American Medical Association Sues North Dakota over ‘Ideological’ Abortion Counseling Law

An anti-abortion activist holds a model of a fetus during a protest outside of the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on May 7, 2015. Protesters are demanding Republican lawmakers approve a bill banning all abotions after 20 weeks.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

The American Medical Association (AMA) has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court that challenges North Dakota legislation requiring physicians to inform women that abortion ends the life of human beings and that drug-induced abortions may be reversible.

The AMA alleges the North Dakota laws “compel physicians and other members of the care team to provide patients with false, misleading, non-medical information about reproductive health.”

AMA takes issue with H.B. 1336, which is scheduled to take effect August 1, and will require doctors to inform women a drug-induced abortion may be “reversed.”

According to the organization, the information required of doctors is “a patently false and unproven claim unsupported by scientific evidence.”

Additionally, AMA says the requirement that physicians inform women abortion ends “the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being” is an “ideological” message that “forces physicians to act as the mouthpiece of the state.”

“The patient-physician relationship is the cornerstone of health care, and depends upon honest, open conversations about all of a patient’s health care options,” said Dr. Patrice Harris, AMA president, in a press statement. “North Dakota’s law undermines this relationship by requiring physicians to mislead and misinform their patients with messages that contradict reality and science. The AMA will always defend science and open conversations about all health care options available to patients.”

However, Harris was recently called out by the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler for citing false information in her testimony before Virginia Democrat Rep. Don Beyer’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing.

In May, Kessler published a fact-check on the claim by abortion activists – based on a debunked study – that maternal mortality rates increased in Texas after funding was cut to abortion clinics.

Citing the already debunked study, Kessler found the claim to be false and observed AMA’s Harris used the same study to support her prepared testimony opposing legislation that restricts abortion.

Kessler reported:

A spokesman for AMA said the testimony had relied on a CNN report about the original study, but staff had missed an editor’s note at the top of the article saying that a subsequent study found the numbers had been inflated by two-thirds.

The AMA lawsuit was filed jointly with the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Red River Women’s Clinic – the only abortion clinic in North Dakota.

Dr. Ingrid Skop, chairman-elect of the board of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), told Breitbart News the issue stressed in the North Dakota legislation is “informed consent.”

“If a woman is considering an elective procedure like an abortion, she should be thoroughly counseled,” the Texas-based OB/GYN explained.

“It is scientifically undeniable that the fetus is a living, genetically distinct human being,” Skop said. “Thus, informing her of that fact should not be controversial. If she is unaware of this fact, inevitably she will discover the truth at some point in the future, and this may lead to regret.”

Skop also observed that reversing the action of the abortion drug mifepristone (RU-486) with progesterone should not be a controversial medical intervention.

Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone, which the mother’s body produces to sustain the pregnancy. When progesterone is blocked, the lining of the uterus disintegrates – preventing the baby from receiving blood and nourishment – and the baby dies.

Skop explained prescribing progesterone to reverse the action of the mifepristone “is similar to reversing the effect of narcotics in the event of an opioid overdose with naloxone, a competitive antagonist.”

“Progesterone is used frequently in early pregnancy in women who are at high risk for a miscarriage, because progesterone, as its name implies, promotes gestation,” she continued. “Thus, there is no danger at all to a woman if she should take progesterone to reverse a medical abortion. Likewise, there does not seem to be a teratogenic effect for the baby.”

Former abortionist and OB/GYN Dr. Anthony Levatino describes what occurs during a drug-induced abortion in the medical animation video below:

Skop said abortion reversal with progesterone is still being studied.

“[T]here does seem to be evidence that pregnancies are saved in the gestational ages of 6-10 weeks,” she noted. “Currently there is a large-scale prospective study underway.”

“The vigor with which the pro-abortion advocates are attacking [drug-induced abortion reversal] demonstrates that they are not really interested in the woman’s well-being, but merely in providing abortion as widely as they can,” Skop added. “If we truly value women’s choice, shouldn’t we allow them the choice to change their minds?”

Skop’s view is echoed by Philadelphia-based OB/GYN Dr. Monique Ruberu, who, in a recent Frontline documentary that focused on drug-induced abortions, noted she informs women who take mifepristone that they have 72 hours to reverse the effects of the abortion drug if they are prescribed progesterone.

“The babies that are saved from the RU-486 do awesome, and they don’t have any problems following as far as we know,” Ruberu explained.

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