A group of Arizona health care providers launched a fight on Thursday to overturn a recently enacted,controversial bill that would require doctors to lie to their patients by telling them it is possible to reverse amedication-induced abortion.
In a lawsuit backed by the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights, medical providers—including Planned Parenthood—charge that the new act is a “violation of medical ethics” and antithetical to informed consent, scientific integrity, and medicine itself.
Senate Bill 1318, which Governor Doug Doucey signed at the end of March, is slated to take effect in early July. In addition to banning insurers from covering most abortions in plans sold through federal health-care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, the legislation also requires doctors to tell patients seeking an abortion that it “may be possible to reverse the effects of a medication abortion if the woman changes her mind but that time is of the essence.”
There is just one problem. There is no medically- or scientifically-accepted evidence to back up this allegation.
“Claims of medication abortion reversal are not supported by the body of scientific evidence, and this approach is not recommended in [American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists] clinical guidance on medication abortion,” states the organization in a recent fact sheet about the Arizona bill. “There are no ACOG guidelines that support this course of action.”
“This interferes with the doctor-patient relationship in terms of informed consent, because it’s important that we give scientifically accurate information that is appropriate to the standard of care.”
—Julie Kwatra, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The requirement to share this false information, therefore, amounts to state-mandated medical malpractice, say providers.