Search publications
Search publications
Research on Abortion
Research on Abortion
Research at ANSIRH
Research at ANSIRH
Research on Contraception
Research on Contraception
Research on Culture
Research on Culture
International Research
International Research
Research on Policy
Research on Policy
ANSIRH publications
ANSIRH publications
ANSIRH publications
ANSIRH publications
ANSIRH publications & resources
ANSIRH publications & resources
ANSIRH publications
ANSIRH publications
ANSIRH training materials
ANSIRH training materials
ANSIRH training materials
ANSIRH training materials
ANSIRH in the Media
ANSIRH in the Media
ANSIRH publications & resources
ANSIRH publications & resources
ANSIRH resources
ANSIRH resources
ANSIRH resources
ANSIRH resources
ANSIRH resources
ANSIRH resources

Article

There is no evidence to support abortion pill “reversal”

Between 2015 and 2019, legislators in at least 14 states have introduced bills that would require clinicians to inform patients during pre-abortion counseling that the abortion pill can be “reversed” if a woman were to change her mind after taking it. This is despite the fact that medication abortion is safe and that the vast majority of women who choose abortion do not regret their decision. So-called abortion “reversal” bills have been passed into law and implemented in four states as of 2019: Arkansas, Idaho, South Dakota, and Utah.

Abortion pill “reversal” is an experimental treatment that involves administering repeated doses of progesterone after a patient has taken mifepristone, the first of two drugs used for medication abortion. However, there is no evidence that progesterone treatment increases the chance of the pregnancy continuing. Even if the concept of “reversal” is biologically plausible, rigorous testing of the protocol should be required in order to determine whether it is effective and safe, and preferable to simply not taking the second medication abortion drug, misoprostol.

Our latest issue brief reviews the currently available published evidence on medication abortion “reversal” and concludes that additional rigorous evidence is needed before clinicians are required by law to counsel their patients about the experimental treatment.

Download our issue brief, “Abortion Pill "Reversal": Where's the Evidence?

Banner photo: © Aura Orozco-Fuentes

Sign up for the ANSIRH Listserv

Want to stay up to date on the latest research and news from ANSIRH? Join our listserv.

Contact us

Connect with us on social media

ANSIRH is a program within the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and is a part of UCSF's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences.

©2015 The Regents of the University of California