Indiana Abortion Providers Spared From Having to Tell Dangerous Lies to Patients

A federal judge blocked an Indiana law that would force abortion providers to lie to patients about the bogus "abortion reversal" myth.

Photo of the exterior of the Indiana state Capitol building
Federal courts are hearing two cases challenging Indiana laws requiring abortion providers give their patients false information. Shutterstock

Here’s a sentence we don’t get to say often: Last week we got some good news out of Indiana. A federal judge blocked a new Indiana law that would have required providers to share outright false information with their patients about abortion.

Indiana lawmakers wanted to make providers talk about “abortion reversal”—specifically, to tell patients that they could reverse a medication abortion after they had taken the first of two doses.

This is an entirely bogus claim. There is no scientific evidence that indicates a medication abortion can be reversed, and leading medical organizations oppose laws that require providers to discuss abortion reversal for that very reason.

Abortion “reversal” doesn’t work—and worse, it’s actually dangerous. The only randomized clinical trial on the unproven treatment was shut down early in 2019 after several women ended up in the emergency room with severe bleeding.

The law, which Gov. Eric Holcomb signed in April, was set to go into effect on July 1. The district court judge’s temporary injunction blocks it while the legal challenge is underway.

In a statement about its win in court, the American Civil Liberties Union said: “Forcing providers to give their patients this misinformation is both unethical and unconstitutional,” the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement about its win in court.

“Providers should not be forced to give patients inaccurate and dangerous misinformation,” said Parker Dockray, executive director of All Options, a plaintiff in the case. “Pregnant people deserve better—they need accurate information about all their options, and support to make the decisions that are right for them.”

The fight isn’t quite over yet, as a separate Indiana lawsuit, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance v. Rokita, continues to make its way through federal district court. That suit challenges another law requiring abortion providers to give their patients false information, along with a host of other abortion restrictions in the state.

If you want to learn more about the bogus science behind abortion reversal, listen to an episode of Boom! Lawyered below.

This post was adapted from a Twitter thread.