States embrace Second Chance at Life

By Ingrid Duran, Director, State Legislation

Editor’s note. This appears in the April digital edition of National Right to Life News. Please be sure to read all 40 pages and pass stories along using your social media contacts.

About four years ago, state legislatures began slowly enacting laws that amended their informed consent statutes to include an exciting new provision.

Henceforth abortion-minded women would receive additional information that if they were undergoing the two-drug chemical abortion technique, they could reverse the intended effects of the abortion pill.

How? By not taking the second drug (misoprostol) and by negating the impact of the first drug (mifepristone) by flooding the woman’s system with progesterone. This second chance at life option would be in their informed consent booklets and on the state’s department of health website.

States were slow to come around to considering this vital piece of legislation because (a) it was new, and (b) pro-abortionists dismissed it (as they always do)as nothing more than ”junk science.”

Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” And that is the type of dedication and fortitude that it took when two doctors, Dr. George Delgado and Dr. Matthew Harrison, attempted the seemingly impossible.

They invented the abortion pill reversal process. They realized the possibility of giving women a second chance if she changed her mind after beginning the chemical abortion process. So far, this process has saved over 500 babies and counting! These babies’ lives would have been ended if it wasn’t for this reversal technique.

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of testifying in Nebraska on behalf of their abortion pill reversal information legislation. I had the honor of meeting Rebekah Hagan whose son was saved by the reversal process. Listening to her testimony and realizing that her baby was saved filled the room with possibility and hope.

The opposition, however, predictably tried to dismantle that hope by claiming that it was unscientific, if not dangerous to women, and that it somehow violated the doctor-patient relationship. (Side note: these were the same people who testified moments later on a different bill in Nebraska that would repeal the webcam abortion ban.)

Isn’t having true informed consent—giving a woman all her options—at the heart of the doctor-patient relationship? And what about those more than 500 babies who have been saved

Then I started to think about all of the other doctors who came before Dr. Delgado and Dr. Harrison who were publicly ridiculed, told that they were wrong, told that their ideas were bunk.

Take Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis whose novel idea on reducing bacterial infections by antiseptic hand washing was pilloried because this went against established scientific practices. (Physicians also thought it was humiliating to have to wash their hands.)

Almost one-third of the women in hospitals in America and Europe were dying in childbirth at the time. But once his ideas were adopted, Dr. Semmelweis came to be known as the “savior of mothers.”

Then there is Dr. Martin Couney who brought incubators to the United States for use with preterm infants. It was instantly rejected by the medical establishment. (One reason was doctors thought it caring for preemies was both too expensive and almost always pointless.)

But Dr. Couney did not give up. He put the incubators on display in Coney Island, New York. He charged 25 cents for people to see babies in incubators and used the money to save as many preterm infants as possible so the parents wouldn’t have to shoulder the cost.

It wasn’t until 36 years later that Cornell’s New York Hospital took that idea seriously and started training and using incubators for preemies. Do we really want to wait 36 years to save unborn children? I should hope not.

It’s also worth mentioning that two years ago a New York Times Magazine article quoted pro-abortion Dr. Harvey Kliman who serves as the medical director of a reproductive and placental unit at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Kliman said if one of his daughters mistakenly took mifepristone while pregnant, he would also use the same protocol developed by Dr. Delgado and Dr. Harrison. “It makes biological sense,” he said simply, adding, “I think this is actually totally feasible.”

The notion that women have a right to know that halfway throughout the chemical abortion the process could be halted is finally gaining steam.

Prior to the 2019 State Legislative session only five states (Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, South Dakota, and Utah) had laws on their books that provided this important piece of information. It’s only the beginning of April and so far it was introduced in six states (Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Carolina, and North Dakota), along with Arkansas which amended their existing law by strengthening it to require written notice after the woman is given the first dose of the abortion cocktail.

The Arkansas law was signed. Kentucky and North Dakota also passed it bringing the number of states to seven. I am hopeful to add a few more states before legislatures adjourn.

Last week Representative Mike Conaway (R-Tx.) introduced the “ Second Chance at Life Act” based on National Right to Life’s model abortion pill reversal information. “Several states already require women seeking a chemical abortion to be notified of their options, but it’s critical that women across the country have access to this life-saving information,” he said. “I am proud to introduce this legislation , and proud to stand for life always.”

Abortion pill reversal information laws are pro-woman, pro-life, and pro-choice. Why are the people who label themselves as “pro-choice” vehemently opposed to these laws? Why are they opposed to giving women information?

These laws provide women with a second chance at life. Doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance?