Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 71(3) August 2021


Abortion Pill Reversal: Effective care that exposes the “pro-choice”deception

Dr Adrian Treloar

BabyDuring lockdown abortion providers raced to deliver medical abortion pills by post to women whom they had interviewed by phone. The numbers of abortions performed in the UK reached an all time high, and it is clear that at least some of those women greatly regretted taking the first Pill. They sought what is often called “Abortion Pill Reversal”. Reversal is based upon the fact that that, mifepristone is a progesterone blocker. Blocking progesterone weakens and kills the foetus in many women. In some women however, the foetus does not die, and a second pill (misoprostol) contracts the uterus and completes the death of the child with only 2% of pregnancies surviving both pills. If the second pill is not taken, the survival rate is between 10% and 23% [1]. If progesterone is given to women the survival rate rises to between 48 and 68%. A 2018 case series of 547 women who took progesterone after mifepristone found an overall survival rate at 20 weeks gestation of 48%. That rose to 68% if the progesterone was given orally or by injection [2].

So while the use of progesterone does not (and clearly cannot) prevent all women from losing their babies after the administration of mifepris­tone, a significant number can be protected by the early and timely use of oral or injected progesterone. We know that mifepristone does not kill the baby immediately: it acts over days.

It appears that the earlier you can support a pregnancy treated with mifepristone by giving progesterone the more likely is survival of the baby. And the really good news is that of the 257 babies who survived to birth, Dr Delgado [2] found that the birth defect rate showed no increase compared to the general population of births. He also found that preterm delivery rate was 2.7% :- a number much lower than the 10% in the general population. It appears that the babies which survive do not suffer long term harm from the mifepristone ingested by their mothers. You will not be surprised to hear that all these figures are hotly contested by the abortion industry and its supporters. A key objection of theirs is that women who take progesterone are at risk of bleeding. As we noted in the last issue of the CMQ [3] University of California researchers last year abandoned a trial into the effects of taking progesterone after mifepristone over safety concerns. The team warned of a 'high risk of significant haemorrhage’. Actually, looking at that study [3], we note that the study was terminated early (after recruiting only 12 patients) because three women required hospitalisation for haem­orrhage. But further reading shows that two of those women were on placebo and only one (again treated with placebo) required transfusion. The trial was stopped due to safety concerns, although we note that gestational survival to 2 weeks was 4/5 for the progesterone group and 2/5 for the placebo group. Two women had withdrawn “for subjective symptoms (nausea and vomiting, bleeding).” So in this (tiny) trial which was stopped early due to safety concerns mainly among the placebo arm, the Progesterone arm of the trial did rather better and appears safer. And yet, that study is cited to suggest that giving progesterone to women who no longer want to take the second abortion pill is unsafe.

In the context of all that, two UK doctors started providing progesterone, as a means of reversing the effects of the first abortion pill (mifepristone). They have been reported to the General Medical Council and in preliminary Fitness to Practice hearings one was told that that they “must not prescribe, administer or recommend progesterone for abortion reversal treatments.”. The other is subject to “must be supervised in all of her posts by a clinical supervisor” and is thus also effectively barred from helping women in need. Having seen 38 babies (out of 73) survive, [4] in the help they have given so for it is clear that

  1. There is considerable demand for a service and many women have changed their minds after taking the first abortion pill.
  2. These doctors have been Good (and utterly heroic) Samaritans in their support for women at a moment of crisis.
  3. It is delightful to see that babies have and will soon be born because of what they gave and did.

Now that such help has been stopped by the GMC we should ask how on earth women who need help can access that help. Surely women have a right to such help.

Finally, we should note that those protecting life have been truly offering women a choice. The abortion providers have and are being utterly stringent in their attempts to stop access to abortion pill reversal. How can they possibly call themselves pro-choice?


  1. Davenport ML. et al. Embryo survival after mifepristone: a systematic review of the literature. Issues in Law and Medicine. (2017) 32 (1): pp 3-18.
  2. Delgado G, et al. A case series detailing the successful reversal of the effects of mifepristone using Progesterone. Issues in Law and Medicine (2018) 33(1): 21-31.
  3. Creinin M, Hou M, Dalton L et al (2020) mifepristone Antagonization With Progesterone to Prevent Medical Abortion: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Jan;135(1):158-165.
  4. Hacking C. What is really going on behind so called Abortion Pill Reversal “controversy”? Jun 14, 2021