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Protecting the Bill of Rights in Utah since 1958

HB141: False. Inappropriate. Completely Unacceptable.

25 January 2017 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist

We knew it was coming…now the much maligned “medical abortion reversal” bill is public and sitting in the House Rules Committee, waiting for assignment to a standing committee of the Utah House of Represents.Screen Shot 2017 01 25 at 8.06.06 AM

Actually, “maligned” is not the most accurate word to describe this bill. More accurate would be: “appropriately criticized by doctors and other professionals who understand that this legislation would force health care providers to tell women seeking an abortion something objectively false and dangerous.”

Rep. Keven Stratton (R-Provo) is the sponsor of HB 141, “Unborn Child Protections Amendments,” which, as stated in the bill’s own introduction:

  • requires specified medical personnel to inform a woman seeking an abortion of the possibility that a medication-induced abortion may be able to be reversed; and
  • requires the Department of Health to include in its published, printed materials an explanation that medication-induced abortions may be able to be reversed.

The problem here is, medication-induced abortions ARE NOT REVERSIBLE.  

There is no scientific or medical evidence that proves that reversing a medication abortion is possible: no clinical trials, no objective or credible data. Because there have been no clinical trials, this has not been tested for safety, effectiveness, or the likelihood of side effects.

This approach is definitely not recommended in the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ clinical guidance on medication abortion. The ACOG and the American Medical Association (AMA) bobth agree that there is no reliable evidence that medication abortions can, in fact, be ‘reversed’ through a course of treatment.

It is, as pointed out in an excellent Op-Ed this past weekend in the Salt Lake Tribune by Dr. Leah Torres and women’s rights activist Kate Kelly, “neither scientifically possible nor ethical.” Dr. Torres mentions that if a woman is uncertain of her decision to proceed with a medical abortion, the best approach is to acknowledge her uncertainty and delay the procedure – not assure her that if she changes her mind after initiating a medication-induced abortion, she can always get it reversed.

The ACLU of Utah strongly opposes this bill. It is inappropriate for elected officials with no medical training or experience to legislate the actions of medical professionals. It is especially inappropriate to force medical professionals to practice bad medicine that goes against patient’s interests and health.

Women don’t turn to politicians for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments. Politicians should not be involved in a woman’s personal medical decisions about her pregnancy, and they shouldn’t be in the business of telling doctors how to practice medicine.

Please contact your elected officials to tell them that you are opposed to HB 141, and that you hope they will oppose it, too.

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