Abortion pill reversal’ (APR) treatment was invented by an anti-abortion doctor in California. It involves taking high doses of progesterone, a hormone, following the first of two pills used for a medical abortion (mifepristone and misoprostol).
Progesterone isn’t dangerous, but this delusional ‘treatment’ could be. The only high-quality clinical trial into this method, in the US, was halted in 2019 after some participants hospitalised with severe haemorrhaging.
Along with other openDemocracy reporters across four continents, I contacted a 24-hour APR hotline – run out of the US by the Christian Right group Heartbeat International – while posing as a pregnant woman living in Uruguay.
A US hotline operator emailed me a copy of a ‘consent form’ stating that I understood APR was an “off-label use of progesterone” and that I should “seek emergency medical care immediately” if I experienced pain or heavy bleeding.
Then I was connected to local activists and a doctor in Uruguay. This doctor gave me a progesterone prescription over the phone, and the local activists insisted that they could bring the pills to my home and for free.
No national medical authorities in Uruguay have approved or recommended APR. Despite this, the Uruguayan doctor assured me there was “no reason for fear”. Shesaid that this treatment works, although it is not “standard practice”.
But my pregnancy was fake – as fake as the world in which APR is a ‘treatment’.