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Abortion reversal bill on its way to Gov. Edwards after La. lawmakers pass controversial measure

An abortion reversal bill is on its way to Gov. John Bel Edwards after Louisiana lawmakers...
An abortion reversal bill is on its way to Gov. John Bel Edwards after Louisiana lawmakers passed the controversial measure.
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:57 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A measure requiring abortion providers to inform patients of “options” to reverse a nonsurgical-medication abortion after the process has started awaits approval by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

The bill, which went through several rewrites, requires physicians to issue a written statement at the start of a medication abortion. The statement reads:

“PLEASE READ BEFORE TAKING SECOND PILL: Research has indicated that the first pill provided, identified as Mifepristone, is not always effective in ending a pregnancy. If after taking the first pill you regret your decision, please consult a physician or healthcare provider immediately to determine if there are options available to assist you in continuing your pregnancy.”

“It simply advises them that if they regret their abortion, they can talk to their doctor to see what options may be available,” said Ben Clapper, director of Louisiana’s Right to Life.

The non-surgical abortion is available to women during the first nine weeks of pregnancy and involves the patient taking two pills. The mandatory notice would be given at the start of the procedure. If a woman elects to terminate an abortion, Clapper said a doctor could offer several options to keep the pregnancy, such as an abortion reversal pill. It’s a pill that is controversial though, and is at best, experimental, as described by the Louisiana Department of Health.

“They are putting in front of them information that is really just meant to confuse them, make them second guess their decision,” said Michelle Ernberg, director of Lift Louisiana. “If they decide not to complete the medication abortion regiment, there could be serious safety concerns for them.”

LDH’s top medical officer testified against the bill in May, saying there was no scientific basis to prove an abortion could be reversed and called into question the safety of the abortion reversal bill, highlighting a study of the pill was ended early after several patients began hemorrhaging and were rushed to the hospital.

“It forces doctors to provide patients with misleading information that could confuse them and put their health and safety at risk,” Ernberg added.

Clapper said the legislation would simply give women a choice if they regret the decision to terminate a pregnancy.

“We want to give every woman who regrets their abortion a chance at hope, a hope to raise their child, a chance to hold their baby, a chance to live a life without regret, that’s if they regret their abortion,” Clapper explained.

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