Women who choose to begin chemical abortion can reverse it – but not under S.37
Last week, the House Health Care Committee, at the request of Planned Parenthood, added a provision to S.37 that interferes with a woman’s right to carry a pregnancy to term, according to information published by Vermont Right to Life.
S.37 will go to the full House for initial approval this afternoon, Thursday April 20.
This last-minute amendment to S.37 would label as unprofessional conduct, “Providing or claiming to provide services or medications that are purported to reverse the effects of a medication abortion.”
Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) is a legitimate medical intervention which has been used thousands of times. According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute:
With the growing number of successful reversals through the APR protocol, legislators both federally and locally have shown increased interest in ensuring women who choose to begin the chemical abortion process are aware of the possibility of reversing their abortion. Primarily this is being accomplished through informed consent laws. These require medical professionals who provide the abortion pill regimen to also inform the woman, either in writing or orally, that she could possibly reverse her abortion if she should change her mind. Fourteen states have passed such legislation into law, and 10 of those laws are currently in effect.
To define APR in S.37 as “unprofessional conduct,” would be unconstitutional interference with personal reproductive autonomy as protected by the adoption of Article 22 of the Vermont Constitution.
Furthermore, allowing health care providers to be punished for aiding women who wish to exercise their rights to carry a pregnancy to term would be unconstitutional.
The Abortion Pill Reversal protocol was developed by OB-GYNs to aid women experiencing regret after taking the first of the two drugs in the chemical abortion regimen. That first drug, Mifepristone, acts by blocking progesterone, a hormone necessary to maintain a pregnancy. APR protocols involve providing a woman with bioidentical progesterone within a 24 – 72 hour time frame after taking the first pill, to counter the effects of the mifepristone.
Progesterone is FDA-approved for use in reducing the risk of miscarriages and lowering the rates of preterm birth. APR is a cutting-edge application of this time-tested treatment used for decades.
A peer-reviewed study of APR found that 64 – 68% of women undergoing the treatment successfully carried their pregnancies to term, with no increased risk of birth defects or preterm births.
An overview of the protocol and links to supporting studies is available here.
In earlier testimony in Committee, VRLC asked that childbirth be given at least as much protection as abortion. This is yet another example of how S.37 fails to protect the constitutional right to carry a pregnancy to term to the same degree that it protects abortion.
– Vermont Right to Life Statement