Abortion Reversal Procedures Come Under Fire, But Is There Any Harm?

Abortion reversal is a new procedure developed by a Catholic, Pro-Life doctor, who wanted to give women the option to prevent their abortions from happening after the procedure is already underway.

Dr. George Delgado developed it as an option for the small group of women, who immediately regret their decisions after making them, and yes, as you might expect, it’s causing controversy within the medical community.

The procedure targets a specific form of abortion — the kind administered by a regimen of pills.

Vocativ’s Elizabeth Kulze explains that “a medical abortion can be achieved by taking a series of pills to terminate a pregnancy. (This is different than Plan B, or what’s commonly referred to as the ‘morning-after pill.’) Mifepristone, or RU-486, which is known as the ‘abortion pill,’ first blocks progesterone, causing the uterine lining to break down so the pregnancy cannot continue. Typically, a second pill, Misoprostol, is taken 24 to 48 hours later, which causes the uterus to empty.”

Those who undergo the abortion reversal procedure would interrupt this process by receiving progesterone treatments after the first pill. The treatments must be received within 72 hours of RU-486 consumption.

So far, the Women’s Choice Center of Iowa is the only institution offering the procedure.

“Because of our close proximity to Planned Parenthood [located directly across the street], we knew that there would be a woman who would take that first pill and want to reverse the procedure,” said Vicki Tyler, the center’s executive director. “And shortly after we began providing the treatment, we received our first phone call, so we know the demand is there.”

Critics note that the test studies for effectiveness have not been entirely convincing.

The one study out there that was published in a medical journal by co-author Delgado observed it in only six women. Four of the six women went on to have healthy vaginal births, and the outcomes of the other two were not disclosed.

“It’s a very incomplete report,” says Dr. Daniel Grossman, an OB-GYN and member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “It’s not a clinical trial. We have no evidence that this is an effective regimen, and I would say that it is outside the standard of care to use a treatment that has not been examined in clinical trials.”

Grossman said it’s “exceedingly rare” that a woman who chooses to have an abortion via the targeted method would immediately regret her choice.

Still, supporters of abortion reversal note that the side effects of the procedure are extremely minimal — breast tenderness, nausea, hair loss, vomiting, etc. — and that there isn’t any harm offering the procedure if the demand is out there.

But what do you think, readers? Should abortion reversal be offered at women’s clinics? Share your thoughts in our comments section.

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