Senate Committee Advances 'Anti-Science' Abortion Reversal Bill

Apr 1, 2021

Indiana doctors would be forced to tell patients about an abortion reversal protocol that leading medical organizations say might not work and could be dangerous.
Credit Brandon Smith / IPB News

Parents giving consent for their child for an abortion would have to get that consent notarized under legislation approved by a Senate panel Wednesday.

Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne) said the reason for requiring notarization of parental consent for abortion is straightforward.

“We want to make sure that it is actually the parent,” Brown said, raising concerns about potential sex trafficking.

But Dr. Tracey Wilkinson said notarization adds costs, time and potential breaches of privacy for no legitimate reason.

“There are no other medical procedure consent requiring notarization in our state," Wilkinson said. "And singling this one out, again, is stigmatizing it.”

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Under the same measure, HB 1577, Indiana doctors would be forced to tell patients about an abortion reversal protocol that leading medical organizations say might not work and could be dangerous.

Medication-induced abortions are a two-step process. Patients take one pill, then a second to complete it. The legislation supported by Dr. Christina Francis would require doctors to tell patients their abortion can be halted and reversed if they don’t take the second pill.

“If we truly care about women being able to make informed choices, this should include knowing there’s an option if they change their mind," Francis said. "Why would we want women to live with the regret of an abortion if they don’t have to?”

The measure also requires doctors to direct women to a website – not listed in the bill – where they can find more information about purported abortion reversal.

But Wilkinson noted the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says the abortion reversal claims Francis pushes are “unproven” and “unethical.”

“The state legislature should not ethically mandate a physician to tell a patient these falsehoods that could ultimately endanger their lives,” Wilkinson said.

Similar abortion reversal measures in other states have been struck down in federal court.

The bill is headed to the full Senate.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.