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Arizona abortionists must tell women chemical procedure can be reversed

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey at a bill-signing ceremony. Associated Press/Photo by Ross D. Franklin, File

Arizona abortionists must tell women chemical procedure can be reversed

Arizona’s governor signed into law Monday a bill that prohibits abortion insurance from being purchased through Obamacare’s taxpayer-subsidized insurance program. The bill also requires abortionists to inform women that two-step chemical abortions can be reversed.

Both legislative houses passed the bill along party lines after a House committee amended it to include the informed consent requirement. The abortion insurance prohibition prevents women from buying taxpayer subsidized abortion insurance except in cases of rape, incest, or threats to the health of the mother.

“The American people overwhelmingly oppose taxpayer funding of abortions, and it’s no different in Arizona, where we have long-standing policy against subsidizing them with public dollars,” pro-life Gov. Doug Ducey said. “This legislation provides clarity to state law.”

The informed consent requirement is the first law of its kind to pass in the United States. The law’s critics, including Kathleen Morrell, an abortionist with Physicians for Reproductive Health, said no scientific evidence supports the bill and the reversal process isn’t well researched.

But pro-life doctor Allan Sawyer said he recently reversed a chemical abortion at 10 weeks. A young woman reached Sawyer through the website after Planned Parenthood staff workers said her abortion couldn’t be stopped.

In a chemical abortion, a woman takes two pills. The first contains mifepristone, a drug that detaches the embryo from the uterus. The second drug, misoprostol induces contractions. But if the woman has only taken the first pill, a high dosage of progesterone can stop the process. The practice isn’t well known, but some pro-life groups like Culture of Life Family Services (CLFS) are working to promote it.

So far, 230 physicians can reverse abortions, and some organizations want to place an “Emergency Abortion Pill Reversal Kit” in emergency rooms and urgent care clinics across the United States, WORLDreported in February. Between May 2012 and December 2014, the few physicians who do reverse abortions saved 78 babies with 51 still unborn. More than 40 women per month call CLFS’s hotline.

While Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona President Bryan Howard said the new law interferes with women’s medical decisions, pro-life advocates in Arizona view the law as a victory for women.

“Countless more lives will be saved, and women spared a lifetime of regret,” Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy told Reuters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Courtney Crandell Courtney is a former WORLD correspondent.

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