Communications Department

Over 3,000 Lives Have Been Saved Through Abortion Pill Reversal; Erroneous Letter from House Judiciary Chairman Calls Abortion Pill Reversal a “Flawed Theory”

Feb 15, 2022 | 2022 Press Releases, Press Releases, Press Room

WASHINGTON – On Friday, February 11, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg attacking Facebook for approving Abortion Pill Reversal or Abortion Pill Rescue (APR) ads. The letter argues that the APR process is a “flawed theory” but supports this argument by using research promulgated by leading abortion researchers and apologists.

“Abortion Pill Reversal has saved over 3,000 babies,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “For the chairman to call this a ‘flawed theory’ when the evidence says otherwise, is disingenuous.”

The Abortion Pill Reversal process gives a woman the opportunity to save her unborn baby if she has only taken the first drug, mifepristone.

In the two-drug chemical abortion process, mifepristone is given first and immediately begins to compete with the pregnancy hormone, progesterone, which is produced naturally by the woman’s body. Mifepristone neutralizes progesterone’s effect by filling and blocking the critical pregnancy hormone’s binding sites. With the signal of an active pregnancy blocked, the woman’s body begins to shut down the baby’s life support system as well as necessary nutrients required for the baby to continue to grow and thrive. Essentially, the woman’s body receives the message that there has been no conception and initiates the menstrual process and the shedding of the inner uterine lining.

The second drug, the prostaglandin misoprostol, is then given 24-48 hours later to initiate powerful uterine contractions to separate the dead or dying child from the wall of the mother’s uterus and expel the tiny corpse from her womb.

Several years ago, two doctors, George Delgado of California, and Matthew Harrison of North Carolina, independently theorized that they might be able to counteract the effects of mifepristone by giving the body enough additional progesterone to “outcompete” mifepristone at the body’s hormone binding sites—if done before the second pill, the prostaglandin, is taken.

Prescribing progesterone is a recognized treatment for women who face miscarriage because of a history of low progesterone in pregnancy.

Since then, several studies have been done showing that the success rate of the APR protocol is 64-68%.

“The idea that abortion pill reversal is based on ‘flawed theory’ shows a lack of basic scientific knowledge,” said Matthew Harrison, M.D., a pioneer of the Abortion Pill Reversal process. “Our studies have consistently shown an up to 68% effectiveness rate versus only up to 23% fetal survival if nothing is done. And over 3,000 babies are now alive and represent a wave of abortion survivors that are a living voice for the unborn. Let’s make this emergency use protocol available for the moms that change their minds about abortion.”

In addition to the groundless claim that the APR protocol is a “flawed theory,” the abortion industry and its apologists also claim the protocol is ineffective, but the facts tell a different story.

“Abortion proponents claim that the effectiveness rate of Abortion Pill Reversal is simply the ‘failure’ rate of mifepristone, but the numbers don’t add up,” said Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., director of Research for National Right to Life. “The ‘failure rate’ of mifepristone when taken alone is between 20-50%, but this is not the rate at which babies survived the mifepristone abortion. Instead, the percentage of 20-50% represents incomplete abortions where at least part of the baby or material from the pregnancy is left in the womb. The baby may be dead, but if all of the tissue has not passed, the pill is considered ineffective.”

Along with the abortion industry’s allies misrepresenting the success rate of APR, other misinformation and omissions in the letter include the following:

*Both doctors quoted in Chairman Nadler’s letter, Dr. Creinin and Dr. Grossman, are abortionists as well as abortion researchers and advocates.

*Claims that Creinin’s “research” showed the APR progesterone boost protocol to be dangerous are inconsistent with his actual study data. Dr. Creinin downplayed the fact that of the three women in his study who experienced heavy bleeding, the two requiring surgery and blood transfusions were from his placebo group that did not receive progesterone. The other patient from the progesterone group who sought emergency help for bleeding — a known side effect of mifepristone— ultimately did not require surgical intervention or a blood transfusion.

*Among those in Creinin’s research who took the progesterone boost and went the full study period, 80% were still pregnant at the study’s completion. This was more than twice the number of the placebo patients who completed the course.

To sum up, the actual results of Creinin’s study, if they show anything, tend to make it appear that APR using a progesterone boost is safe and does work, and that the most significant danger is associated with taking mifepristone and then doing nothing, as Creinin’s placebo patients did.

This is not the first time that the abortion industry and its apologists have used misleading information to score political points.

In 1995, Congress held hearings on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which was based on a model law developed by National Right to Life. The debate over the bill led to over a decade of work by NRLC and its affiliates to see the law passed on the federal level and in many states. (The Supreme Court ultimately ruled the federal law constitutional in 2007.)

At one point in the Congressional hearings on the legislation, pro-abortion groups and affiliated “experts” testified that anesthesia administered to the mother crossed over the placental barrier and killed the unborn baby before a partial-birth abortion procedure was done.

This alarmed anesthesiologists who were hearing from pregnant mothers terrified that their babies were going to die if they had to have a surgical procedure involving anesthesia. In response, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In its testimony, the ASA said that the claim that anesthesia kills a fetus/baby had “absolutely no basis in scientific fact,” and that the claim was “misleading and potentially dangerous” to pregnant women, since it could potentially prevent them from agreeing to anesthesia for medically necessary procedures out of fear of harming their babies.

“Pro-abortions groups and their allies have a history of promoting misinformation and rewriting the truth to bend it to their will,” said Carol Tobias. “This does irrevocable damage to women seeking to save their babies’ lives through the Abortion Pill Reversal protocol.”

Continued Tobias, “However, it shouldn’t be surprising since the abortion industry is all about making money—at the expense of women and their unborn children.”

Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of affiliates in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.