Bill to inform women of abortion pill reversal passes Tennessee House
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Update, June 3, 2020, 2:24 PM: This piece has been updated with a more current estimate of the number of lives saved by abortion pill reversal.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, June 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Tennessee House voted 71-22 Monday to approve legislation requiring that abortion-minded women seeking abortion pills be given information on how to reverse them should they change their mind.
The bill requires women seeking a chemical to be made aware of the Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) technique. The abortion pill mifepristone (better known as RU-486) works by blocking the natural hormone progesterone that developing babies require to survive. APR consists of administering extra progesterone to counteract mifepristone’s effects, ideally within 24 hours of taking the abortion pill.
Specifically, anyone dispensing abortion pills must inform women of the possibility of reversal in person or by phone (depending on how the drugs are being dispensed), as well as post the information in the waiting areas of any facility that commits more than 50 abortions per year. Failure to comply could result in a $10,000 civil penalty as well as a felony charge.
“There are many pro-life bills each year, but this one has proven that it will save actual lives as it has already saved over 900 across the country,” said Will Brewer, Legislative Liaison for Tennessee Right to Life. “It is our hope that pro-life legislators will support this opportunity to give a woman all the information available about all her options especially when she may want to change her mind about an abortion decision. This information is important for the women of our state and their children.”
Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee is pro-life. Whether the bill will reach his desk remains to be seen, as Senate leaders have indicated they are not currently interested in considering legislation not related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Associated Press reported.
Detractors argue that APR is harmful and unproven, but as pro-life OB/GYN Dr. William Lile has explained, the technique is based on principles that are well understood from progesterone’s common, FDA-approved use in a variety of other pregnancy-related situations. APR has helped more than 1,000 women save their babies since 2007, according to Heartbeat International.