Bills about stigma and lies

Note: Political attacks on abortion rights through lies and stigma are constantly changing. Bookmark this page and check back as we’ll update you on the latest news.

Abortion opponents in Ohio are continuing their efforts to stigmatize abortion with medically-inaccurate information and unproven, potentially dangerous, practices. 

Abortion providers rely on scientifically accurate and thoroughly researched protocols to support patients before, during, and after an abortion. With House Bill 378, Rep. Kyle Koehler and Sarah Fowler Arthur are trying to mislead patients and discredit abortion providers by trying to force doctors to lie to patients, potentially putting people’s health in danger. The bill demands physicians make false statements specifically about medicines that anti-abortion organizations claim interrupt the abortion process.

A note on language: The concept being promoted in this bill is not an “abortion reversal,” as the bill sponsors claim. Stopping a procedure mid-way through the process is not the same as reversing it. “Reversal” is not a medical term used by medical professionals. We have asked media to refrain from repeating this false claim.

Patients need medically accurate information, not scripts dictated by politicians filled with deception and ideologically-driven claims.

Please join us in telling the Ohio House of Representatives to reject this bill using the form below.

Additional background

From NPR: Researchers from the University of California, Davis, were investigating claims that the hormone progesterone can stop a medication-based abortion after a patient has completed the first part of the two-step process.

For the study, the researchers aimed to enroll 40 women who were scheduled to have surgical abortions. Before their surgical procedures, the women received mifepristone, the first pill in the two-medication regimen that’s used for medical abortions. The women were then randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or progesterone, which advocates claim can block the effects of mifepristone.

But researchers stopped the study in July, 2019, after only 12 women had enrolled. Three of the women required ambulance transport to a hospital for treatment of severe vaginal bleeding. The researchers decided the risk to women of participation was too great to continue with the study. The study was unable to show what, if any, effectiveness progesterone has in reversing a medical abortion.

From the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

Facts are important, especially when discussing the health of women and the American public. Claims regarding abortion “reversal” treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) ranks its recommendations on the strength of the evidence,i and does not support prescribing progesterone to stop a medical abortion.

Yet, politicians are pushing legislation to require physicians to recite a script that a medication abortion can be “reversed” with doses of progesterone, and to steer women to this care. Unfounded legislative mandates represent dangerous political interference and compromise patient care and safety.

From Planned Parenthood: Anti-abortion advocates and lawmakers insist that abortion reversal should be offered to any pregnant person seeking a medical abortion; however, offering this procedure is extremely problematic. Studies supporting this procedure are not backed by an institutional review board or ethical review committee, raising concern for the protection of human subjects in these hormonal experiments. Mifepristone alone does not terminate pregnancies – in fact, as many as half of women who take only mifepristone continue their pregnancies. Therefore, there is no data to support that the injection of progesterone is what is “reversing” abortions. Forcing doctors to share this information supports the narrative that people often regret their abortion, which is not the reality.