Catholic World Report

Pro-abortion groups seek to block Indiana law over abortion pill reversal

Atiwich Kaewchum/Shutterstock.

Pro-abortion groups this week asked a federal judge to block a new law in Indiana, set to take effect this summer, which would require doctors to inform women taking the “abortion pill” that it is possible for the effects of the first drug in the regimen to be reversed.

In a lawsuit filed May 18 in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, several pro-abortion advocacy groups, including Planned Parenthood, asked a judge to block the law, which was signed into law last month and is set to take effect in July.

Medical abortions, procured by way of a two-drug abortion pill regimen, have become an increasingly common method of abortion in the United States, making up 30-40 percent of all abortions. The method accounted for nearly half of all abortions performed in Indiana in 2019, acccording to state statistics.

The two drugs involved are mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone effectively starves the unborn baby by blocking the effects of the pregnancy hormone progesterone. The second drug, misoprostol, is taken up to two days later and induces labor.

The Indiana law would require doctors to inform women that it is possible to halt the medication abortion process if the woman changes her mind after taking the first pill. The reversal process entails emergency, ongoing doses of progesterone for the mother.

Six states have already passed similar laws, while the laws in three states— North Dakota, Tennessee, and Oklahoma— are on hold because of legal challenges, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.

The Indiana law would also ban the ordering of medication abortions via telemedicine. While U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules require the first drug to be dispensed in clinics or hospitals by doctors or other medical providers who are specially certified, they do not require that providers see patients in person. As a result, some clinics allow women to consult via video.

The groups proffering the lawsuit argue that the law forces doctors to relay “a bogus claim that may lead some patients to have an abortion based on the mistaken belief that they can later undo its effects.” The plaintiffs assert that there exists “no credible or reliable scientific evidence” that the effects of mifepristone can be reversed.

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