Chemical Abortion and Reversal: How Your Center Can Help

by Christa Brown RN, Abortion Pill Rescue (APR) Coordinator/Medical SpecialistAPRBaby

‘‘I didn’t want the baby, but I also didn’t want to have the abortion,’’ a young woman in her early 20s just beginning her nursing career said. ‘‘I just wanted it all to not exist, which is kind of what the pill allows a woman to think can happen.’’[1]

Taking a couple pills seems easy enough. But can this “easy fix” make a living baby nonexistent?

Another woman stated, “I seem to change my mind every five minutes. I'm booked for an abortion in two weeks. My head tells me it is the right decision, but my heart tells me not to do it.”

It can be the most difficult decision a woman will ever have to make. The promise of an easy fix is enticing. And there are often time, relational, and financial pressures that move the choice forward quickly.

Growing in popularity and availability, chemical abortions (often referred to as medical abortion or abortion pill) account for 31% of all nonhospital abortions and 45% of nonhospital abortions before 9 weeks' gestation in the United States in 2014. At Planned Parenthood clinics in the United States, medical abortions accounted for 32% of first trimester abortions in 2008, 35% of all abortions in 2010, and 43% of all abortions in 2014. Some women prefer chemical abortion to surgical abortion, as it seems less invasive and can be completed at home.[2] But it is not without physical and emotional risks, and for many a lot of regret.

In 2016 the FDA updated its protocol to a regimen that uses less medication, has a longer time span during which it can be used (up to 70 days after a patient’s last menstrual period) and requires fewer visits to the provider. Twice as many abortion patients are eligible for chemical abortion following the 2016 FDA label change. The overall number of U.S. abortions continues to decline, while the number of chemical abortions continues to increase. [3]

The most common chemical abortion regimen in the United States involves the use of two different medications: Mifepristone, sold under the brand name Mifeprex, and misoprostol, sold under the brand name Cytotec.

Mifepristone is a progesterone receptor antagonist. Mifepristone and Progesterone have similar cellular structures and are able to enter progesterone receptors like a key into a lock. However, mifepristone can’t turn the lock, it just sits in the lock and prevents progesterone from going into the receptor. Mifepristone causes the separation of the decidua basalis from the trophoblast. This separation decreases the oxygen and nutrients that can be delivered to the embryo or fetus and make it difficult for the pregnancy to thrive.[4]

Misoprostol, taken 24-48 hours later, works to empty the uterus by causing cramping and bleeding. A follow-up visit is usually scheduled a week or two later to confirm the pregnancy was terminated via ultrasound or blood test. [5]

But what happens when indecision continues and a woman changes her mind after beginning a chemical abortion? Is it possible to choose again?

Prescribing bio-identical progesterone can reverse the effects of mifepristone and is successful in 64-68% of the cases. This reversal treatment works by outcompeting mifepristone for the progesterone receptor sites until the mifepristone is no longer in the system. [6]

Progesterone is a natural female hormone. It stimulates the growth of the uterus, causes maturation of the endometrium, inhibits myometrial contractions, builds breast tissue and strengthens the cervix. Called “the pregnancy hormone,” it is essential before and during pregnancy. Following a successful implantation, progesterone helps maintain a supportive environment for the developing fetus. After 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy, the placenta takes over progesterone production from the ovaries and substantially increases progesterone production.[7]

Progesterone has been safely used to support pregnancies for over 60 years. In a study conducted by the Pope Paul VI Institute 933 pregnant patients received progesterone during the course of their pregnancies. To date, this is the largest single study of its kind. The incidence of fetal abnormalities was actually lower in that population than it was in the population that did not receive progesterone. Their conclusion was “There is no credible evidence to suggest that its use to support pregnancy, whether that support be in the early days or months of pregnancy or later in pregnancy, is, in any way, teratogenic or responsible for any genital malformations. In fact, all of the available evidence strongly supports its safety when used in pregnancy.”[8]

In an observational case series of 754 patients who decided to attempt to reverse the medical abortion process after taking mifepristone but before misoprostol and were prescribed progesterone to support the pregnancy,  the researchers concluded that “the reversal of the effects of mifepristone using progesterone is safe and effective.”[9]

Pregnancy Help Organizations exist to support, educate and empower women to make the best choices possible. Sometimes, there is regret after the initial decision is made by a client and we can offer the assistance they need to attempt to reverse the effects of the abortion pill. Here are some ways your center can help:

