Last week, the state of Arizona further invaded the doctor-patient relationship when the governor signed a new law requiring abortion providers to inform their patients about a scientifically unproven intervention that claims to “reverse” medication abortion.
The state will now force providers to notify patients of the extremely dubious claim that if a woman changes her mind about having an abortion after taking the first dose of medication to induce it, she can be injected with the hormone progesterone to counteract the effects.
The safety and effectiveness of the technique has not yet been subjected to standard clinical studies. As a result, the law is largely opposed by the medical community.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that “claims of medication abortion reversal are not supported by the body of scientific evidence. This approach is not recommended in ACOG’s clinical guidance on medication abortion.”
“To suggest that women should submit to a medical procedure that has not been rigorously studied or tested is nothing short of unethical,” said Amanda Allen, state legislative counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, in U.S. News &, World Reports.
The law undermines physicians’ training and authority by compelling them to provide misleading information. Moreover, state-compelled biased counseling interferes in the essential trust relationship between a woman and her doctor.
Arizona’s law is the first of its kind to mandate “abortion reversal” consent, but the Arkansas legislature has also passed a similar bill, which is now awaiting the governor’s signature.