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Ohio Bill Would Require Docs To Talk About Controversial Reverse Abortion Procedure

Backers of bill (top) and opponents (bottom)
Jo Ingles
Backers of bill (top) and opponents (bottom)

An Ohio Senate committee is set to hear from opponents of a bill that would provide what’s being called “reversed abortions.”

Chemical abortions require two pills to be taken 72 hours apart. Barry Sheets with the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio says abortions can be reversed before that second pill is taken, especially when progesterone is prescribed and taken within hours after taking the first pill.

A 2018 peer reviewed study showed that between 64 to 68% of pregnancies where the woman chose to discontinue the chemical abortion procedure and opt for the reversal procedure were saved.”

This bill would require doctors providing abortions to tell women about this procedure. Sheets and other backers of this bill say at least 900 women who began the medication abortion procedure were able to reverse that process with progesterone.

But critics of this bill note ACOG, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, says this process is based on unproven, unethical research and could be dangerous to the health of the woman.

The studies cited by proponents of the abortion reversal procedure are not the double blind, scientific studies most commonly used by the medical community. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) acknowledges that.

"What we are facing is an ethical dilemma. You can't study this. You can't study this by saying 'We're going to give this group of women over here progesterone during the abortion procedure and this group over here- we are not going to give it to them. That would be highly unethical to do it. These women come in one at a time. It's not like there's a large study group that you can look at and compare," Lehner says.

A handful of states have passed similar laws. Two have been blocked by courts and others are being challenged.

Contact Jo Ingles at
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