Having knowledge of all possible options for medical treatment is important for any patient considering a procedure. The Abortion Pill Reversal process is intended to give patients an alternative after taking an abortion pill. Patients should know all their options. As long as these options are scientifically credible and not based on anti-abortion fear mongering.
The Abortion Pill Reversal does not fit into this criteria.
The abortion pill is a two-step process. Patients first take the drug mifepristone and follow it with misoprostol one to two days later. The Abortion Pill Reversal treatment is intended to be taken after the ingestion of mifepristone; it is a progesterone therapy meant to reverse the effects of the mifepristone.
Progesterone, a hormone that supports pregnancy, is blocked by the ingestion of mifepristone, but the Abortion Pill Reversal is meant to reverse the effects of the mifepristone by adding extra progesterone into the body.
If a person seeking an abortion truly ends up changing their mind halfway through the abortion process, then this reversal treatment would be sound. But the reason for its creation appears rooted in attitudes just as misconstrued as the faulty science behind the product.
According to the Huffington Post, Dr. George Delgado, founder of the Abortion Pill Reversal conducted a case series “showing successful reversal rates between 60 and 70 percent.”
The Abortion Pill Reversal website features anonymous testimonials from women who regret their abortions, but the abortion remorse rhetoric is not statistically supported.
According to Medical Daily, 95 percent of 667 surveyed participants over a two-year period reported to being satisfied with their decision to terminate their pregnancy.
The false sense of urgency saturating the Abortion Pill Reversal website emulates anti-abortion sentiment rather than a legitimate concern for ensuring patients have access to all reproductive options.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has stated that the abortion reversal is not rooted in credible science. Delgado’s case series was not administered by an institutional review board nor did it follow any scientifically ethical guideline. The Abortion Pill Reversal is also not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA.)
ACOG also states that a pregnancy cannot be terminated by mifepristone alone, which is why the abortion pill is a two-pill treatment. This means that while there may have been 60 to 70 percent of “successful reversal rates,” the Abortion Pill Reversal may not be undoing these abortions after all. The pregnancy continues because the original abortion treatment was not completed.
Abortion Pill Reversal should not be taking credit for a saved pregnancy when the preferred outcome can occur without an extra dose of progesterone. Their product is essentially unnecessary and useless.
Idaho, Arkansas, South Dakota and Utah have recently passed legislation mandating medical providers notify any patient seeking the abortion pill that the Abortion Pill Reversal process can be stopped with this reversal method. It should not be too much to ask that governing bodies pass legislation regarding medical practice when treatments are scientifically supported.
Since this is not the case with the Abortion Pill Reversal, these states prove that their concern with abortion has less to do with providing safe options and more to do with a political stance on reproductive health.
Given that the Abortion Pill Reversal is not scientifically verifiable or FDA approved, legislating that medical providers must inform patients of its availability is unethical and irresponsible.
Physicians should not be legally required to give false information to patients seeking safe and credible options for their pregnancies. Fearmongering and baseless evidence are not suitable conditions for medical treatments or the laws that enforce them.
Paige Wisniewski is a junior majoring in interdisciplinary social sciences.