Arizona Requires Doctors to Tell Patients Drug-Induced Abortion is Reversible…Despite Medical Evidence

Thursday, April 02, 2015
Gov. Doug Ducey (photo: Wikipedia)

Doctors in Arizona will now be required to tell patients that drug-induced abortions can be reversed, even though there’s no evidence behind this assertion.


The requirement was included in SB 1318, approved this week by Republican Governor Doug Ducey, that sought other restrictions on insurance coverage for abortions. The mandate applies to cases in which women seek abortions during the first seven weeks pregnancy. Those women seeking to end pregnancies with medication must be told “that it may be possible to reverse the effects of a medical abortion.” 


Proponents say the reversal is possible between the ingestion of two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol taken 24 hours apart, to abort a pregnancy. Their argument is based on the assertions of one doctor, George Delgado, medical director of Culture of Life Family Services in San Diego, who claims that giving a woman the hormone progesterone before she ingests misoprostol can stop an abortion.


There’s no medical evidence to back up Delgado’s claim. Dr. Ilana Addis, chairwoman of the Arizona section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told The New York Times: “It has no data behind it, absolutely no science to show that this is an effective method.”


Dr. Eric Reuss, also with the Arizona section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, wrote in an editorial before the legislation became law: “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.”


Pro-choice advocates, like Jody Liggett, public policy director of Planned Parenthood Arizona, called the new law “dangerous and quite simply outrageous.”


However, Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative group that backed SB 1318, told the Times: “There’s no downside to this. Where’s the harm in informing a woman that it could be reversible?”


Opponents say the misinformation will confuse women at an already-difficult time in their lives. Arizona Rep. Victoria Steele, a Tucson Democrat, told the Times, “How can you stomach allowing doctors — no, forcing doctors — to tell their patients that a medicated abortion can be reversed?


“This is quack medicine, yet we put it into law and the governor signed it.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

New Arizona Abortion Law SB 1318 Forces Doctors to Lie To Women about Their Abortions (by Lauren Barbato, Bustle)

Anti-Choice Arizona Legislators Push ‘Medication Abortion Reversal’ Amendment (by Robin Marty, RH Reality Check)

Arizona Doctors Must Say That Abortions with Drugs May Be Reversed (by Rick Rojas, New York Times)

Latest Abortion Bill is meant to Bully (by Eric Reuss, Arizona Republic)

Senate Bill 1318 (Arizona State Senate)

Last Few Alabama Abortion Clinics May Close under New State Law (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Federal Court Approves Doctors Telling Patients that Abortion Can Lead to Suicide (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Arizona Law Declares Life Begins before Conception: Update (by David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


Leave a comment