Rep. Dan Johnston (R – District 24) has been on the receiving end of criticism for his sponsoring House Bill 1336. The bill is actually fairly simple. It adds two sections to North Dakota’s existing “informed consent” laws by mandating that women seeking termination of a pregnancy by an “abortion-inducing drug” be made aware that it’s possible to reverse its effects.
According to the bill, a physician, referring physician, or physician’s agent must inform women “at least twenty-four hours before the abortion”:
“That it may be possible to reverse the effects of an abortion-inducing drug if she changes her mind, but time is of the essence, and information and assistance with reversing the effects of an abortion inducing drug are available in the printed materials given to her…”
Not only would the materials include notice that it’s possible to reverse the effects of the drugs, but they must also:
“… include information directing the patient where to obtain further information and assistance in locating a medical professional who can aid in the reversal of abortion inducing drugs, such as mifepristone and misoprostol.”
Due to the nature of Rep. Johnston’s bill, some folks have tabbed it the “Abortion Reversal Bill”. Opposition to it isn’t exactly a surprise from those who support abortion. Like these comments from the Director of Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, Tammi Kromenaker:
“North Dakota politicians are once again intruding into the doctor-patient relationship rather than looking out for the well being of North Dakota women. Legislating a speculative medical theory is a really bad idea and would not be given serious consideration for any other type of medical care.”
It’s one thing to hear criticism from someone like Kromenaker, but to hear criticism of the bill from someone who claims to be pro-life is disheartening. Like these comments from Say Anything blogger, Rob Port today:
“I’m pro-life, and I’d like to stop abortions, but I don’t favor this sort of tactic. It smacks of a war of attrition against abortion. An effort to complicate the process of abortion, and wearing down the women seeking them to the point where they opt not to seek one after all.”
What I’m trying to figure out is when it became a bad thing to let patients know their options when it came to their “well being”. Of course, for Kromenaker, she’s convinced that reversing a drug-induced abortion is “speculative medical theory”. And for Port, including this in the informed consent laws is nothing more than “a war of attrition”. But what if a reversal is a possibility? We can argue statistics about it, but isn’t it a fact that many women who have abortions regret them?
North Dakota’s FirstChoice Clinic, whose mission is to “empower individuals to make healthy, life-affirming choices” claims to have been part of a “first” for the state when they “helped guide a client through a medical-abortion reversal, undoing the effects of the RU486 drug that would have ended the life of the client’s baby.” Their account is fascinating:
“A client who had been conflicted over her decision to abort her child through medical means began to have doubts after ingesting one of three pills given to her by the Red River Women’s Clinic.
“As Denise notes, the client had sought out FirstChoice earlier for counseling regarding what seemed a truly impossible situation. Thankfully, cell phone numbers had been exchanged at that time, and the client sent a text to her that evening to ask whether it was too late to change her mind.
“Earlier, she’d called the abortion facility, but was told it was too late, and that she should just consume all three pills and move forward with the abortion. But the client had done some online research indicating a reversal could be possible, and FirstChoice staff knew this as well, and that it was still early enough to try.”
The client was put in contact with one of their doctors, guided through the reversal, and three weeks later an ultrasound showed a healthy baby. An update to the testimonial now says, “Baby boy has arrived! Both mom and baby are doing well.”
Of course, this is but one claim. Are there others? There are. For example, this article claims that “400 mothers… have successfully rescued their baby from abortion via Abortion Pill Reversal since 2007.” A letter I received today, that was sent from Right to Life of Idaho, claims the number is now over 500. Last year Idaho became the 4th state to pass the Abortion Pill Reversal Informed Consent law.
About two months ago, a pro-life doctor from Tennessee — Dr. Brent Boles — posted a picture of himself holding a baby he had just delivered. The mother of the baby had taken the abortion pill, but suffered regret and sought out assistance to reverse its effects after seeing the website www.abortionpillreversal.com. On his Facebook post, Dr. Boles wrote:
“Recently I did this delivery, and am sharing the picture with the patient’s permission. You see, when a woman takes the abortion pill, she often immediately regrets it. This patient did exactly that. The abortion providers will lie and tell people that there is no way to reverse it. That is not true. This patient found www.abortionpillreversal.com and I am on the panel of prolife providers who are willing to try to reverse the poison they were given. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but as you can see—it is worth the effort.”
Isn’t it interesting that those who say they are “pro-choice” oppose informing patients of another choice? To me, that defies logic.
I think the evidence is compelling that abortion reversals are a reality. Can it logically be argued that they’re not when we have cases of women who took the pill to terminate, only to be treated and then deliver a healthy baby later?
There’s many aspects in the abortion debate that we can argue. But criticizing legislation that seeks to provide women information about an alternative choice, when we have living examples showing that it can work, is just plain stupid.
Watch below as former abortion doctor and now pro-life advocate, Dr. Anthony Levatino, explains how a 1st trimester abortion is done with pills. He also explains how abortion reversals are done as well.
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