  • Offer reversal information to clients considering abortion so they understand reversal is possible. This information can be included in referral sources:
    “Abortion Pill Reversal is possible. Contact us for help.
    https://optionline.org/
    Call 1-877-558-0333
    Text “HELPLINE” to 313131”
  • Follow up with clients who have begun the chemical abortion process and offer reversal as an option. Many still do not know reversal is available and your call, text, or email might be a welcome glimmer of hope to someone who is regretting their decision to abort.
  • When a client presents at your center seeking reversal, have her call the APR Hotline to speak with a medical professional (877) 558-0333. Heartbeat International has Medical Professionals waiting to take her call, answer her questions, and connect her with a reversal provider in her area.
  • Seek donors to help a client with the cost of Progesterone for reversal. After paying for the chemical abortion, some clients may not have enough to pay for the progesterone prescription. And even those with insurance sometimes face delays that could affect the outcome of the pregnancy. Having financial assistance available would allow them access to their prescription as soon as possible.
  • Become an AP Rescue PMC (Pregnancy Medical Clinic) – These are Medical Clinics that are part of the APR Network and are consulting, counseling, and prescribing for abortion pill reversal. These PMC’s may also administer and follow up with abortion pill reversal clients.
  • Become an AP Rescue PRC (Pregnancy Resource Center) – These are centers that are part of the APR Network and are consulting with clients regarding abortion pill reversal. These centers offer assistance such as education about reversal, financial assistance to pay for Progesterone, and ongoing support.
  • Locate new AP Rescue Medical Practices in your community – These are private medical practices or pregnancy help medical clinics that might be able provide the protocol for abortion pill reversal and may offer continued care for abortion pill reversal clients.

To receive Abortion Pill Rescue brochure information and/or more information about how to become an AP Rescue PMC or PRC, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


[1] A New Front in the War. New York Times Magazine Web Site. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/18/magazine/a-new-front-in-the-war-over-reproductive-rights-abortion-pill-reversal.html. Published July 18. 2017. Retrieved July 11, 2018.

[2] Mindock, Clark International Business Times. Web Site. "Abortion Pill Statistics: Medication Pregnancy Termination Rivals Surgery Rates In The United States". Published October 31, 2016. Retrieved April 19, 2018.

[3] Medication Abortion. Guttmacher Web Site. https://www.guttmacher.org/evidence-you-can-use/medication-abortion. Published 2018. Retrieved July, 11, 2018.

[4] Delgado, G. M.D.,Condly, S. Ph.D., Davenport, M.M.D., M.S., Tinnakornsrisuphap, T. Ph.D., Mack, J. Ph.D., NP, RN, Khauv, J. B.S., and Zhou P., A Case Series Detailing the Successful Reversal of the Effects of Mifepristone Using Progesterone. Issues in Law & Medicine, Volume 33, Number 1, 2018.

[5] Medication Abortion. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Web Site. https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/fact-sheet/medication-abortion/. Published June 01, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.

[6] Delgado, G. M.D.,Condly, S. Ph.D., Davenport, M.M.D., M.S., Tinnakornsrisuphap, T. Ph.D., Mack, J. Ph.D., NP, RN, Khauv, J. B.S., and Zhou P., A Case Series Detailing the Successful Reversal of the Effects of Mifepristone Using Progesterone. Issues in Law & Medicine, Volume 33, Number 1, 2018.

[7] Progesterone and Pregnancy: A Vital Connection. Resolve Web Site. https://resolve.org/infertility-101/the-female-body/progesterone-pregnancy-vital-connection/. Published 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.

[8] Unleashing the power of a woman’s cycle: Progesterone Support in Pregnancy. NaPro Technology Web Site. https://www.naprotechnology.com/progesterone.htm. Retrieved July 11, 2018.

[9] Delgado, G. M.D.,Condly, S. Ph.D., Davenport, M.M.D., M.S., Tinnakornsrisuphap, T. Ph.D., Mack, J. Ph.D., NP, RN, Khauv, J. B.S., and Zhou P., A Case Series Detailing the Successful Reversal of the Effects of Mifepristone Using Progesterone. Issues in Law & Medicine, Volume 33, Number 1, 2018.

Life-Saving Abortion Pill Reversal Network, Hotline, Change Hands

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday | April 12, 2018
Contact: Jay Hobbs, Director of Communications and Marketing
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For the past 10-plus years, Dr. George Delgado has served as the face of the Abortion Pill Reversal Network, which has helped over 450 mothers rescue their babies from an in-progress chemical abortion.

 

Starting Thursday afternoon, however, the network’s 24-7 helpline and provider group is changing hands to Heartbeat International, it was announced at the final day of Heartbeat International’s 2018 Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

Over 450 mothers have successfully rescued their babies—including 100 who are currently still expecting—with the life-saving Abortion Pill Reversal treatment since 2007.

