Oklahoma legislature sends abortion pill reversal law to pro-life governor’s desk
OKLAHOMA CITY, April 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Oklahoma appears poised to become the latest state to mandate that women considering chemical abortions be informed about the possibility of reversing them, thanks to legislation that won final approval in the state legislature this week.
Abortion pill reversal consists of administering extra progesterone to counteract the effects of the abortion drug Mifepristone (better known as RU-486), ideally within 24 hours of taking the abortion pill. Its pioneers credit it with helping more than 400 women save their babies since 2007, and say they have even had successes when the treatment begins within 72 hours of taking the abortion pill. Overall, they say they have seen a 55 percent success rate, meaning that while reversing a chemical abortion is far from certain, it has the capacity to save many babies.
Senate Bill 614 requires that, at least 72 hours before dispensing Mifepristone as well as after the initial dose, abortionists must inform women in writing that it may be possible to reverse the effects of the first dose as well as where they can find help in doing so. Refusing to provide the information would be a felony, and any facility that refuses to post the information would be subject to a $10,000 fine.
The bill passed the House 74-24, KFOR reported.
"A number of women have regret after the abortion. They may have a regret during the process but, if they don’t know there may be a way to reverse the process, then they just don’t know," said Republican state Rep. Mark Lepak, the bill’s author. "There are a lot of things in this world that, once you make a decision, you can’t undo. This is perhaps one that you can change your mind and you still have some hope that you could deliver a happy, healthy baby."
ACLU of Oklahoma legal director Jill Webb suggested they might sue if the bill is signed into law, claiming it runs afoul of the First Amendment by “compell(ing doctors) to say something you don’t believe.” In fact, informed consent (which the American Medical Association calls “fundamental in both ethics and law”) is extensively regulated without controversy in most areas of medicine.
Dr. Melinda Cail with Primary Health Partners objected on the grounds that “physicians will find it hard to swallow something that could be a felony that was based on such a small sample” of seven patients, but Lepak argued the evidence has grown since that study.
"A couple of years ago, 2017, in another state — at that point, there were over 200 cases, 200 children that were born when their mother went through the reversal process," he said. "Today, there are over 500."
Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt is expected to sign SB 614 into law. He said during last year’s gubernatorial campaign that he would “protect life every single day that I'm governor” and sign any “legislation that hits my desk to protect life.”