NRL News

Science Behind Abortion Pill Reversal Published in Medical Journal

by | Apr 12, 2018

By Indiana Right to Life

Dr. George Delgado

Last year, Indiana helped lead a national conversation on abortion pill* reversal by holding a legislative hearing on the topic. State Rep. Ben Smaltz (District 52), Chairman of the Indiana House Public Policy Committee, brought a bill on abortion pill reversal for a hearing. Committee members heard from more than 10 individuals on both sides of the issue. We wrote about those speaking on our side:

Testifying to the medical science and the success of using an abortion pill reversal protocol were two Indiana, board certified doctors, Casey Reising, M.D. of Indianapolis and Christina Francis, M.D. of Fort Wayne. Both have helped women go on to deliver healthy babies after they regretted taking the first pill in the chemical abortion process. Committee members also heard from a woman who participated in the abortion pill reversal process after regretting her decision to abort. She now has a healthy son.

After the hearing, Indiana was cited in national articles on the topic, like this one from the Washington Post. People wondered if abortion pill reversal truly was possible, and what the science behind reversal was.

A new study from Dr. George Delgado was just published in the peer-reviewed, medical journal, Issues in Law and Medicine. Delgado is on the forefront of abortion pill reversal by pioneering the medical protocol for stopping an abortion after it has already begun. He also founded the Abortion Pill Reversal Network, which helps women who change their minds shortly after taking the first abortion pill in the two-pill regimen.

Culture of Life Family Services summarized Delgado’s newly-published study:

The study, looking at 261 successful mifepristone reversals, showed that the reversal success rates were 68 percent with the high-dose oral progesterone protocol and 64 percent with the injected progesterone protocol; both were significantly better rates than the 25 percent survival rate if no treatment is offered. There was no increased risk of birth defects or preterm births. Progesterone has been used safely in pregnancy for over 40 years.

What this means is exactly what was shared last year in the Indiana legislative hearing: if a woman changes her mind about abortion shortly after taking the first pill [mifepristone] in the two-pill chemical abortion process, it may be possible to stop the abortion and reverse the first pill’s effects. Delgado’s protocol involves giving women large doses of progesterone in order to counteract the first pill.

The number “261” cited in Delgado’s study isn’t just a number. Rather, 261 refers to 261 children alive today because their mothers regretted starting an abortion. 261 mothers worked with doctors willing to try progesterone in order to successfully stop the abortion that was already starting. 261 children had a birthday because of abortion pill reversal.

As we already knew and as the study confirms, not every chemical abortion can be reversed. The study doesn’t reveal a 100 percent success rate. Nor does every woman who changes her mind get started on progesterone as quickly as is needed.

But abortion pill reversal is real. And works for many women. Like Smaltz told the Indy Star last year: “We’re just saying you have the right to try.”

Indiana’s 2017 bill aimed to give woman information that abortion pill reversal might be possible if she changed her mind. We believe giving woman more information is a good thing. Women should have the right to try.

Indiana Right to Life will continue to advocate for informed consent measures, like abortion pill reversal information, because these practices save lives. We long for the day that abortion is both unthinkable and unlawful, but until then we’ll keep fighting to save as many lives as we can. And you can count on Indiana to stay on the leading-edge of pro-life efforts.

Anyone who has taken the first abortion pill and wishes to stop the abortion is urged to immediately visit or call the Abortion Pill Reversal hotline at 877-558-0333.

*Abortion pill abortions are also called “chemical” or “medical” abortions.