Commentary

Science of Abortion Pill Reversal May Be Too Hard a Pill for Planned Parenthood to Swallow

Kristi Burton Brown
By Kristi Burton Brown | September 19, 2017 | 2:44 PM EDT

(Pixabay Photo/Labeled for Reuse)

When Amy Mendoza had a change of heart the day after she swallowed an abortion pill, a word she’d seen on Facebook flashed through her mind: “reversal.” She recalled a story she’d read on social media about another woman who had saved her baby’s life by using abortion reversal.

Amy couldn’t remember all the details and didn’t even know if she could try abortion reversal, but she knew she had to find out. She also knew she couldn’t turn to Planned Parenthood. The Planned Parenthood facility in Boulder, Colorado had already instructed Amy that once she took the first abortion pill, her decision couldn’t be changed. She says Planned Parenthood told her she had to take the second pill.

The abortion pill, also known as medication abortion or chemical abortion – and very different from the “morning after pill” – is a two-step process. The first pill in the process stops a woman’s body from producing progesterone, a hormone needed to support and nurture the growing child in her womb. The second pill, taken 1-2 days later, causes her uterus to contract and her body to expel her now-dead child. (A former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino, explains the abortion pill process in more detail in a video here.)

There is a window of time, after a woman takes the first pill and before she takes the second pill, to “reverse” the effects of the abortion pill-induced absence of progesterone by adding this necessary, natural hormone back into her body. The type of progesterone used in abortion reversal is known as “natural” or “bioidentical progesterone” because it is the same kind the woman’s body naturally produces. Progesterone is often used by Ob-Gyns to preserve and maintain the pregnancies of women who have suffered repeated miscarriages. Its safe use in pregnancy has been established for decades. While the use of progesterone specifically to reverse an abortion is innovative, as far as science goes, its effectiveness is really nothing new.

Amy Mendoza shudders when she holds her healthy son and wonders what would have happened – to her and to him – if she had never seen the term “abortion reversal” and done her own Google search to find help. Amy’s search led her to Bella Natural Women’s Care. This health center has three offices in Colorado and focuses on innovative health care for women that also supports the lives of their children. Bella was able to give Amy the quick care she needed to reverse her abortion and the longer-term care she needed to give birth to her son.

Unlike Planned Parenthood’s deceptive admonition, Bella acknowledges that when a woman regrets her original choice for abortion, she deserves information on other science-based options. Planned Parenthood left Amy with one option: swallow the second abortion pill. Amy believes Planned Parenthood’s instructions to her were part of the staff’s normal process – one that puts a firm stop to a woman’s right to reconsider abortion.

Even those who advocate for “choice” can readily acknowledge that a real choice should include the option to choose to change one’s mind. If a woman can choose to have an abortion, why should she not be allowed to choose to stop that abortion, especially when science has declared the method – progesterone – safe and when 350 qualified doctors stand ready to help a woman who wants to take this option?

Perhaps Planned Parenthood avoids the scientific reality of abortion pill reversal for a more ideological reason. Acknowledging that some abortions, once begun, can still be stopped requires an acknowledgment that a living child will now be born. Without the intervention of abortion reversal, this same child would be dead. And while abortion reversal saved his life, the abortion pill – as prescribed by Planned Parenthood – would have ended it, if followed through to its final conclusion.

Abortion reversal forces Planned Parenthood to look at the faces of babies – sweet, chubby-faced babies just like Amy’s son – whose lives they attempted to end. And that may be too hard a pill to swallow.

Kristi Burton Brown, an Associate Scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, is an attorney focusing on First Amendment and sanctity of life issues. She has worked on pro-bono projects for Life Legal Defense Foundation, Live Action, Child Evangelism Fellowship’s parent organization, and Alliance Defending Freedom. She is also journalist and editor for Live Action News and a contributor to The Christian Post.

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