Bill telling women abortion can be halted introduced

Mar 2nd, 2017 | By | Category: Government, Health care

By Kimberlee Kruesi/Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho Senate panel introduced legislation on Wednesday requiring the state to distribute information telling women that a drug-induced abortion may be halted halfway through, despite physicians warning there’s not enough science backing up that claim.

Sen. Lori Den Hartog, a Republican from Meridian, says the goal is to give women as much information as possible before deciding to have an abortion.

“Some women regret taking the first pill and may be unaware of a medical protocol of a remedy to reverse the effects of the first pill,” said Den Hartog.

The Senate State Affairs Committee introduced the measure Wednesday after no debate or discussion, clearing it for a legislative hearing. It’s the first abortion-related legislation introduced this session.

Proponents of the idea say doctors can give a woman the hormone progesterone to stop an abortion after she has taken the first of two medications needed to complete the abortion. The idea started in 2012 when a doctor in San Diego published a paper about six women who had taken mifepristone, the first medication in the two-part medical abortion, then had a series of progesterone shots. Four of the six women had healthy babies. The other two aborted.

The research has since been questioned due to its small sample size.

Nevertheless, since 2015, Arkansas and South Dakota have enacted laws requiring doctors to tell women about it. An Arizona law was challenged in court by Planned Parenthood and later repealed. Meanwhile, similar bills are also currently under consideration in Indiana, North Carolina and Utah. A Colorado proposal was killed in a committee in the Democratic-led House earlier this month.

“Our Legislature needs to trust women and stay out of the exam room,” said Mistie Tolman, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. “This is requiring doctors to practice make-believe medicine.”

Women rarely change their minds before completing the treatment for a medical abortion, but if they do, doctors are required to report such information to the manufacturer of mifepristone, said Dr. Daniel Grossman, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at University of California, San Francisco. Between 2000 and 2012, less than 0.004 percent of women taking mifepristone changed their minds, he said.

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