Opponents Say Science Doesn't Support Abortion Reversal Bill

May 15, 2019

A new bill at the Ohio Statehouse would require doctors to provide information to women receiving a medication abortion on how they could reverse the procedure. But doctors say it's not based in science.

A medication abortion involves two pills: Mifepristone stops the pregnancy growth by blocking the hormone, progesterone; Misoprostol makes the uterus contract to complete the abortion.

Supporters of the legislation say the abortion can be reversed by taking progesterone after the Mifepristone, the first drug, instead of taking the second drug, Misoprostol.

It's a controversial procedure: The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says there’s no science to support it.

But state Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), who is strongly anti-abortion, claims 700 pregnancies have been brought to full-term using this process.

“That tells me all I need to know at this point," Lehner says.

Lehner says women who are pregnant have the right to change their minds during the two-step abortion process. She says this information will help them be able to do that.

Protestors gathered on the west side of the Ohio Statehouse while supporters of this bill were there, talking to reporters about the plan.

Stephanie Craddock Sherwood, executive director of Women Have Options, was clad in a doctor's gown, wearing a duck bill and holding a sign that read, "Quack science becomes law here."

Credit Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

“Making doctors say this, which is not real science, it confuses people and it stigmatizes their decision," Craddock Sherwood says.

The bill has not yet been introduced in the Ohio Legislature. Sponsors of the legislation say it is almost ready and expect to introduce it soon.

The bill already has support from Ohio Right to Life, the state's largest anti-abortion group. Many majority Republican lawmakers from the Ohio House and Senate say they plan to support it.