“Nothing is more of an alternative to abortion than Abortion Pill Reversal,” Heartbeat International president Jor-El Godsey said. “Abortion Pill Reversal is an absolute lifeline to the very woman who needs our help most. No woman should need to finish an abortion she regrets—especially when there may be time to save her child’s life.”

In 2007, Delgado and another physician, Dr. Matthew Harrison, both utilized an FDA-approved remedy for preventing miscarriages to help women stop a chemical abortion, commonly known as the abortion pill or RU-486.

Applied up to 72 hours after a woman takes mifepristone—designed to kill a baby ahead of the second, labor-inducing pill in a chemical abortion—Abortion Pill Reversal gives a woman one last chance to choose life in a procedure that now accounts for as many as 40 percent of abortions throughout the U.S.  

Under Delgado’s leadership, the network has grown to over 400 medical practitioners, while over 3,000 women have contacted its round-the-clock helpline to speak with a licensed nurse about rescuing her child.

Until the transition Thursday, Delgado had overseen the network and call center, while heading up the research that has given rise to Abortion Pill Reversal as part of his San Diego-based family practice, Culture of Family Life Services.

Now, Delgado—who released a peer-reviewed study showing as much as a 68 percent success rate a week ago—will turn his attention to further researching the medical intervention.

Meanwhile, Heartbeat International is bringing aboard the network of medical providers—more than 50 of which are pregnancy centers—as well as the licensed nurse helpline staff who will answer calls initially fielded by Heartbeat International’s 24-7 helpline, Option Line.

Answering well over 1,000 calls, live chats, emails and text messages per day, Option Line (1-800-712-HELP, OptionLine.org) recently reached its three millionth contact since launching in 2012.

“Abortion Pill Reversal has the potential to reach many more women and save many more lives,” Delgado said. “Our goal has always been to grow Abortion Pill Reversal, and by the grace of God, we’ve found a partner in Heartbeat International. We know there are many more women who need this treatment when they change their minds, and we’re confident this transition will help more mothers find that help.”

Though over 450 mothers say they have stopped their own chemical abortion and rescued their babies through Abortion Pill Reversal—and despite a growing amount of scientific evidence and agreement from abortion advocates that it is a sound medical treatment—many abortion extremists oppose Abortion Pill Reversal on ideological grounds.

In a move that effectively robs a woman of the right to try and save her child, abortion advocates have tried unsuccessfully to seize bureaucratic levers to keep nurses from learning more about the life-saving treatment.

The constant opposition falls on deaf ears for mothers like Katrina, however. As she faced an unexpected pregnancy in her senior year of college, Katrina’s boyfriend repeatedly threatened to he would kill himself if she didn’t end their child’s life through abortion.

Reluctantly, Katrina allowed her boyfriend to drive her to an abortion business, where she took a mifepristone pill, designed to kill her baby. Miraculously, her family intervened and begged her to seek help at the pregnancy help medical clinic right next door to the abortion business.

Using Abortion Pill Reversal, Katrina was able to save her son Gabriel’s life. He turns a year old this May.

“Abortion Pill Reversal empowers a woman to choose life for herself and her baby,” Godsey said. “Every mother deserves the right to protect her own child, no matter what choices she’s made in the past. We are honored to take Abortion Pill Reversal into its next season of saving lives by putting choice back into a mother’s hands.”

About Heartbeat International 

Heartbeat International is the first network of pro-life pregnancy help organizations founded in the U.S. (1971), and the largest network in the world. With 2,500 affiliated pregnancy help locations—including pregnancy help medical clinics (with ultrasound), resource centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies—Heartbeat serves on all six inhabited continents to provide alternatives to abortion. 

Attempts to Smear Pro-Life Work Ignore Real Women

"Real women are being silenced and gagged in the process."

final logo-vertical webFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Thursday | December 18, 2014
CONTACT: Jay Hobbs, Director of Communications and Marketing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

COLUMBUS, OH – An article first posted Dec. 5 on Vocativ.com before it was picked up at Slate.com and The Daily Mail, among others, calls into question both the demand and medical research behind a treatment designed to reverse the effects of Mifepristone, developed by Dr. George Delgado, M.D., F.A.A.F.P.

Dr. Delgado, who sits on Heartbeat International's Medical Advisory Board, is medical director of Culture of Life Family Health Care and founder of AbortionPillReversal.com, which has built a network of 226 pro-life OB-GYNs who are prepared to provide an early dose of supplemental progesterone to block the effects of Mifepristone—the first of two pills administered in the RU-486 regimen.

