‘Abortion reversal’ bill moves forward in S Carolina House

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A bill that would require doctors to inform patients receiving drug-induced abortions about a controversial method to possibly halt the abortion process is moving forward in the South Carolina House.

The House Judiciary Committee could consider the legislation after a panel of lawmakers voted to advance the measure Thursday.

The proposal would require physicians to give patients receiving the two-dose drug abortion a statement saying that should a patient change their mind, there is medication that could “potentially strengthen the pregnancy” even after they have taken the first pill in a medication abortion — a stance medical experts have disputed.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists deems the so-called “abortion reversal” procedures unproven and unethical. At UC Davis, researchers said in 2019 they had to halt a randomized clinical study on the reversal procedure after three women experienced severe bleeding and had to go to the ER, leading researchers to warn that not completing the two-drug abortion pill sequence could result in hemorrhage.

About a dozen states have passed similar laws requiring doctors to inform patients of so-called abortion reversal procedures, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights. Federal judges have blocked the measures from taking effect in Indiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Critics on Thursday said the legislation would restrict doctors’ freedom of speech and that South Carolina would likely face costly and time-consuming litigation should the bill become law.

Nearly identical legislation is also on the agenda in the Senate’s Medical Affairs committee. That panel failed to take up the proposal, along with a bill banning all abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court allows it, after two senators stalled the measures in a walk-out last week.