I’m encouraged by a relatively new procedure that, when performed early enough, offers hope to women who change their minds during a chemical abortion.
Despite popular culture largely denying it, many women truly do regret their abortion. For some, it took years or decades before they realized what they had done to their child.* Others start to regret it right away, but sadly, even immediate regret is too late to save the baby during a surgical termination. However, for women having a chemical abortion, there is hope when their change of heart comes early in the process.
Chemical abortions are increasingly the method being used in the first trimester, and now account for 43 percent of all abortions in Oregon. Let’s look at how they are done, then at the reason for hope.
The typical chemical abortion involves taking two drugs one or more days apart. The first drug, mifepristone or RU486, is taken to block progesterone, the woman’s pregnancy-sustaining hormone, and cause the child to die. The second drug, taken one or two days later, is misoprostol, which causes expulsion of the baby and placenta in hours or days. At a return visit to the abortion facility in a week or so, the womb is checked to make sure there are no remnants of that separate individual who once lived there, though this does not always happen.
The hope for reversal was recognized a few years ago, when one doctor was faced with a girl who came in desperately wanting to save her baby after taking RU486. Using reasonable scientific knowledge, the doctor attempted to reverse the effects of the RU486 by giving the mom replacements of progesterone. The baby was saved and survived to a healthy birth — so have over 200 other babies since, through the work of a growing network of doctors willing to help reverse medical abortions.
Intervening to stop a chemical abortion can only work if the second abortifacient is not taken and the replacement hormone is started within 24 hours; even up to 72 hours, the baby still has a good chance of surviving.
So, should you encounter a woman with early regret after taking RU486, consider helping her access the Abortion Pill Reversal network by 24/7 call or chat. The helpline number is 877-558-0333 and the chat is at abortionpillreversal.com. In addition to possibly saving a baby, you also will be helping to spare a mother from a lifetime of regret. Now, that’s hope!
*If you have lost a child through abortion of any kind, feel free to contact us at 503-463-8563 for resources to help deal with the painful effects of that loss.