The American Medical Association (AMA) wants to stop two North Dakota laws designed to ensure women receive accurate information about abortion. The AMA, along with the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Red River Women’s Clinic (a abortion facility in North Dakota), and the facility’s medical director, claimed in a lawsuit filed two weeks ago that the laws violate the First Amendment rights of abortionists by giving them state-mandated messages for their patients.
One of the laws requires abortionists to tell women about the reversal process for drug-induced abortions, which can sometimes be stopped after they have begun if a mother changes her mind. The reversal process, pioneered by physician George Delgado, involves progesterone treatments to reverse the effects of the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone, which acts as a progesterone blocker, cutting off the nutrient and oxygen supply to the baby. A second drug, misoprostol, sends the mother into labor.
Delgado’s latest study, published in 2018, followed 547 women who took progesterone treatments after taking mifepristone. It found that depending on the method of administration, progesterone was up to 68 percent effective. Of the women in his study, 257 gave birth after taking mifepristone.
The AMA lawsuit called the abortion reversal process “a patently false and unproven claim unsupported by scientific evidence.”
Medora Nagle, director of North Dakota Right to Life, told me she found the lawsuit surprising. “Why are they so determined to keep women in the dark?” she asked. “This is not an undue burden; it is simply providing information. This law is about empowering women and making sure they have all of the information before making a decision of this magnitude.”
Andrea Trudden, a spokeswoman for Heartbeat International, told me that with the help of Delgado’s organization, Abortion Pill Rescue Network—which Heartbeat International now manages—mothers have given birth to 750 babies after taking mifepristone. She said the abortion pill reversal process is nothing new. Doctors have used progesterone treatment to attempt to prevent miscarriage for at least 50 years, though studies have found differing results about its effectiveness.
“Progesterone is a natural hormone in a woman’s body that is necessary to nurture and sustain a pregnancy,” Trudden said. “It is unfortunate that the AMA would recommend that doctors deny information and care to women who may regret taking the abortion pill. Every woman should know about abortion pill reversal so she can have hope if she changes her mind.”
The AMA also filed suit against a state law requiring abortionists to tell women that abortion ends “the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”