"We are grateful for Dr. Delgado's work," Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., said. "It is a shame to see his good work besmirched by agenda-driven writers, determined to grow the business of abortion.

"The tragic thing is that real women who have either been helped by this treatment or wish that they had been, are being silenced and gagged in the process," Hartshorn said. "Pregnancy help organizations like Dr. Delgado's offer each and every woman the true compassion, support, and choice she deserves."

The articles—released over two years after Heartbeat International reported the site's launch and first distributed a webinar on the procedure through Heartbeat Academy—cite the small sample size of women included in an initial peer-reviewed 2012 report published by Dr. Delgado.

Dr. Delgado's team is currently reviewing its cases from the time of the initial report—which included 28 contacts and four births following ingestion of Mifepristone from May to December 2012.

Neither Dr. Delgado nor his team have been contacted by reporters linked to the recent articles.

Can RU-486 be Reversed?

ru486What would you do if a client contacted you and said she had taken the first dose of the RU-486 regimen and now regretted it?

There is help!

Because of the critical time factor involved in attempting a reversal, Dr. George Delgado and Culture of Life Family Services have launched AbortionPillReversal.com.

This website and its associated hotline (877-558-0333) will serve as a means to rapidly connect women who have taken mifepristone (brand name Mifeprex, a.k.a. RU-486) to a nationwide network of medical providers who can attempt reversal of the drug with progesterone.

In a recent presentation to the American Association of Prolife Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), Dr. George Delgado described a series of seven patients where a reversal of RU-486 was attempted. The majority of the babies survived, and were born full-term with no apparent anomalies.

Mifepristone causes abortion because it is a progesterone receptor blocker. Progesterone is an essential hormone during pregnancy, which allows the placenta to grow, flourish, and nourish the baby. Blocking the action of progesterone (as mifepristone does) causes placental failure, which in turn, leads to the death of the unborn baby.

Supplemental progesterone, if given early enough, can out-compete the mifepristone and prevent the progesterone receptor-blocking action. By out-competing the mifepristone on a molecular and receptor level, the progesterone serves as an antidote to the mifepristone.

Since Ella and other “morning after pills” are also progesterone blockers like mifepristone, they also have the potential to be reversed by an emergency progesterone intervention.

The fact is that many women regret their choice to abort their babies. After a surgical abortion, of course, there is no going back. But, when a woman begins the process of a medical abortion and changes her mind, there is a window of opportunity to reverse the effects of an abortion-causing agent.

Please take a look at this website, and keep this information handy, should one of your clients come looking for help.

The Introduction and Use of RU-486 in the U.S. & the World

  • How knowledgeable are you about RU-486?RU-486
  • How much information does your staff have to skillfully discuss RU-486 with a client?
  • Are you looking for a great educational piece for a staff in-service or training?

Director of Education and Research for the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund Randall K. O’Bannon Ph.D and Director of Research and Public Policy for the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists Dr. Donna Harrison have written a duo of fantastic articles that you can read and download in their entirety at http://www.abortionresearch.us/images/Vol24No1.pdf for use in your centers as well as education for your staff.

  • The Introduction and Use of the Abortifacient Mifepristone (RU-486) in the United States
  • The Introduction and Use of the Abortifacient Mifepristone (RU-486) in the Developing World

Let me whet your appetite with a few excerpts from the 12 page well-referenced articles…

The Introduction and Use of the Abortifacient Mifepristone (RU-486) in the United States

By Randall K. O’Bannon Ph.D,  Director of Education and Research for the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund

“The discovery of the pregnancy hormones progesterone (1929) and estrogen (1934) opened up whole new possibilities. Gregory Pincus, one of the co-inventors of the oral contraceptive pill, theorized that “anti-progestins should be implantation inhibitors,”

“Etienne-Emile Baulieu visited Pincus in Puerto Rico, where trials were being conducted of the new birth control pill, and came away determined to devote his life to steroid research, believing Chemical contraception central to women’s health and to control of the world’s population (Lader, RU-486, 29-30, Baulieu, 69).

“He returned to France and began working as a consultant to French pharmaceutical giant Roussel Uclaf…”

“Normally in pregnancy, progesterone, produced by the corpus luteum, functions to build and maintain the endometrium, which welcomes and then sustains the developing child in his or her earliest days. As pregnancy progresses, the placenta takes over progesterone production, but those critical first weeks are crucial to the establishment of the child’s nurturing and protective environment.”

