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WREN Testimony in Opposition to S. 907
by Ann Warner, WREN CEO on Jan 26, 2022
The following testimony was presented to the Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee in writing on January 26, 2022.
Thank you for the opportunity to submit written testimony to this Committee. My name is Ann Warner and I am the CEO of the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with a mission to build a movement to advance the health, economic well-being, and rights of South Carolina’s women, girls, and their families. We have more than 40,000 people in our statewide network.
On behalf of our organization, I am asking committee members to vote in opposition to S.907.
This bill is dangerous and unethical. It would force doctors to provide patients with information that is medically inaccurate, misleading, and could be harmful to a patient’s health.
Medication abortion is performed with two medications: mifepristone and misoprostol. The first medicine (mifepristone) is provided by a doctor at a health center or abortion clinic. The second medication (misoprostol) is given to the patient to take at home. Medication abortion is extremely safe. Half of all abortions in SC today are performed through medication.
There is no evidence supporting medication abortion “reversal,” and scientific research demonstrates that it could, in fact, be dangerous for patients.
There is no scientific or medical evidence that proves that reversing a medication abortion is possible: there have been no clinical trials, and no objective or credible data has been published. Because there have been no clinical trials, this has not been tested for safety, effectiveness, or the likelihood of side effects. Moreover, the medical protocol that “reversal” proponents advocate could in fact endanger people’s health.
S.907 is hostile to the informed consent process.
It is a core principle of medical ethics that all health care providers obtain informed consent before treating a patient. Requiring physicians to tell patients that a medication abortion may be reversible undermines the informed consent process and risks misleading patients to believe they do not need to be certain about their decision before obtaining an abortion. The goal of the informed consent process is for patients to have all of the information necessary so that they can make the right decision for themselves. A patient should not be led to believe that they can reverse a procedure they have consented to, as it creates a risk that a patient may begin an abortion before they are ready to commit to the decision.
S.907 is yet another bill that is playing politics with people’s health
This legislation is rooted in ideology and politics, not the best interests of the patients. The politicians and special interest groups behind this measure are the same groups that are working to end access to safe abortion in South Carolina. Patients don’t turn to politicians for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments. Once a patient has made a decision about their health care, politicians should not stand in their way.
I strongly urge you to vote in opposition of S.907. This legislation undermines the doctor-patient relationship; forces the attending physician to convey to his/her patient a politically and ideologically motivated message that is devoid of credible scientific evidence; misinforms and misleads the patient; undermines informed consent and the standard of care; and is arguably unethical.
Patients need medically accurate information, not state-mandated deception, pressure, or shame.
A law that mandates that physicians inflict upon their patients a false, misleading, and controversial ‘abortion reversal’ message should not survive any level of legislative scrutiny. By opposing this bill, you will send a clear message to South Carolinians that you respect our judgment, our safety, and our lives.
Thank you for your consideration.