NRL News

Attack on abortion pill reversal once again fails to state the facts

by | Sep 8, 2022

By Cassy Fiano-Chesser

Abortion pill reversal is an opportunity for women who regret their decision to have a second chance, and it has reportedly saved thousands of preborn lives. Yet the abortion industry — which frequently flouts abortion pill FDA protocols and which claims to advocate for women’s choice — has fought to undermine abortion pill reversal at every chance, denigrating it as nothing more than a tool used by the pro-life movement to hurt women.

Kate Knibbs, a senior writer for Wired, said, “The first time I heard about it, I didn’t understand why abortion pill reversal was a flashpoint in this culture war. It sounds like the rare thing pro-choice and antiabortion people could wholeheartedly agree on, a choice to not have an abortion. Win, win,” she wrote.

However, she eventually arrived at the conclusion that abortion pill reversal is a nefarious tactic used by pro-lifers to reframe the debate around abortion.

How it works

Mifepristone is the first drug in the abortion pill regimen, and works by blocking the pregnancy hormone progesterone, depriving the preborn child of oxygen and nutrients. Misoprostol is given next to induce contractions, forcing the baby’s body out of the mother’s uterus. The abortion pill reversal treatment administers progesterone to counteract the effects of mifepristone, ensuring the baby is able to continue growing and thriving.

Progesterone is not a new treatment. It was the first hormone to be discovered, dating back to the 1600s, and it has been used to prevent miscarriages since the 1950s. Today, it is estimated that using progesterone when miscarriage is threatened could save over 8,000 preborn children each year. Yet Knibbs only claimed:

… abortion pill reversal is not promoted by mainstream medical organizations. It has never been approved by the FDA, nor has it been tested in a randomized controlled trial. Many doctors worry that this treatment has simply not been studied enough to be safe to prescribe. In fact, the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists—the most prominent professional association for ob-gyns in the United States, with over 60,000 members—explicitly rejects abortion pill reversal.

Christina Francis, a board member and CEO-elect of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), was interviewed briefly by Knibbs. “There’s no increased risk of complications to mom and no increased risk of birth defects for baby,” she said, adding of ACOG, “Their claim that it’s not supported by the science is completely false.”

This brief statement was overshadowed by lengthy paragraphs dedicated to arguments given by numerous abortionists as to why abortion pill reversal is either dangerous, unethical, or does not work.

Mitchell Creinin

Knibbs said ACOG told her to speak to abortionist Mitchell Creinin, the principal investigator of a study into abortion pill reversal at University of California-Davis. In his study, some women were given a placebo after taking mifepristone, while the other women were given progesterone to counteract the drug. Creinin told Knibbs abortion pill reversal is “bogus crap,” and she unquestioningly reprinted his propaganda as to why it allegedly does not work.

“[T]he 2020 study had to be stopped early when three women (two who took the placebo, and one who took the progesterone) experienced bleeding heavy enough to send them to the emergency room,” she wrote. “There has not been another attempt to clinically test the reversal process since, and Creinin does not believe it should be offered as a treatment without sufficient evidence.”

Notice that only one of the three hospitalized women who hemorrhaged had received progesterone (reversal treatment), which does not have a known risk for hemorrhage. The other two received only the abortion pill, which does carry with it a known risk for hemorrhage.

What Knibbs did not point out is that Creinin has a vested interest in making sure the abortion pill regimen is widely accepted and available. Creinin is not only an abortionist, but was also a paid consultant for abortion pill manufacturer Danco Laboratories, and the study was sponsored by the University of California-Davis and the Society of Family Planning, which both have strong ties to abortion.

The other authors on the study likewise had ties to pro-abortion interests. Laura Dalton is the Chief Medical Officer for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s managing board. Laura Steward is the former chief operating officer for FPA Women’s Health, an abortion chain. So Creinin and his co-authors all have a financial incentive to keep the abortion pill in-demand by the public — but none of that was noted by Knibbs. 

Knibbs also left out some important information from Creinin’s study that not only showed that — despite his small sample size — the abortion pill reversal regimen is not only safe, but it works. Twice as many patients who were given progesterone instead of a placebo saw their pregnancies continue, and twice as many patients who received the placebo were transported to the hospital via ambulance.

Christina Francis previously responded to the accusations of danger in Creinin’s study in a statement to Live Action News, saying, “It actually was only one woman who received progesterone that was taken to the hospital and two who received placebo. The one who received progesterone completed her abortion and required no further treatment. The two who did NOT receive progesterone both had to have emergency surgery and one had to have a transfusion.” (emphasis added)

Daniel Grossman

Daniel Grossman is the director of the University of California-San Francisco’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, which trains future abortionists. He is also a senior adviser at Ibis Reproductive Health, which is funded by — once again — Danco Laboratories, the abortion pill manufacturer. He has also served as a National Abortion Federation (NAF) board member, and as a consultant to both Planned Parenthood Federation and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

He has also heavily advocated the “no-test” protocol for the abortion pill in which women undergo the procedure without seeing a doctor, undergoing an ultrasound, or ruling out any contraindications. Without testing, a woman may not know if she has an extrauterine pregnancy or what her child’s true gestational age is. A provider would also be unaware if she is being coerced into an abortion.

Grossman has stated that, in a post-Roe environment, women who take the abortion pill and experience complications should go to the emergency room and lie to their doctors, saying they had a miscarriage.

Knibbs is completely reliant upon people heavily invested in promoting abortion to discredit something that gives women a second chance, if they want it. The only real reason to oppose abortion pill reversal is because it threatens abortion; it shows that the notion of post-abortion regret is real, no matter how much abortion advocates try to deny it.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.