Medical Science Misrepresented by North Dakota Abortion Bill

On March 25, 2019, the North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R) signed into law HB 1336 which would force doctors to tell patients seeking medication abortions that the procedure can be reversed. However, professionals at leading medical groups such as the American Medical Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and Planned Parenthood oppose this experimental course of treatment.

According to the ACOG, “claims regarding abortion ‘reversal’ treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards. The [ACOG] ranks its recommendations on the strength of the evidence, and does not support prescribing progesterone to stop a medical abortion.”


On July 2, 2019, the American Medical Association, the Red River Women’s Clinic, and the Center for Reproductive Rights joined together to file a lawsuit to block this “abortion reversal” law. According to The Washington Post, the plaintiffs are arguing that the “law violates doctors’ constitutional right to free speech by forcing them to lie to patients.”

On December 16, 2019 it was reported that a medical study that was attempting to see if medicinal abortion reversal was possible was cancelled after 3 participants ended up hospitalized for severe bleeding. The doctors in charge of the study stated that the risks to the health of the participants was too great to allow it to continue.

On September 12, 2019, a U.S. District Court of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction against House Bill 1336, temporarily blocking the bill's abortion "reversal" provision while the lawsuit filed by the American Medical Association proceeds.