Oklahoma legislators are considering SB 614, a bill that would require physicians to give false and misleading information to patients seeking an abortion. Dr. Alan Braid is speaking up about the medically unnecessary bill.
When a person gets information from their doctor, they expect that information to be medically accurate. There is a certain amount of trust the person has in their doctor — trust that they would not be misled, lied to, or told that a procedure was safe when there was no scientific evidence to suggest safety.
Unfortunately, for individuals seeking abortion care in Oklahoma, politicians in this state care less about accurate information and more about scoring political points and pleasing interest groups who would stop at nothing to interfere with access to safe and legal abortion. These politicians are forcing doctors to lie to their patients.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Senate Bill 614, by Sen. Julie Daniels of Bartlesville, passed the State Senate, and is halfway to becoming law in Oklahoma. This bill requires doctors to discuss “medication abortion reversal” with their patients, despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence or medical research that proves the protocol works or is even safe. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) specifically states that this protocol is not recommended as a medical standard or practice. ACOG goes on to say that “so-called abortion ‘reversal’ procedures are unproven and unethical,” and points out that the 2012 case series this assertion is based upon had a sample size of only six women, and was not supervised by an institutional review board or ethical review committee required in research studies to order to protect human research subjects.
The bottom line is this — bills like SB 614 have been introduced across the country in a coordinated attack by anti-abortion politicians and special interest groups, not doctors. Their goal isn’t women’s health and safety, or “informed consent,” their goal is to create shame, stigma, and fear around abortion. Furthermore, this medication abortion “reversal” is a myth created to address a problem that does not exist. Women do not regret their decision to have an abortion — a recent study found that over 90 percent of women who have an abortion report that they made the right decision.
Doctors should never be forced to go against their own medical judgement and proven science to be compliant with a politically motivated misinformation campaign. Patients should never have to worry about politicians interfering with their ability to get proven, accurate medical information in the exam room. Oklahomans deserve honest medical advice and information, so they can make the best decision for themselves.
Alan R. Braid, M.D.
Diplomate American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Owner Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic