Abortion Pill Reversal
Some may change their mind about going through with a medical abortion after taking mifepristone (RU-486), the first drug in a two-step abortion process. Mifepristone works by blocking the progesterone that is needed for the pregnancy to continue. If the change of mind occurs within the first hour of ingesting mifepristone, some doctors might help by inducing vomiting. If the mifepristone has not been absorbed yet, the abortion process may stop on its own. (2)
Even if mifepristone has already been absorbed by the body, the person may still choose to skip the second step of the medical abortion process and not take misoprostol. Misoprostol is a drug that causes the uterus to contract to help expel the pregnancy. According to some studies, anywhere between 8-46% of pregnancies will continue after only taking mifepristone and skipping the second step of misoprostol. (1)
Abortion Pill Reversal (APR)
Some believe that a process called abortion pill reversal (APR) may help increase the chance of the pregnancy continuing if started within 24 hours of taking mifepristone when misoprostol is NOT taken. There have even been successful cases when the APR treatment is started within 72 hours. The APR treatment involves a medical professional prescribing repeated doses of progesterone throughout the first trimester, either taken orally, vaginally, or through injection, in an attempt to counteract the mifepristone. (3)
The abortion pill reversal group claims that their process has a 64-68% success rate of helping pregnancies continue. However, they acknowledge that even without APR, mifepristone may fail to abort the pregnancy in a percentage of cases. They also admit that they cannot guarantee APR will be successful in continuing the pregnancy. (4)
Progesterone has been used safely in pregnancies for over 50 years, and neither mifepristone or progesterone has been associated with birth defects. However, progesterone therapy, when not prescribed properly, can cause damage to the body, particularly to the nervous, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems. (3)
Some believe that APR’s studies are flawed and do not prove that the APR treatment of progesterone was the cause of the continued pregnancies. They also argue that APR’s claimed success rate is not much different than the success rate of cases where only mifepristone was taken without misoprostol. (1, 2)
For more information about APR, call the Abortion Pill Rescue hotline: 877-558-0333 or check out their website: https://abortionpillreversal.com
Focus Women’s Center does not provide the Abortion Pill Reversal.
(1) Grossman, D., and White, K. (2018). Abortion “reversal”: Legislating without evidence. New England Journal of Medicine, 2018(379), 1491-1493. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1805927
(2) Retrieved from Gordon, M. (2019). Controversial “abortion reversal” regimen is put to the test.
(3) Retrieved from American Pregnancy Association. (n.d.). Abortion pill reversal.
(4) Retrieved from Abortion Pill Rescue. (2020). Reversal FAQ.