Can an abortion be reversed? Pro-life says yes, Pro-choice says it’s junk science

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Anti-abortion groups are taking aim at medication abortions, pushing for legislation that would require doctors to tell patients about the ?€œabortion reversal pill?€ in case she changes her mind.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Anti-abortion groups are taking aim at medication abortions, pushing for legislation that would require doctors to tell patients about the “abortion reversal pill” in case she changes her mind.

Abortion-rights groups call it junk science.

State Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, and state Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, will carry bills in each chamber. Similar laws have been adopted in seven states, according to Citizens for Conservative Values.

“At this point, we can point to 700 children who have actually been born, following reversal of the procedure. You can produce scientific studies all you want but looking at 700 children is very different. That tells me all I need to know at this point,” said Lehner, a long-time anti-abortion activist.

The American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists says the abortion reversal pill — doses of the hormone progesterone to reverse the effect of the first of two drugs taken for medication abortion — is safe.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says it is not based on science and does not meet clinical standards.

Related: Ohio sees slight uptick in abortions in 2017

State Rep. Beth Liston, D-Dublin, who is a pediatrician and medical school professor, issued a statement: “Abortion pill reversal is not true medicine. This is legislation that interferes with standard practice and inappropriately puts politicians between doctors and patients. There are no scientific studies that show abortion pill reversal is effective or that it is safe for women or the fetus.”

The two sides of the abortion issue faced off on the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday — one side on the front steps and the other side heckling from about 50 feet away.

It marked the second controversy over abortion legislation in less than a week. Last week, state Rep. John Becker, R-Cincinnati, drew national news coverage over his bill to prohibit insurance coverage of abortions and change the definition of abortion to include drugs that prevent implantation of a fertilized egg, which could include some commonly used contraceptives.

Becker’s bill would also allow insurance coverage for a procedure to move an ectopic pregnancy into the pregnant woman’s uterus.

Ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, commonly in the fallopian tube. It can be fatal without prompt treatment.

Jaime Miracle of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio notes that such a procedure doesn’t exist.

Ohio Right to Life President Stephanie Krider said her group has not reviewed Becker’s bill and it isn’t on its legislative agenda.

The push for more abortion restrictions comes on the heels of Gov. Mike DeWine signing into law a ban on abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is as early as six weeks before many women know they are pregnant.

Related: DeWine signs heartbeat abortion ban into law

The ACLU of Ohio has promised to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of that new law.

What is medication abortion?

It involves taking two drugs — mifepristone to stop the pregnancy growth and later misoprostol to cause uterine contractions.

It has accounted for 31 percent of non-hospital abortions in the United States since 2014.

What is abortion pill reversal treatment?

It involves taking progesterone within 72 hours of taking the mifepristone. In 64- to 68-percent of the cases, it results in the pregnancy continuing.

Sources: Ohio Right to Life; Guttmacher Institute; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

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