Indiana’s state capitol building.
Even without Mike Pence as governor, Indiana is making questionable decisions when it comes to women’s health. On Monday, the House of Representatives approved a so-called “abortion reversal” bill 53 to 41. The bill requires Indiana doctors who perform medical abortions to tell their patients about a procedure that could “reverse” the process halfway through. “This is for those who take that first step and regret it,” Republican representative Peggy Mayfield, one of the bill’s co-authors, told the Indianapolis Star. “There is an alternative there. There is hope.”
To perform a medical abortion, a doctor gives a patient two pills. The first blocks the hormone progesterone, which helps the uterus sustain a fertilized egg. The second, taken days later, induces cramping and bleeding. Some doctors claim the process can be “reversed” by injecting a woman with progesterone before she takes the second pill. But, as the Washington Post points out, there’s almost no scientific evidence to back up that claim.
“It’s really concerning that legislatures are passing laws interfering in the doctor-patient relationship and forcing them to tell women about an experimental therapy that is unproven,” Dr. Daniel Grossman, a professor at University of California, San Francisco, told the Associated Press. Indiana democrat Linda Lawson was even more blunt: “This bill seeks to dictate medical practice based on junk science,” she said.
Indiana isn’t the only state considering a reversal bill — similar bills are on the table in North Carolina and Utah, and a proposal in Colorado’s Democratic-led House was killed in committee earlier this month.
But whether or not the procedure works — and whether it puts women’s lives at risk — seems to be beside the point to Republicans, who are seeking to put as many obstacles as possible in the path of women seeking abortions. “We’re just saying you have the right to try,” Republican representative Ben Smaltz told the Star. “We’re not saying it’s going to work.”