“Anti-progestins bind to the same receptor sites as progesterone, but then do not carry out the same tasks. With the progesterone signal effectively blocked, the endometrial lining decays and sloughs off, depriving the developing child of essential nutrients, essentially starving her or him to death as the protective environment around her or him collapses.”

“Ultimately, under what The New York Times termed “sustained political pressure from the Clinton administration, a deal was struck granting U.S. licensing rights to the Population Council of New York in May of 1994. Roussel agreed to turn over all rights and responsibilities connected to the drug to the Population Council for free, hoping to avoid becoming a boycott target.”

“A common medical issue in many of these deaths is how difficult it is, for both patients and doctors, to distinguish between the ordinary side effects of chemical abortion, which are often severe, and the signs of a serious problem like hemorrhage, ruptured ectopic pregnancy, or infection.”

“Women are told to expect heavy bleeding, akin to a heavy period, and understand that the abortion will be painful. When these occur, they assume that they are related to the abortion process. If the pain and bleeding become so substantial that they call the clinic or go to the emergency room, even the medical professional may consider the events to be abortion-related. Brenda Vise called the clinic repeatedly and was told that her considerable pelvic pain was normal. The doctor at the ER did a physical exam of Holly Patterson and sent her home with more pain medication. Both were dead before the week was out.”

“Many abortion clinics are ignoring the FDA protocol, changing doses of the drugs extending the cutoff date from 49 days to 63, eliminating the second visit and letting women take the misoprostol at home (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/5/11), or even going so far as to prescribe the drugs via webcams, eliminating all direct physical contact between doctor and patient entirely (KCCI, 5/1910; Sioux City Journal, 10/8/10). Failures and complications are not only common, but more problematic, as women are farther removed from the careful medical monitoring that is essential to this process.”

“The Guttmacher Institute estimated that in 2008, more than a quarter of all abortions done at 9 weeks gestation or earlier were chemical abortions and both the overall percentage of chemical abortions and the number of clinics offering these abortions have been steadily increasing. If things continue trending as they are, it means that we can expect more women will die, along with tens of thousands more of their unborn children.”

The Use of the Abortifacient Mifepristone (RU-486) in the Developing World

Dr. Harrison’s article reports that multiple studies demonstrate that first trimester medical abortions utilizing mifepristone and misoprostol result in:

  • 20 out of every 100 women with a significant adverse event (hemorrhage, infection, retained tissue, continued pregnancy exposed to drugs which can cause fetal malformation),
  • 15 out of every 100 women hemorrhage,
  • 7 out of every 100 women have tissue left inside, which can become infected, and
  • 6 out of every 100 women need surgery, sometimes as emergency surgery.

By Donna Harrison, M.D,, Director of Research and Public Policy, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists

“The use of non-surgical (medical) abortion in the developing world has had great appeal for abortion advocates. Surgical procedures in third world countries with poor medical infrastructure, lack of dependable transportation to emergency centers, and even inadequate water supplies pose health risks for patients electing to have a surgical abortion. On the other hand, simply taking a pill to undo the pregnancy appears to be a good solution for third world women. “

“The reality is that surgical abortions are still necessary in a number of cases because the pill fails; medical abortions are being attempted in settings with inadequate backup to care for complications; and hemorrhaging, a common side-effect of RU-486 abortions, is harder to control in third world environments. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to disregard such problems by enthusiastic abortion advocates, eager to expand abortion use in these countries.”

“In a moment of unguarded honesty, an ironic article, entitled Medical abortion: Is it a blessing or curse for the developing nations?, was published in the medical literature in 2011 ... [T]his article gives a rare glimpse into the reality of willy-nilly access to drugs which can end a pregnancy … The abstract opens with this statement:

"Medical abortion is definitely a safer and a better option, but in developing countries, its widespread misuse has led to partial or septic abortion thereby increasing maternal mortality and morbidity.”

“When the medical methods of abortion were launched in developing countries like India it was thought that frequency of illegal unsafe abortions by local dais and unregistered practitioners will decrease to a large extent and it will help in managing such unwanted pregnancies through safe and legalized abortions in peripheral health centres (PHCs), community health centres (CHCs), and civil hospitals. No doubt, though unsafe surgical abortions have decreased largely due to strict legislations but these have been replaced by increasing number of unsafe medical abortions.”

“Because medical abortion is being used increasingly in several countries, it is likely to result in an elevated incidence of overall morbidity related to termination of pregnancy.”

 

Download both articles in their entirety: http://www.abortionresearch.us/images/Vol24No1.pdf.