The following article was written by a practicing, board certified specialist in family medicine with special interests in women’s health issues, obstetrics, prenatal care and gynecology. She has also been extensively trained in the Abortion Pill Reversal process, having performed it successfully for patients. She describes both how it works and her own experience in caring for the women who come to her seeking this process.
Abortion Pill Reversal? That sounded intriguing. I am a family practice physician who also cares for pregnant moms and delivers babies. I was attending a medical conference in Boston when, during a break between lectures, I visited the Exhibition Hall where vendors were advertising and selling their products. One table with the banner “Abortion Pill Reversal” caught my attention. The table was being attended by Dr. George Delgado and an accompanying nurse. As I lingered a few moments, curious about what this hook would be convincing me to purchase, the nurse quickly reassured me it wasn’t a marketing ploy. Dr. Delgado has pioneered a medical treatment protocol specifically designed for women who have taken the abortion pill (mifepristone, or RU-486) for a medical abortion, but then regret their decision before taking the 2nd medication, misoprostol. The nurse wanted to know if I would be interested in being part of the network of providers who are able to offer the protocol.
How the Abortion Pill Works
Typically, medical abortions are offered to women during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy who are wanting to terminate their pregnancies. This gives women the option of not having to undergo a surgical procedure for their abortion and to experience the pregnancy loss at home, rather than in a clinic. A mifepristone pill is given. The mifepristone works by blocking progesterone receptors. Progesterone is a crucial hormone of pregnancy that allows the baby to grow and receive nutrition, so, after the mifepristone, the baby typically dies without the necessary nutrition and hormonal support. The woman is then sent home with another pill, misoprostol, and is instructed to take the second pill by mouth (or sometimes as a vaginal suppository) 1 1/2 to 3 days later. The misoprostol typically induces uterine contractions, so the woman’s body will expel the dead baby.
How the Abortion Pill Reversal Works
The abortion pill reversal protocol uses progesterone (a bioidentical hormone that is naturally present in a woman’s body) to flood the uterus with progesterone with the idea, if there is enough progesterone, it will counteract the effects of the progesterone receptor blockade. Its success rate is reported at 64-68%. Progesterone is completely safe and is associated with no known birth defects.
Since I already use progesterone support extensively in my practice to help decrease my patients’ risk of miscarriage and preterm labor, the concept was not completely foreign to me. I was already familiar with providing progesterone support to pregnant patients, so it was not a great leap for me to sign the page on the clipboard at that medical conference. I provided my contact information and wondered if I would ever be called to help.
The Women Who Came to Me for Abortion Pill Reversal
I didn’t have to wonder long. Since then, I have been called by the Abortion Pill Reversal Hotline team numerous times and have been immersed into the lives of many women in need of compassion and care. This is the way it works: if a woman regrets taking the mifepristone and finds the abortion pill reversal hotline number during an online search, she calls the number and the team reaches out to a provider in the network who is in her geographical area. If the provider is available and willing, the team connects the woman with the provider, so the reversal protocol can be started. I have to admit, with my first call, I was a bit unprepared for the emotional ramifications of connecting with a woman who has just aborted her baby and who is now wanting to consider other options. While their stories are all different, they have a common theme. Each woman whose contact information I receive is experiencing a crisis. The news of her positive pregnancy test has not been met with joy. Sometime, she is not married. Sometimes, she simply has no where to turn. She made the best decision she could. She couldn’t possibly have a baby, at least not now. She went to an abortion provider or purchased the pills online. With one final thought, she swallowed the pill. . . . trying to feel good about the decision, about what she had just done. She realizes relief or satisfaction are not the emotions that are flooding through her brain. Maybe what is nagging her is her moral upbringing that told her an unborn baby is a precious life that should not be destroyed. Maybe it is the disdain she sees in her boyfriends eyes when she gets caught in his glare. Maybe it is the disappointment that she won’t be able to tell her mother that she is about to be a grandmother. Maybe it is the freedom of being away from her boyfriend who would not leave the abortion clinic until she had taken the pill. Maybe it was the beating heart she saw on the ultrasound screen.These are just a few of the reasons my patients have given for wanting to reverse their abortions.
Although the reversal, which requires a protocol of progesterone support, given either as capsules by mouth or as injections in the hip muscles, isn’t always successful, I am blessed to be in a position to care for these women. Although their circumstances vary, each woman with whom I am placed in contact has two things in common: first, she is experiencing despair and, second, she has been deeply wounded. Although it is emotionally challenging to walk alongside these women, I am blessed to be in a position to offer them both hope and healing. It is such a joy to share the ultrasound images of a healthy, growing baby inside the woman’s womb while she is undergoing the reversal protocol. It is an even greater joy to receive birth announcements and newborn photos from her. The ultimate joy is the knowledge she doesn’t have to endure the shame that all too often occurs of being partly responsible for the death of her baby.
The Utter Heartbreak of Not Being Successful
But, when the protocol isn’t successful, I am still able to walk alongside each woman, listening to her describe her fear and anxiety when she starts to cramp or bleed, crying with her after she sees her dead baby on the ultrasound screen, staying with her through her labor when she knows the end result will be the delivery of a dead baby, feeling her pain when the first words she speaks to the dead baby she now holds in her arms are “I’m so sorry I did this to you,” hugging her when she feels unloved, speaking to her about unconditional love and mercy. Normally, each abortion results in both a dead baby AND a wounded woman. But in this situation, it doesn’t have to result in both, at least not permanently.
The Real Meaning of Health Care
I used to cringe every time I would see the banner that read “Health Care Happens Here” hanging on the front of the abortion provider building next door. After listening to my patients stories, I know that what is offered there is anything BUT health CARE. When I first saw the “Abortion Pill Reversal” banner that caught my attention at the medical conference, I had no idea I was being led to help provide the most meaningful kind of health care to women in need of hope, healing, care, and compassion.
If you want more information on this important procedure – either to simply talk it through with a knowledgeable health care provider, or because you are finding yourself part-way through a medical abortion that you are now regretting, reach out to us.
Here, there is no pressure, simply loving answers in a compassionate, private environment. And we pledge to stick with you, no matter what your choice!
But remember, time is critical if you are considering a reversal. Make an appointment to come see us.
It might be just the thing that saves you!