Ohio lawmakers consider requiring doctors to inform patients of controversial 'abortion reversal'

Ohio lawmakers consider requiring doctors to inform patients of controversial 'abortion reversal'

A group of Republican lawmakers in Ohio plan to introduce a bill that would require doctors to tell women seeking medical abortions about a reversal procedure.

The Abortion Reversal Information Act would mandate that all doctors prescribing abortion-inducting medications tell their patients they’re able to reverse the procedure should they change their mind.

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“No woman should be forced to have an abortion that she doesn’t want,” state Sen. Peggy Lehner (R), who plans to introduce the legislation, said Tuesday, the Columbus Dispatch reports. “It is perfectly reasonable to require that the informed consent process include this indispensable piece of information that this procedure can be stopped once it has started.”

Medical abortions are typically viable options until the 10-week mark during pregnancy. However, the recent proposal follows the state’s passage of a “heartbeat bill,” signed by Gov. Mike DeWine (R) in April, that bars women from getting abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected — which can occur as early as five or six weeks into pregnancy.

Under an abortion reversal procedure, a woman takes two pills 24 to 48 hours apart. The first drug, mifepristone, is said to cause the death of the embryo and blocks the effects of progesterone, a hormone that helps the fetus develop. The second medication, misoprostol, is said to spur the removal of the embryo from the uterus, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

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Ohio Right to Life, an anti-abortion organization, has already stated its support of the proposal, but the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio have cast doubt on abortion-reversal treatments, saying they’re not backed by science and are not recommended.

“Abortion opponents in Ohio have accelerated their efforts to stigmatize abortion with medically-inaccurate information and unproven practices,” NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland told the Dispatch.

The Food and Drug Administration hasn't tested whether medically induced abortions can be reversed, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization focused on sexual and reproductive health.