Anti-abortion lawmakers in West Virginia have introduced House Bill 2982, which would force medical professionals to provide patients who are seeking a medication abortion with information that is medically inaccurate, misleading, and could even be harmful to their patients' health.
This bill is moving quickly through the WV legislature. Here’s everything you need to know:
What is a medication abortion?
Before we go into the details of the bill, it’s important to quickly explain how medication abortion works.
Medication abortion involves taking two prescription drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol, taken up to 48 hours apart. For some people, taking mifepristone without also taking the misoprostol dose will result in their pregnancies continuing, even without any additional supplement or intervention. Put another way, in cases where the medication abortion is not complete, the lack of intervention may lead to a continued pregnancy. However, there are no reliable research studies to prove that any treatment actually reverses the effects of mifepristone.
Medication abortion is a non-invasive, FDA-approved method to end an early pregnancy, and it is incredibly safe. With nearly 20 years of use in the U.S., by almost 4 million women, there is well-documented evidence that medication abortion is both safe and effective.
What would HB 2982 do?
HB 2982 requires that doctors tell their patients that an abortion can be “stopped” if they choose not to take misoprostol, the pill that would complete the abortion. This legislation undermines doctors' ability to provide informed consent by forcing them to tell patients that their decision to end a pregnancy can be undone when no credible evidence supports that claim.
This measure is a further intrusion of politicians into West Virginians’ personal lives. Just like with the many anti-abortion bills that have been passed in the last few years, HB 2982 puts politicians right in the middle of a patient and their doctor. People don’t turn to politicians for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments. Politicians make crappy doctors, and should not be involved in someone’s personal medical decisions about their pregnancy.
What can we do to stop it?
Lawmakers are pushing this bill through the legislature quickly, and it’s expected to be heard on the House floor soon. Your representatives need to hear from you NOW, and there are a couple ways you can do that:
Contact your representative: You can use our legislator finder tool to find out who represents you and their contact information, including email, phone number, and social media channels (if applicable).
Fill out our action alert: Use our action alert to quickly email your representative and let them know that West Virginians don’t want them to play politics with our lives.
Get loud on social media: Make sure your voice is heard by tweeting at your elected officials using the hashtag #wvpol. Use our legislator finder tool above to find their social media channels.