On Wednesday March 24th, Dr. Will Johnston received an email from reporter Annie Burns-Pieper stating that she had posed as a pregnant woman and accessed the Abortion Pill Rescue Hotline. She had been put in touch with him, he had prescribed progesterone to her and now she wanted to interview him.
Here is the story she wrote: The Tyee
The Abortion Pill Rescue network exists to help women who wish to attempt to save their pregnancy after taking mifepristone.
If you’ve never heard about this option, Dr. Phil Boyle and Dr. Trevor Hayes do a great job of explaining it in a video at the end of this post.
What Is the Story?
This story is part of a wider effort to discredit the efforts of the Abortion Rescue Network and the physicians who work to help save pregnancies when a woman seeks this support.
The journalists went to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada with “their findings”.
And the Society issued a statement.
“The SOGC does not support prescribing progesterone to stop a medical abortion. The claims regarding so-called abortion “reversal” treatments are not based on scientific evidence. Not only are the treatments unproven, they can also result in serious complications for the patient.”
Upon being advised of this statement, Canadian Physicians for Life reached out to the SOGC and supplied them with published case studies and an analysis of the case that we assume they were referred to by the investigative journalists. That analysis is below.
The SOGC responded almost immediately to CPL stating that they have sent the materials to their clinical committee to review. We look forward to hearing from them and having a reasoned discussion without the pressure of ‘gotcha’ journalism.
This is an excerpt of the analysis of the research from our partner organization the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG).
Mitchell Creinin, a paid consultant
for the abortion pill manufactorer Danco, is the prinicipal investigator of a recently terminated study seeking to disprove the legitimacy of APR. The study
was halted after enrolling just 12 women, following three instances of “severe hemorrhage requiring ambulance transport to hospital.” It was implied by various media outlets that APR was to blame for these hospitalizations, however, a more thorough review of the data reveals the opposite.
Here are the facts:
Two out of the three patients who hemorrhaged were from the placebo group– the group that DID NOT received progesterone. This is a 40% significant hemorrhage incidence from mifepristone ALONE, not from using progesterone. Both of those patients from the mifepristone alone group required a D&C in the ER, and one required a transfusion.
The third patient who hemorrhaged was from the progesterone group. By the time she reached the ER she had essentially completed passing tissue and her bleeding spontaneously subsided. An ultrasound in the ER was consistent with a completed abortion and she did not require either surgery or transfusion. This amounted to a 20% hemorrhage rate (so actually, progesterone would appear to have a PROTECTIVE effect against hemorrhage as compared to mifepristone alone, although the numbers are small).
Of greatest importance, 4 of the 5 women in the progesterone treatment group had living fetuses as confirmed by ultrasound documentation of a fetal heartbeat two weeks after taking mifepristone – that’s an 80% success rate!
The authors and the media outlets like NPR are wildly mischaracterizing
the study results, even going as far as falsely claiming that the study shows that progesterone APR treatments are dangerous for women. This mischaracterization is fueled by the authors contortions to explain the cessation of the study, and to blame it somehow on progesterone. Without any evidence whatsoever in their data, the authors are claiming that these women on mifepristone alone would not have hemorrhaged if they had taken the misoprostol. Unfortunately for the authors, nothing in their study supports such a wild claim. In fact, in the analysis of 600 Adverse event reports submitted to the FDA in the first 4 years after approval of mifepristone
, all of the women with massive hemorrhage requiring transfusion HAD TAKEN misoprostol after taking mifepristone.
The 2018 FDA Postmarketing summary of severe adverse events after the use of mifepristone
lists 24 women who died
after use of mifepristone for abortion, as well as ruptured ectopic pregnancies, hemorrhages requiring transfusion, sepsis and other adverse events. None of these women in the adverse event reports had taken progesterone, and all of them had used either buccal or vaginal misoprostol, which did not prevent their hemorrhages or their transfusions.
So, there is absolutely zero evidence to support the claim that taking misoprostol would have avoided the massive hemorrhage seen in women who took mifepristone alone in this study. In fact, the study authors did not even study the question, because they did not administer misoprostol at all. One might wonder if the 80% fetal survival rate after administration of progesterone might have been the actual reason that led the authors to discontinue the study.
“This study by Dr. Creinin confirms two things that we have previously known but the abortion industry refuses to acknowledge.
First, mifepristone is a dangerous medication for both women and their unborn children.It is precisely for this reason that we support the FDA REMS that control the prescription and use of this medication and oppose any efforts to remove them.
Second, the use of progesterone for pregnancy rescue is an effective option for women who change their minds after taking mifepristone and desire a chance to save the life of their unborn child.
As compassionate healthcare providers, it would be unethical for us to withhold this treatment from women seeking it given the information we have. All women’s healthcare physicians, regardless of their feelings about abortion, should be able to agree on this.”
And if you want to dig deeper into the details, this link will take you to the clinical trials information posted on the US government website.