By Dave Andrusko
I try always to be fair, especially to those writers whose personal opposition to our position is clear but who, as reporters, by and large do a fair job in reporting any phase of the abortion debate.
Enter Ruth Graham, writing for Slate.com.
Her topic? Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) which is important to pro-lifers, for obvious reasons, and almost as important to pro-abortionists for reasons that at first glance, seem more complicated.
After all, if you honestly believe in “choice,” why would you go to DEFCON 1 over the prospect that some women who regret beginning a chemical abortion have the chance to reverse that decision before it’s too late?
The headline to Graham’s piece is “Abortion Reversal Seems Possible. We Still Shouldn’t Promote It.” What’s fascinating about her post is she acknowledges that there is more evidence (but not enough, in her view and in the view of abortionist/abortion apologists such as Daniel Grossman) that the technique can work.
Indeed, from my admittedly biased perspective, Graham makes a far stronger case that APR will work than she does that it shouldn’t be “promoted.”
For those who aren’t up to speed on this, chemical abortions/medical abortions/medication abortions/”RU-486” all refer to the same two-drug technique. The promise of APR is that as many as 68% of the women who do not take the second drug carry their babies to term.
As Graham noted (in a backhanded admission/compliment), “Abortion reversal isn’t quite as outlandish at it sounds.” Even the most vociferous critic—Grossman—conceded to the Washington Post that the regimen “makes some biological sense.”
Graham explains APR succinctly: “Because the mifepristone pill [the first drug] essentially blocks progesterone, known as the ‘pregnancy hormone,’ the idea behind reversal is to overwhelm the woman’s system with progesterone before the mifepristone has a chance to take effect.”
What’s changed in the debate over the last week is a study we posted about just yesterday. The study appeared in Issues in Law & Medicine and was a much larger study (547 women). As noted, it certainly wasn’t everything critics wanted, but it provided additional evidence APR works.
What do critics (by and large) mean by “promotion”? Requiring that state informed consent law include information that a chemical abortion can be reversed. In the interests of genuine informed consent, why shouldn’t this be done?
Well, as we’ll see, the arguments against are hardly convincing.
We’re told not that many women will want to reverse their abortions. Critics (and Graham as well) tell us that the percentage of chemical abortions keep going up. That alone will mean potentially there will be more women with second thoughts. And if the effectiveness of APR becomes more widely known, the numbers can only increase.
“Unethical”? That’s the fall-back position of the pro-abortion ACOG in its latest statement. But as Graham keenly points out, that statement was issued “because of concerns about Delgado’s smaller early case series.” (ACOG’s statement does not even address the issue of effectiveness.)
The “strongest” reason (in a manner of speaking) is this. Please read it carefully:
[Abortion] Providers emphasize that the goal when administering the abortion pill should be to make sure patients feel fully confident in the decision, rather than telling them they can always undo it later if they change their mind. And the reversal research is still preliminary.
Get it? You have to keep the abortion train rolling. Don’t tell a woman she could have a second chance. She might take it!
And, once more to her credit, after spending time belittling arguments that there are aftereffects to abortion (physical, psychological, and emotional), Graham’s last paragraph includes this statement:
Some women, however, clearly do waver about their decision to end a pregnancy. The circumstances around abortion are often complicated, and the decision itself is a fork in the road between two entirely different lives; it would be more surprising to find that no one ever had second thoughts about their choice.
The study in the latest Issues in Law & Medicine is not going to halt pro-abortion criticisms. If the day were to come when APR became 100% effective at reversing a chemical abortion, Grossman and ACOG and Planned Parenthood and the rest of the usual suspects would still oppose “state-mandated promotion.”
Why? First, because they have a financial investment in the nearly one million abortions a year. Second, because they really believe in abortion as a “solution.”
And most important of all, because there can never, ever be enough abortions.