Fact Checking Medication Abortion “Reversal”

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If you live around the Kansas City metro area, you may have seen the billboards downtown asking, “Regret taking the abortion pill?” It’s quite a bold question for an anti-abortion group to ask, especially considering their proposal: an unproven process referred to as so-called medication abortion “reversal.”

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Kansas House Bill 2274, a medication abortion “reversal” bill introduced last month, would require abortion providers to discuss “reversal” with patients — despite the fact this concept isn’t scientifically proven or medically accurate. What’s more, so-called “reversal” takes aim at a problem that doesn’t really exist. A recent study found that at least 95 percent of women who have an abortion say they made the right decision.

In reality, this whole “reversal” campaign is yet another attempt to legislate people’s bodies and shame them out of making their own personal medical decisions.

Four states — Arkansas, Idaho, South Dakota, and Utah — currently have this bill in place. Arizona tried to enact this law, but failed to do so — and their attempt rang up a hefty price tag. Oklahoma also introduced a similar bill this legislative session. Arkansas lawmakers are attempting to expand the state’s already-terrible medication abortion reversal misinformation to require doctors to tell their patients to search the internet if they have questions about how to “reverse” an abortion.

These attempts to spread misinformation about abortion are intentionally confusing. Let’s focus on the facts, supplied by leading medical organizations.

  1. There is no real scientific evidence to support so-called medication abortion “reversal.”

    • Medication abortion involves safely and effectively terminating a pregnancy through a combination of two prescription drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. The politicians behind this bill argue that medication abortion can be “reversed” after a woman takes the mifepristone but before she takes the misoprostol by supplementing her body’s already-high progesterone levels. No rigorous clinical studies support the practice — there is no medical evidence behind it.

  2. Medication abortion “reversal” was introduced by anti-abortion politicians and special interest groups, not doctors.

    • The same individuals who work to create shame, stigma, and fear around abortion are behind the effort to enact policies that perpetuate the myth of  medication abortion “reversal.” Medical standards should come from science-based, studied practices, not from politically motivated legislation. This is yet another instance where extremist politicians are working to restrict access to reproductive health care.

  3. The relationship between providers and patients is based on trust; that means providing information that is medically accurate and scientifically proven.

    • Being forced to provide information about scientifically inaccurate medication abortion “reversal” forces providers to go against their best medical judgment. Patients trust providers to offer compassionate, evidence-based care, and providers trust patients to know what decision is best for them and to be the experts in their own lives. According to a scientific study, patients have the same or a higher level of confidence in their decision to seek abortion care as they would with any other health decision.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes staff are working hard to oppose these abortion “reversal” policies in our region. Subscribe to our updates to learn how you can get involved and take action to protect access to health care.

[More questions about the abortion pill? Learn more from the experts at Planned Parenthood.]