‘Junk Science’ Anti-Choice Bill Hits Roadblock in Indiana

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‘Junk Science’ Anti-Choice Bill Hits Roadblock in Indiana

Teddy Wilson

Since 2015, bills requiring pregnant patients be informed about “abortion reversal” have been introduced by Republican lawmakers in California, Colorado, Georgia, and North Carolina. Republican governors in Arizona, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Utah have signed similar bills into law.

A bill promoting anti-choice pseudoscience that the medical community has characterized as “junk science” and “tantamount to quackery” stalled this week in the Indiana legislature.

HB 1128, sponsored by Rep. Ronald Bacon (R-Boonville), would require doctors to inform pregnant patients, both verbally and in writing, prior to providing a medication abortion, about “possibly reversing the effects of an abortion obtained through an abortion inducing drug.”

The written materials for patients would include a statement that “no scientifically validated medical study confirms that an abortion may be reversed after taking abortion inducing drugs.”

Dr. George Delgado, a California physician who opposes abortion rights, introduced the concept of “abortion reversal” in a 2012 paper he co-authored and published in the Annals of PharmacotherapyThe paper, which was panned for methodological and scientific flaws, claimed that medication abortion, which consists of a two-pill regimen, was reversed for four of six women in the study.

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A Rewire investigation documented how Delgado’s claims have been propagated by anti-choice organizations and lawmakers.

HB 1128 was passed by the Republican-held Indiana House on February 27 and was referred to the state senate judiciary committee.

Sen. Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville), chairman of the judiciary committee, said he will not bring the bill up for a hearing because lawmakers don’t have enough time to “vet, consider and debate all of the bills,” reported the Indianapolis Star. The last day for the Indiana Senate to pass a house bill is April 12.

“I’m happy to have that conversation—to see whether it’s good policy or not—we just ran out of time,” Bray told the Associated Press.

The house public policy committee held a hearing Tuesday on another anti-choice bill, SB 404, which would prohibit a physician from performing an abortion on an minor without first obtaining written consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Rep. Peggy Mayfield (R-Martinsville) had prepared an amendment to insert some of the anti-choice “abortion reversal” language into SB 404, reported the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

However, Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) told the Associated Press prior to the committee hearing that the so-called abortion pill reversal language would not be included in SB 404. “That whole section has been omitted,” Smaltz said. “I’m going through the merge markup right now, just to make sure.”

SB 404 was passed by the committee with a 8-4 vote, without an “abortion pill reversal” amendment, reported the Associated Press.

Bacon told the Associated Press he’s “disappointed” that HB 1128 will likely not be passed by the legislature.

Since 2015, bills requiring pregnant patients be informed about “abortion reversal” have been introduced by Republican lawmakers in California, Colorado, Georgia, and North Carolina. Republican governors in Arizona, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Utah have signed similar bills into law.

The bills are based on copycat legislation drafted by Americans United for Life, an anti-choice legislation mill.