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The “reversals” also show that the ingestion of medication abortion drugs is never a sure thing when it comes to terminating a pregnancy. While anti-abortion activists tout the alleged “high complication rates” of the process, what they conveniently leave out is that the most common complication is that the patient remains pregnant, and that the protocol needs to be followed up with D&C or vacuum aspiration abortion in order to end the pregnancy….
Why is the “reversal” apparently so successful then? Primarily it is because those who are trying to continue the pregnancy are already in the midst of a failed medication abortion to start with….
“There’s no evidence of any demonstrable effect of the ‘treatment’ these anti-abortion centers are marketing,” Dr. Cheryl Chastine, a provider at South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, Kansas, said. “The medical literature is quite clear that mifepristone on its own is only about 50 percent effective at ending a pregnancy. That means that even if these doctors were to offer a large dose of purple Skittles, they’d appear to have ‘worked’ to ‘save’ the pregnancy about half the time. Those numbers are consistent with what these people are reporting.”
Dr. Chastine isn’t alone in her assessment. Dr. Dan Grossman, vice president for research at Ibis Reproductive Health [and pro-abortion author at RH Reality Check], told Iowa Public Radio that the “treatment” was unlikely to be doing anything at all.
“[The abortion pill] binds much more tightly to the progesterone receptor, to block it than progesterone itself does…. So there really is not much evidence to indicate, I’m really not aware of anything, that by increasing the amount of progesterone you’re gonna somehow block the effect of this drug….
I think this is really outside of standard of care to just begin doing this kind of treatment, without collecting more rigorous studies about its effectiveness.”
~ Robin Marty, questioning whether attempting to save babies like Gabriel Caicedo (pictured above with his parents and Fr. Frank Pavone) is worth it, Talking Points Memo, March 2
Note: The function of mifepristone is to block progesterone receptors (which is why, in an abortion pill reversal, an extra injection of progesterone is given to counteract these effects). Mifepristone “directly causes endometrial decidual degeneration, cervical softening and dilatation, release of endogenous prostaglandins, and an increase in the sensitivity of the myometrium to the contractile effects of prostaglandins. Mifepristone-induced decidual breakdown indirectly leads to trophoblast detachment, resulting in decreased syncytiotrophoblast production of hCG, which in turn causes decreased production of progesterone by the corpus luteum (pregnancy is dependent on progesterone production by the corpus luteum through the first 9 weeks of gestation—until placental progesterone production has increased enough to take the place of corpus luteum progesterone production).”
[Photo via CatholicPhilly.com]