Arizona lawmakers have approved legislation that mandates providers of abortion services to inform their “clients” about the possibility of reversing an abortion.
The Arizona Senate passed the proposal on an 33-24 vote. The proposal is all set to become a law, but is currently sitting on the desk of Republican Governor Doug Ducey. Interestingly, though the governor has always pledged to defend the right to life, he stated that he hasn’t weighed in on this specific legislation.
Apart from making it mandatory for abortion service providers to make the women aware of their choices, Senate Bill 1318 also bars women from buying any healthcare plan through the federal marketplace – set up by President Obama’s embattled healthcare law – that includes abortion coverage, with exceptions for victims of rape and incest.
The House has an additional amendment to the controversial legislation to include a provision added after an anti-abortion doctor testified that he recently reversed a drug-induced abortion at 10 weeks. However, he was quick to acknowledge the procedure is not widely known.
Reiterating the statement from the doctor, Dr. Allan Sawyer, chairman of the bioethics committee at Banner Thunderbird medical center, said, “This ability to reverse was not even known until recently.”
Dr. Kathleen Morrell, an abortion doctor and advocate at Physicians for Reproductive Health, added that the procedure is not evidence-based and has not been well researched.
“It’s experimental. It’s untested, and if we don’t know it works, then why are we doing it?”
Though seemingly complex, the procedure is relatively simple. In an abortion reversal, a pregnant woman takes two pill doses — the first would be of mifepristone and the second would be misoprostol. Jointly, the drugs “safely” terminate the pregnancy and abort the fetus, which is then surgically removed. There is a time-gap between the two doses. However, if the woman has second thoughts and wishes to continue with the pregnancy, all she has to do is avoid the second dose and ask for progesterone shots. These injections counter the effects of the abortion drugs.
Though there have been no fatalities to date, doctors agree the procedure is untested and needs to be evaluated for potential pitfalls. There have been no studies about the long-term damage that may be caused by the abortion reversal techniques.
Notwithstanding the words of caution, the state of Arizona has ensured that women who do not wish to abort will be educated about their choices beforehand.