Ariz. Doctors Forced to Say Abortions May Be Reversed

Gov. Doug Ducey signs law critics say is based on quackery
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2015 11:34 AM CDT
Ariz. Doctors Forced to Say Abortions May Be Reversed
Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey addresses the crowd after being sworn in during inauguration ceremonies at the Arizona Capitol, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Women seeking abortions in Arizona will be hearing new advice from their physicians. Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law this week a mandate that doctors must tell patients that abortions performed using drugs may be reversible, the New York Times reports. The news has met with outcry from medical community members who say the research supporting the law is based on shoddy science and could be harmful to women, the paper adds. The provision goes into effect as part of a larger legal initiative to bar women from obtaining health insurance from the federal health care exchange that offers abortion coverage. "The American people overwhelmingly oppose taxpayer funding of abortions, and it's no different in Arizona, where we have long-standing policy against subsidizing them with public dollars," Ducey said in a statement, per Courthouse News Service. "This legislation provides clarity to state law."

In this abortion procedure, a woman takes mifepristone, then misoprostol about two days later, the Times notes. Dr. George Delgado, however, says he's reversed abortions by giving the hormone progesterone before patients go to the second step. A 2012 journal article he published says four out of six women who took mifepristone only, followed by progesterone, carried pregnancies to term. But many are condemning his research: The chairwoman of Arizona's arm of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists tells the Times there's "absolutely no science to show ... this is an effective method"; her group says in 30% to 50% of cases where women take mifepristone alone (without progesterone), pregnancies carry on. The president of the conservative Center for Arizona Policy disagrees. "It's tragic when a woman makes a decision to have an abortion without knowing all the facts," Cathi Herrod tells the Times. "Where's the harm in informing a woman that it could be reversible?" (Read more Arizona stories.)

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