If passed, our state government will force physicians to impart hearsay to their patients.”
SB 1318 also prohibits health insurance providers from covering abortions for women who get medical care through the federal health-care exchange, except in cases of rape and incest.
SB 1318 is creating more misinformation around abortion, which is being increasingly stigmatised in the US. In 2013, 22 states enacted 70 anti-abortion measures, with 43 and 92 anti-abortion measures enacted in 2012 and 2011 respectively.
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