BISMARCK — North Dakota senators voted to require physicians to inform women that it may be possible to reverse a drug-induced abortion if they change their mind Friday, March 15, despite warnings that the claim isn't backed by science.
The Senate's 34-11 vote sends House Bill 1336 to Gov. Doug Burgum. It's one of two major abortion bills making their way through the Republican-controlled Legislature this session.
A lawmaker who supported the proposal called it a "women's right to know bill."
“The language in this bill is informational only, it is a notification only, giving the woman the full information she needs to make her own decision if she regrets her choice within a short period of time,” said Sen. Janne Myrdal, R-Edinburg. “It is only a notice. It is not medical advice.”
Proponents have said women can undo the abortion process by taking the hormone progesterone after the first of two drugs used in a medical abortion. A major women's health care professionals group, however, has said claims around abortion reversal aren’t based on science.
“I cannot support a law that requires possibly questionable information to be given to patients,” said Fargo Republican Sen. Kristin Roers, who is a nurse. “Would we require this if it were any other medical procedure with this level of evidence?”
Four states have similar laws, including South Dakota, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights group.
Tammi Kromenaker, the head of the state's sole abortion clinic, previously said the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo won’t perform an abortion when a patient is uncertain of her decision. A little more than a fourth of the clinic’s patients received a medical abortion in 2018, she said earlier this session.
The Senate is also poised to consider a bill outlawing an abortion procedure commonly used in the second trimester of a pregnancy.
A spokesman for Burgum declined to comment on the abortion reversal bill. The Republican governor doesn't generally comment on bills before they reach his desk.