Arizona Becomes First State to Tell Women Abortion Pill Can be Reversed

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 31, 2015   |   10:40AM   |   Phoenix, AZ

Late Monday, pro-life Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (pictured) signed a pro-life bill the Arizona legislature approved to prohibit health insurance plans under Obamacare from providing abortion coverage. The legislation, SB 1318, will allow Arizona to join the other 17 states in the U.S. that have prohibited elective abortion coverage on their state exchanges.

Arizona’s House Majority Leader, Steve Montenegro (R-Litchfield Park), said 90% of individuals who obtain such coverage are getting their premiums subsidized. He said that the legislation simply ensures that public funds are not used to subsidize abortion.

Additionally, SB 1318 requires that abortionists tell their patients that they could reverse the effects of the RU-486 abortion regimen if they change their mind during the process.

When a pregnant woman takes the dangerous abortion RU 486 abortion pill, there is a chance that the abortion drug can be reversed if she changes her mind in time about aborting her baby. Knowing that, legislators in Arizona put information in the bill hat would call for women to be informed that if they take the first drug of a two-step chemical abortion process, but not the second, they may be able to stop the abortion process and deliver a healthy baby.

“Arizona becomes the first state in the nation to enact an informed consent provision that guarantees women who are seeking abortions are told it may be possible to reverse the effects of the abortion pill, but time is of the essence,” says the pro-life Center for Arizona Policy.

“The provision will protect women like the one who recently returned to a Glendale Planned Parenthood office after receiving the first abortion pill to see if she could stop the effects of the deadly medication. Planned Parenthood’s staff misinformed her when they said there was nothing she could do to stop the abortion” it said. “Thankfully, the young woman got connected to Dr. Allan Sawyer through the website Dr. Sawyer began the woman on the Abortion Pill Reversal regimen, and today, has a healthy ongoing pregnancy.”

The pro-life group added: “SB 1318 also ensures taxpayer dollars do not go to the abortion industry by prohibiting medical plans on Arizona’s federally-run health care exchange from offering coverage for elective abortion. The legislation also requires abortion clinics to provide verification to the state that their doctors have proper admitting privileges to Arizona hospitals as prescribed by law as well.”

ACTION: Take a moment today to thank Gov. Ducey for signing this legislation, and the legislature for passing the bill.

“A woman needs to know that if she undergoes the abortion regimen, RU-486, it may not be too late to save her baby,” said Fr. Pavone.  “Priests for Life Medical Advisor Dr. Matt Harrison has pioneered a technique that has now been adopted by a whole network of physicians in which such babies have been saved. In 223 documented cases, 57 percent of the women who received the abortion reversal treatment have been able to keep their healthy babies.  The Arizona legislature, by adopting this measure, has a chance to save lives and help mothers who change their minds after taking that first pill.”


Dr. Harrison performed the first-ever reversal in 2007. At a press conference in January sponsored by Priests for Life and the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Dr. Harrison said the baby who was saved is now a healthy and happy 8-year-old girl.

As currently administered, a chemical abortion involves taking the drug mifepristone, which makes the uterus inhospitable to new life and starves the baby. One or two days later, the second drug is taken to induce contractions and expel her child. The reversal process, which is gaining in usage as it becomes more widely known, can reverse the impact of the first drug and allow the baby to continue normal development.  Time is of the essence, though, in starting the reversal process.

In a recent article on Arizona Central, doctors Allan Sawyer and Clint Leonard, responded to an op-ed by Planned Parenthood board member Dr. Eric Reuss about SB 1318.

They wrote, “In his Monday My Turn column, former Planned Parenthood board member Dr. Eric Reuss wrote, “The role of our state government cannot be to interfere in women’s access to health care.” We couldn’t agree more. The problem is that contrary to what Planned Parenthood may think and what would help their bottom line, abortion is not health care. Abortion harms women and ends the life of a preborn child.”

They added, “In regard to the informed consent provision in SB 1318, women deserve to be fully informed and know all the facts before choosing to have an abortion. Most would agree that a woman would want to know that if she changes her mind after taking the first pill of a medication abortion, she may be able to reverse its effects and save her child’s life. That’s all SB 1318 requires.”

However, supporters of the legislation argue that the bill will require rape victims to share with their insurance companies that they’ve been raped and need an exemption from the provision. Rep. Victoria Steele (D-Tucson) said, “That is a cruel joke. Imagine, your daughter, God-forbid, someone you love is pregnant as the result of a rape. But for this person, it would be immediate. They would need to their insurance company to prove that they could apply for the exemption. How humiliating.”

Rep. Kelly Townsend (R-Scottsdale) responded to Rep. Steele’s argument and said her objections to the provision are irrelevant. She said, “This bill will prevent taxpayer money going to pay for abortions. This isn’t something we came up with to humiliate anyone.” Rep. Townsend added that the restrictions in the measure, and the exemptions for rape and incest, are the same that have been in federal law since the 1970s and are the same as already exist in the state’s Medicaid program.