Dr Diana Sarfati,
Acting Director General Of Health
26th September 2022
Dear Dr Sarfati,
Right to Life is concerned that women seeking an early medical abortion in New Zealand are not being advised that they have a right to discontinue the procedure after taking mifepristone and before taking the second drug misoprostol. They are also not being advised that the abortion pill reversal protocol is available, is safe and is effective.
We are aware that the Abortion Clinical Guidelines provide information that claim that abortions cannot be reversed and that this practice is not supported in New Zealand.
This incorrect information is also on the Ministry’s web- site for the Decide National Abortion Telehealth Service. “You can change your mind about having an abortion at any time before it takes place , if you are having an early medical abortion . Once you have taken the medication you cannot stop or reverse the abortion”.
These statements raise several important questions,
- What evidence do you have that the abortion pill reversal protocol with progesterone does not reverse an early medical abortion?
- Why are women seeking an early medical abortion being advised that after taking mifepristone that an abortion cannot be stopped?
The abortion pill reversal protocol using progesterone is widely accepted in the United States. There are 23 States in the United States that have legislation requiring that women undergoing an early medical abortion be advised of the abortion pill reversal protocol.
The abortion pill reversal protocol has the support of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, this Association has 2,500 members.
The abortion pill reversal protocol developed in the United States provides treatment with progesterone for a woman who has taken Mifepristone and before she has taken Misoprostol. It has a success rate of 64% in saving the life of the child. Since 2012 more than 2,500 babies have been saved following the use of this life saving protocol.
Dr Delgardo, founder of the abortion pill reversal protocol conducted a study in 2018 with 754 patients who had been treated with the protocol. The study revealed that the treatment was safe and effective, there were no birth defects.
There were 4,774 early medical abortions in New Zealand in 2020. It is distressing that all of these women were told that,” once you had started the medication you cannot stop or reverse the abortion”.
I am aware that the pro- abortion movement is totally opposed to the abortion pill reversal protocol and does not support the right of women changing their minds about proceeding with an early medical abortion and choosing life for their child. I believe that opposition to the abortion pill reversal protocol is based on ideology, not science.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has stated that if a woman has taken Mifepristone to kill her unborn child and changes her mind, but if she does not take the Misoprostol and takes no further action, then her baby has a 60% chance of survival.
I believe that the Ministry of Health is failing in its obligations and duties as providers to comply with the code in providing information to consumers seeking an early medical abortion violate the code of Health & Disability Service Consumer’s Rights 1996, specifically,
Right 6. Right to be fully informed.
Right 7. Right to make an informed choice & give informed consent, which states, ‘Every consumer has the right to refuse services and to withdraw consent to services’.
In conclusion Right to Life requests that you ensure that all women considering an early medical abortion be advised that they have a right to withdraw their consent to this procedure after receiving mifepristone and before taking misoprostol. They also have a right prior to receiving Misoprostol to receive treatment with progesterone to reverse the medical abortion.
Right to Life