What is Abortion Pill Reversal, and is it Safe?
What Would You Say?
You’re in a conversation and someone says, “Abortion pill reversal is unproven and unsafe for women.”
What would you say?
Join Dr. Christina Francis, board-certified OB-GYN and CEO of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as she explains what abortion pill reversal is and four key points about why this process is actually proven and safe.
1. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, but this blockade can be reversed.
2. Natural progesterone has been used safely in early pregnancy for decades.
3. Studies done by opponents of abortion pill reversal show that it works.
4. More than 4,000 babies are alive today because of abortion pill reversal.
Disclaimer: Information provided in this video is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not professional medical advice; is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition and does not substitute for consultation with healthcare professionals. If you are in immediate need of medical assistance, please contact a qualified healthcare professional right away.
You’re in a conversation and someone says, “Abortion pill reversal is unproven and unsafe for women.” What would you say? Hi, I’m Dr. Christina Francis, board-certified OB-GYN and CEO of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. What’s often called the “abortion pill” is actually a two-pill chemical abortion process. In 2000, the FDA approved the two-pill regimen as an alternative to surgical abortion. By 2020, chemical abortions made up nearly 54% of all abortions in the United States. The first pill taken in the chemical abortion process is Mifepristone. However, after starting the process, some women regret the choice to end their preborn baby’s life. That’s why Drs. George Delgado and Matthew Harrison developed abortion pill reversal (or APR). When taken in time, APR can save the preborn baby’s life. Some claim that APR is ineffective and unsafe. Pro-abortion groups like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (“ACOG”) argue that studies supporting abortion pill reversal are either incomplete, lack appropriate oversight, or fail to report important safety outcomes. These claims are dishonest. The next time someone claims that abortion pill reversal is unproven or unsafe, remember these four things: FIRST: Mifepristone blocks progesterone, a hormone crucial for the development of the preborn baby, but this blockade can be reversed. Chemical abortion involves two pills, Mifepristone and Misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone that ensures the flow of essential nutrients to the baby. Without it, the baby will starve and die. One to two days after taking Mifepristone, the mom then takes Misoprostol, which brings on contractions to expel the dead baby from the womb. The chemical abortion process can be reversed before Misoprostol is taken, thanks to a commonly understood chemical process called Reversible Competitive Inhibition. Mifepristone is an “inhibitor.” It blocks progesterone from being able to do its job. If the mom is given natural progesterone within 72 hours of taking Mifepristone, the resulting increase in progesterone can overcome (or “outcompete”) the blockade, restoring to the preborn baby the vital nutrients he or she needs. This gives the baby a much higher chance of survival. In 2018, Dr. Delgado conducted a study with over 700 women who took progesterone to reverse their chemical abortions. The study showed a 64-68% survival rate among preborn babies. For moms who take Mifepristone, but not the second abortion pill nor progesterone, the survival rate of their babies is only 25%. Even ACOG, which calls APR unproven, recommends that women who are starting a chemical abortion regimen don’t take a particular form of birth control that includes a synthetic progesterone because it will increase the likelihood of the baby’s survival. SECOND: Natural progesterone has been used safely in early pregnancy for decades. According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, “progesterone has been used to support healthy pregnancies since the 1950s.” Natural progesterone is also commonly used for early pregnancy support in women with a history of recurrent pregnancy loss. That means healthier moms and babies! Dr. Delgado’s 2018 study also found that, for women who took progesterone to reverse their chemical abortions, the rates of preterm births and birth defects were either the same or lower than the rates of the general population. The preterm birth rate among APR babies was 2.7%, compared to the general population’s rate of 10%. The rate of birth defects among APR babies was also within the normal range at 2.7%. Not only has natural progesterone been safely used in early pregnancy for decades—it has also been shown to make a positive impact on pregnancy outcomes in certain populations. THIRD: Studies done by opponents of abortion pill reversal show that it works. In 2019, Dr. Mitchell Creinin, an abortion provider and a paid consultant for the leading U.S. producer of Mifepristone, set up a study to determine the safety and efficacy of progesterone treatment for abortion pill reversal. Dr. Creinin recruited 12 women who wanted to end their pregnancies. All the moms were given Mifepristone. Then, six were given progesterone while the other six were given a placebo. None of the moms were given Misoprostol, the second pill in the chemical abortion process. Two women dropped out of the study early, leaving five in each group for the final analysis. The study was cut short after three of the women suffered severe bleeding. That information has been used to imply that attempting to reverse the chemical abortion is unsafe—but the results of the study say otherwise. The two women with the most severe health complications were in the group given Mifepristone and the placebo. Their hemorrhaging required emergency surgery, and one even needed a blood transfusion. The third woman who experienced heavy bleeding was in the Mifepristone-plus-progesterone group but when she arrived at the hospital, she was found to have already completed her chemical abortion. Her bleeding stopped on its own. So, contrary to what pro-abortion groups often claim, the safety concerns exposed by this study are tied to Mifepristone use, not to progesterone. In fact, Dr. Creinin’s study showed the effectiveness of progesterone. In the group of women who took progesterone, four out of five still had living babies two weeks after treatment. This was double the 40% survival rate of the babies in the Mifepristone-only group. FOURTH: More than 4,000 babies are alive today because of abortion pill reversal. According to the Abortion Pill Reversal Network, over 4,000 babies have been saved through abortion pill reversal. Those moms and dads are now able to hold their babies in their arms and look forward to watching them grow up. Even doctors who are pro-choice should support providing information about abortion pill reversal to women who regret their choice to abort their baby. The 4,000-plus women who have used abortion pill reversal are proof that that regret is real—but it doesn’t have to be the last word if they can access this lifesaving treatment in time. Despite what opponents want you to think, abortion pill reversal is both safe and effective—and it can mean the difference between a lifetime of regret and a lifetime of memories. So, the next time you’re in a conversation and someone says, “Abortion pill reversal is unproven and unsafe,” remember these four things: FIRST: Mifepristone blocks progesterone, but this blockade can be reversed. SECOND: Natural progesterone has been used safely in early pregnancy for decades. THIRD: Studies done by opponents of abortion pill reversal show that it works. FOURTH: More than 4,000 babies are alive today because of abortion pill reversal.
American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists: A video helping OBGYN doctors navigate 11 falsehoods about abortion pill reversal: Watch the Video Here.