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Abortion law is junk science, gynecologists tell Arizona governor

Abortion law is junk science, gynecologists tell Arizona governor

The Arizona section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says a new Arizona abortion law is based on junk science.

Among other things, SB1318, signed by Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday,  requires doctors to tell women that their medical abortion may be reversible.

Such advice is neither standard of care, nor FDA approved, the physician group says.

"Claims of medication abortion reversal are not supported by the body of scientific evidence, and this approach is not recommended in ACOG’s (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) clinical guidance on medication abortion," a statement from the group says.

"There are no ACOG guidelines that support this course of action."

SB 1318 says that doctors must not only tell patients that a drug-induced abortion is potentially reversible, but also that the Arizona Department of Health Services must publish the information on its website.

A medical abortion happens when a woman takes mifepristone, followed 48 hours later by misoprostol.

Proponents of the abortion reversal advice have said if a woman changes her mind after taking mifepristone, she can reverse effects by taking high doses of progesterone, something that ACOG stresses is not FDA approved.

"Progesterone, while generally well tolerated, can cause significant cardiovascular, nervous system and endocrine adverse reactions as well as other side effects," the obstetricians and gynecologists say.

Writing in the Arizona Capitol Times on Monday, ACOG's Arizona chair, Dr. Ilana Addis said that medical care should not be dictated by legislators or special interest groups.

"It is blatantly wrong for the State of Arizona to force doctors to counsel their patients about voodoo medicine, and wrong for the Department of Health Services to sanction these practices by publishing this information on their website," Addis wrote.

"The rare woman who does regret her choice should not have to be subjected to unproven doses of an unnecessary hormone.

"Is the patient going to bear the cost of this dubious treatment? Will insurance companies and AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System) pay for up to 17 excess office visits and injections that are non-evidenced based?"

In spite of her plea, Ducey signed the bill into law Monday afternoon.

According to the Washington Post, it is the first time such legislation has passed in the U.S.

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