Abortion advocates picket outside of an anti-abortion fundraiser for “crisis pregnancy centers” on International Safe Abortion Day
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 25, 2023
CHICAGO, IL -- Advocates for abortion access and full bodily autonomy will organize a picket line outside of the Union League Club of Chicago (65 W. Jackson Blvd) at 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 28th to protest an anti-abortion fundraiser being hosted by Aid for Women, a local network of “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs).
“I learned about ‘abortion pill reversal’ because an anti-abortion protester was handing out leaflets from Aid for Women outside of our local abortion clinic,” said Lisa Battisfore, founder of Reproductive Transparency Now. “We have continued to see an increase in messaging about ‘abortion pill reversal’ on anti-abortion websites. Despite the warnings from major medical organizations that this protocol is unethical and potentially dangerous, anti-abortion ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ continue to promote it openly.”
“Abortion pill reversal” (or “APR”) refers to the unfounded claim that medication abortion can be reversed by using a high dose of progesterone soon after taking mifepristone, the first of two medications used in a medical abortion regimen. Anti-abortion groups have cited a 2012 study of six women and a 2018 observational study to justify the use of APR, claiming that it has a 64 to 68% success rate.
According to a policy brief from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, supporters of APR fail to mention that both of those studies had no ethics approval, no control group, and no reported safety outcomes (among other serious limitations). In 2019, a different team of researchers designed a randomized controlled clinical trial that was stopped early for safety reasons because three out of 12 enrolled patients experienced severe hemorrhaging that required hospitalization. Despite these serious health concerns, anti-abortion CPCs–including Aid for Women in Chicagoland–continue to promote APR prominently on their websites.
Pro-choice states outside of Illinois have begun taking decisive action to address this growing public health threat. Last Thursday, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that his office is suing two major anti-abortion organizations for making false and misleading claims about APR on their websites. Colorado lawmakers passed SB23-190 in April of this year, which included a provision that finds any healthcare provider to be engaging in “unprofessional conduct” when prescribing or providing APR. The Colorado Medical Board determined in August that APR is not standard medical practice, which paved the way for the law’s implementation.
An Illinois law, often referred to as SB1909, that addresses the deceptive practices of CPCs was blocked in August of this year by a federal judge after a group of anti-abortion organizations filed a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. While this legal maneuver temporarily prevents the Illinois Attorney General from taking action against CPCs, advocates for abortion access and full bodily autonomy will continue to organize and ensure that these anti-abortion “fake clinics” do not continue flying under the public’s radar.
Thursday’s action will bring attention to the ongoing public health threat that is powered by anti-abortion CPCs and their reckless propaganda. The 5:00 PM picket line is co-sponsored by Chicago Abortion Fund, Chicago for Abortion Rights, Chicago National Organization for Women, Gay Liberation Network, Illinois Choice Action Team, Illinois National Organization for Women, Indivisible Evanston, Indivisible Illinois, Midwest Access Coalition, Party for Socialism and Liberation - Chicago, Reproductive Transparency Now, and Stop Trans Genocide - Chicago.
ABOUT REPRODUCTIVE TRANSPARENCY NOW
Reproductive Transparency Now is a Chicago-based grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing reproductive justice by raising public awareness about anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) through direct action, education, and public advocacy.
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