Republican lawmakers propose abortion reversal bill in Utah

"We're not doctors," they admitted

Rachel Hosie
Monday 19 December 2016 14:16 GMT
(Getty/iStockphoto (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Two Republican lawmakers in Utah are drafting legislation claiming abortion is reversible with medication - even though there’s no solid scientific evidence behind the idea.

State Representative Keven Stratton and state Senator Curt Bramble are hoping to introduce a law that will force doctors to tell women undergoing abortions that the procedure could be reversed.

Whilst admitting they’re “not doctors”, Stratton believes the abortion reversal should be “fairly straightforward,” and the idea is supported by Pro-Life Utah.

But there’s little science to back up the concept.

There are two steps to a drug-induced abortion: first, mifepristone is taken which blocks progesterone, breaks down the lining of the uterus and causes the fertilised egg to detach from the uterine wall.

24-48 hours later, the woman must take a drug called misoprostol which causes contractions and mimics a miscarriage.

The theory is that if a woman is injected with a high dose of progesterone before the second drug, misoprostol, is taken, the foetus could be saved.

Abortion reversal was invented by Dr George Delgado, whose website Abortion Pill Reversal features both success stories and regret stories from women who’ve had abortions.

Delgado carried out a study into the effectiveness of the procedure in 2012 which claimed it worked for two-thirds of women, however the study had just six participants.

The American College of Gynecologists (ACOG), however, believes the procedure is potentially very dangerous.

According to the ACOG, for 30-50% of women who take just the first pill (mifepristone), their pregnancies continue even without taking the abortion reversal pill.

“The medical literature is quite clear that mifepristone on its own is only about 50 percent effective at ending a pregnancy,” according to Dr. Cheryl Chastine. “That means that even if these doctors were to offer a large dose of purple Skittles, they'd appear to have 'worked' to 'save' the pregnancy about half the time.”

What’s more, flooding the body with progesterone can cause an array of side-effects including blood clots, hair loss and nausea.

It remains to be seen whether the bill will be passed when the 2017 Legislative session begins in January.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in