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February 01, 2023 11:58 AM UTC

Once Again, "Abortion Pill Reversal" Is Not A Thing

  • 5 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
Freshman GOP Rep. and self-schooled gynotician Scott “There Is No” Bottoms.

Quickly emerging as the go-to freshman Republican state lawmaker for self-immolating culture war legislation that Republicans would steer clear of had they any sense, Rep. Scott “There Is No” Bottoms, the prime sponsor of a “Personhood”-style abortion ban headed for the circular file in our Democratic-controlled Colorado General Assembly, has introduced another anti-abortion bill the likes of which we’ve seen before: legislation requiring doctors (contrary to actual science) to advise pregnant people that medical abortions can be reversed by medication.

The bill creates the “Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act” (act). The act requires a physician or other qualified medical professional to provide state-prepared information concerning abortion pill reversal, including a telephone number and website address where a pregnant woman can seek resources to obtain abortion pill reversal, to any woman seeking an abortion through the use of an abortion-inducing drug. The physician or other qualified medical professional must provide the information at least 24 hours before the physician prescribes or administers the abortion-inducing drug or induces the abortion.

The department of public health and environment is required to maintain the state-prepared information on its public-facing website.

The act makes it a deceptive trade practice to fail to provide the required information concerning abortion pill reversal. The act also includes civil penalties and professional discipline for failure to comply with the requirements in the act and allows the general assembly to appoint members to intervene in any lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the act.

The place to start with this legislation as we have in prior years is with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who make clear that “abortion reversal” is not sound scientific or medical practice:

Facts are important, especially when it comes to policies and discussions that impact patients. Claims regarding abortion “reversal” treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) ranks its recommendations on the strength of the evidence and does not support prescribing progesterone to stop a medication abortion.

Despite this, in states across the country, politicians are advancing legislation to require physicians to recite a script that a medication abortion can be “reversed” with doses of progesterone, to cause confusion and perpetuate stigma, and to steer women to this unproven medical approach. Unfounded legislative mandates like this one represent dangerous political interference and compromise patient care and safety.

The whole purpose of this legislation to create a false perception that abortion care is inherently bad and thus widely regretted, for which there is no support in public surveys –and even if there were, forcing doctors to present a medically unsupported option to “reverse” an abortion would not be the answer, any more than hydroxychloroquine was an appropriate treatment for COVID-19. And yes, the common embrace of quack science between abortion opponents and COVIDiots is telling.

Doctors and patients know best, not Republican “gynoticians.” Politically, Bottoms is costing Republicans more than they’ll ever gain from these dead-on-arrival “message bills.” Rather than being quietly voted down and ignored by the media like they were in prior years, in a post-Roe world these bills are a toxic reminder of the proximity of the threat to abortion rights, and they shape public perception of today’s Republican Party.

Judging by last November’s election results, Colorado voters get the message loud and clear.

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