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Health

“Abortion Reversal” Bill Introduced in GOP-led Ohio House

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A bill that would require doctors to tell women undergoing drug-induced abortions about a disputed method for potentially stopping the abortion process was introduced Thursday in the Ohio House.

The legislation would require physicians who perform or induce a chemical abortion to inform a patient prior to, or soon after, taking the first of two pills used in the process that it may be possible to reverse the process, a position disputed by experts.

Republican state Reps. Kyle Koehler and Sarah Fowler Arthur, the bill's sponsors, characterized the proposal as an extension of Ohio's existing informed consent laws. Their legislation was supported and praised by Ohio Right to Life, the state's largest anti-abortion organization.

It also would require the Ohio Department of Health to provide information on its website about "abortion pill reversal." 

"Women deserve to have all relevant medical information provided to them when making healthcare decisions," Koehler said in a release. "This bill does not require women to reverse their abortions. Instead, this legislation provides scientific and proven medical information to mothers in crisis."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said the idea that doses of progesterone can reverse a medication abortion is not supported by science, rather based on "unproven, unethical" research that was not properly monitored or reviewed. 

The abortion-rights advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio said the bill is "founded in lies about how medication abortion works and (is) an attempt to spread more misinformation about abortion care."

Six states — Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah — have similar requirements in place, while laws in Indiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee have been blocked by legal challenges, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. A similar law is taking effect this month in West Virginia.

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