By Newsweek |
Kansas House Tentatively Approves Bill Requiring Doctors to Notify Women of 'Reversible' Abortions
A bill requiring doctors and other health care professionals to inform women that some abortions are “reversible” received first-round approval on Monday from the Kansas House of Representatives.
After roughly two hours of debate, the House passed the bill on a voice vote. The proposed legislation is expected to be sent to the Senate following a final vote on Tuesday.
To induce a medical, or non-surgical abortion, two pills are required to be taken in sequence. The first is Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, and the second is called Misoprostol. The bill would require health care professionals notify patients that a doctor can intervene and halt an abortion if the first pill has been ingested but the second has not.
“It may be possible to reverse its intended effect if the second pill or tablet has not been taken or administered. If you change your mind and wish to try to continue the pregnancy, you can get immediate help by accessing available resources,” the bill says, according to The Kansas City Star.
Pro-life advocates and other supporters of the bill argue the method is viable, and women should be informed of all their options. Pro-choice advocates opposed the legislation, saying the method is unproven and considered highly controversial among medical professionals.
If passed, the law would require all private offices, hospitals, freestanding surgical outpatient clinics and other facilities administering a medical abortion to post a sign on their premises notifying patients of the “reversible” option. Those who fail to comply would be subject to a $10,000 fine. If a medical professional administers a medical abortion without notifying the patient of the reversal option, they could be sued for damages by the woman or the father of her unborn child.
Republican Rep. John Eplee, who introduced the measure and is a qualified physician, said the bill would give women an option. “I want you to understand clearly this is a pro-women’s health bill,” he said before the vote, according to the Star. “We’re not putting a gun to their head, we’re not forcing them to have this procedure. We’re giving them an option.”
The “reversal” is performed by administering the patient, who has already taken the Mifepristone, with a dose of progesterone. Although Eplee defended the practice, medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), claim it is not backed by science.
In a 2017 statement, the ACOG said: “Claims regarding abortion ‘reversal’ treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards. Unfounded legislative mandates represent dangerous political interference and compromise patient care and safety.”
File photo: The abortion drug Mifepristone, also known as RU486, is pictured in an abortion clinic February 17, 2006 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Kansas House of Representatives on Monday allowed a bill to pass the first-round that would require doctors and other health care professionals to inform women of "reversible" abortions. Getty Images/Phil Walter