Idaho Gov. Otter signs Abortion Pill Reversal Bill

By Dave Andrusko

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter

When Gov. Butch Otter signed SB 1243 into law on Tuesday, Idaho joined Utah, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Arizona in updating their informed consent packet so that women will know they may change their mind about a chemical abortion half-way through the two-drug technique—the Abortion Pill Reversal.

Chemical abortions account for almost half of all of the abortions performed in Idaho.

Last week on a vote of 55-11, the Idaho House joined the Senate, which had earlier passed SB 1243 on an equally overwhelming vote of 29-6. In both houses the vote was straight party-line: all Republicans in favor, all Democrats opposed.

Chemical abortions [“RU-486”] involve two drugs: Mifeprex, taken at the abortion clinic, and then 48-72 hours later, misoprostol, a prostaglandin. The Abortion Pill Reversal technique is premised on the woman not taking the second drug and being given large dosages of progesterone in order to counteract the effect of the first pill.

According to all media accounts, the debate Monday in the House was fiery. Pro-abortion Democrats charged that the technique was unethical and unproven. Tell that to the mothers of over 300 healthy babies who have been saved by this reversal protocol and the over 100 women are currently pregnant awaiting delivery.

Credit goes to Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review who provided many quotes from House speakers on both sides.

“These are babies we’re talking about,” Rep. Karey Hanks told the House. “It’s difficult, it’s almost impossible for me to speak because I feel this so strongly. These aborted, these are pre-born babies. I just want to remind us who are Republicans that in our platform, it talks about right to life, that we reaffirm our support for the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.”

Rep. Barbara Ehardt said

“What a humbling and historic opportunity we have right now … to give them hope again … to restore life, to be a mother… Truly this is historic, why wouldn’t we want to be a part of this today, why wouldn’t we want to be a part of something that could potentially change lives? … Life is precious and we should know that,” she said. “Please vote life.”

Russell reported that Rep. John VanderWoude added he was moved by what he saw at the committee hearing on the bill.

“I don’t know what more evidence we need that it works, if you see a healthy child standing right there in front of you,” he said.

Kerry Uhlenkott, Legislative Coordinator for Right to Life of Idaho, testified that

Right to Life of Idaho strongly supports S1243 the Abortion Pill Reversal Informed Consent Legislation.

A woman has the right to know if she changes her mind after taking the first abortion pill, RU-486, that there is a possibility that she may be able to reverse the chemical abortion procedure.

That is all this legislation intends to do. It simply helps inform women about the abortion pill reversal procedure if she changes her mind. The choice is still hers to make.

Abortion Pill Reversal has been developed by prolife doctors and researchers. It has proven to be safe and effective. There have already been more than 2600 women who have called the Abortion Pill Reversal hotline. The APR Medical Director has stated that when women are given the opportunity to reverse the effect of the abortion pill, they are extremely grateful for a second chance to save their baby.

There is a great need for women to be more aware of the possibility of abortion pill reversal. A number of women have told the APR Hotline nurses that when they changed their minds and called the abortion clinic personnel asking about reversal, they were falsely told that “there is no possibility of reversal” or that “your baby is sure to have birth defects if you continue with the pregnancy.” This is another reason which clearly supports the need to get this information about the reversal protocol to women.