Women's Issues

Anti-Choice Movement Offers ‘Abortion Reversals’ Because They Think We Are All Idiots

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abortionCongratulations, everyone! The anti-choice movement has made a scientific breakthrough that will allow you to choose to have an abortion, and then un-choose it halfway through! They’re calling it “abortion reversal” and it’s every bit as insulting as you think it is.

A crisis pregnancy center in Bettendorf, Iowa called The Woman’s Choice Clinic because they have a great love of irony, has started offering the procedure to all those women who’ve decided they want to give abortion a try but aren’t quite ready to make a commitment yet. The procedure is meant for women who are inducing a miscarriage by taking medication, which is known as a medical abortion. In a medical abortion, the woman first takes Mifepristone (also known as RU-486), which blocks progesterone and softens the uterus, and then follows it up within 24-48 hours with Misoprostal, which causes the uterus to empty itself.

In “abortion reversals,” women are injected with progesterone after taking the first pill in an attempt to halt its effects. There has been exactly one published study on this procedure, which appeared in 2012 in The Annals of Pharmcotherapy. That study had a sample size of six women. The study’s author, anti-abortion doctor George Delgado, claims that four of those women went on to have a live birth after treatment.

So does this actually work? Writer Amanda Marcotte of Slate decided to talk to an ob-gyn about this and get their take. She spoke to Dr. Daniel Grossman, the vice-president of research at Ibis Reproductive Health, who said that:

 In the “exceedingly rare” case in which a woman might take one pill and then decide she wants the pregnancy after all, there’s no research to show that progesterone shots will help her save it, he explained. Mifepristone “by itself is not an effective abortion regimen,” he said, and so many women who just take the first pill will not miscarry if they simply don’t take the second. If he had a patient who changed her mind halfway through, he explained, he would recommend doing nothing and monitoring the pregnancy to make sure it’s continuing normally.

You see?! It’s one of those miracles from God that could also have been achieved by doing nothing!

Luckily, progesterone doesn’t usually have any side effects worse than symptoms like nausea and breast tenderness. But it is still irresponsible for this clinic to offer such a procedure and call it “abortion reversal” as though it were something that has been proven to work, which it has not.

Despite what the anti-choice movement says, there aren’t a whole lot of women who choose to get an abortion and then change their minds about it halfway through. There aren’t even many women who regret their abortions, period. What the “abortion reversal” campaign is trying to do is further the myth that there are tons of women out there getting abortions that they don’t really want to have. If the vast majority of women who got abortions say, “Yes, I had an abortion and I don’t regret it one bit. It was the best decision for me.” Well, that doesn’t do a whole lot to promote their cause. Better to open “crisis pregnancy centers” and offer “abortion reversals” to try to convince the general public that this isn’t something women really want to do.

I suggest they go about this a different way. I would like Dr. Delgado to come up with a line of “condom repellants.” I’m envisioning something like a lubricated condom, only with burning and stinging. Let’s get all those dudes out there who are on the fence about becoming a father involved! Because remember, we want to have all the babies.

(Photo: Path Doc / Shutterstock)