Wednesday, 01 February 2023
Ashley reversed a chemical abortion gave birth to daughter Thailynn in August 2021. Ashley reversed a chemical abortion gave birth to daughter Thailynn in August 2021. Women's Choice Network

Facebook suppresses APR, dodges inquiry with 3rd party “fact checker”

Fact-checking the fact checkers – Truth matters when it comes to women’s health choices

Shortly after Ashley swallowed the first abortion pill, she recounted what she thinking: 

“I was like, I don't want to do this. I don't want to do this. I can't even describe it. I just felt a burden on me. Like I felt heavy. I felt like I did the wrong thing, and I couldn't take it back.” 

Her story played out like thousands of others who have realized they wanted a different choice and sought hope to continue their pregnancies.

A recent article published in Pregnancy Help News highlighted this strong young woman’s account of how she started a chemical abortion and quickly had regret. 

Ashley, a young woman from Pittsburgh, contacted the abortion provider who told her there was no hope to continue her pregnancy. Rather than complete the abortion as she was instructed to do, she sought urgent help by searching on her phone, “Is there any way to reverse an abortion?” She found the help and support she needed with the Abortion Pill Rescue Network and a local pregnancy help clinic, Women’s Choice Network. Ashley, who stated she prayed for her child every night during her pregnancy, was blessed months later with the birth of a healthy, beautiful baby girl.  

The account of Ashley’s abortion and subsequent reversal was first posted on media platforms by Heartbeat International on May 3. It gained strong traction on both Facebook and Instagram accounts until it was unexpectedly removed on May 18. 

Who would not celebrate this triumph of a baby’s life, this mother’s tenacity and bravery, and the work of pregnancy help to support women through this challenging time?

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The answer to this seemingly rhetorical question is a group called Logically who identify on their website as “verified signatories of the International Fact-Checking Network” operating from the UK, the U.S. and India. 

The particular fact-checker who took issue with Ashley’s story is named Rachel Muller Heyndyk. Ms. Heyndyk states she is a journalist with a degree in English Literature and Drama. With no claimed medical degree or scientific background, she makes incorrect assertions about the drugs used in Abortion Pill Reversal and APR’s safety, she misrepresents specifics about informed consent legislation, and endeavors to cast doubt on the validity of Ashley’s story with the apparent intention to remove it from social platforms. 

Informed consent and freedom from coercion are basic principles of patient autonomy in healthcare. Deviating from this ethical standard is a dangerous place for women who are making pregnancy decisions. 

The Abortion Pill Rescue Network operates on the tenet that no one should ever be obligated or forced to complete a medical procedure they no longer desire. Women have every right to withdraw consent from a chemical abortion and attempt to continue their pregnancies when they have regret. 

Fact-checkers should never be empowered to make false statements with the intention of restricting choices. An individual fact-checker should not have the power to limit the information and support women need to make their own pregnancy decisions. Ashley’s account of events should not be singled out and treated differently than those who make other pregnancy choices. 

Tweet This: Fact-checkers should never be empowered to make false statements with the intention of restricting choices.

Here are a few of the fact-checkers statements that were not based in science, fact, or logic:

Inaccurate statement by Logically: 

“Medical experts have said that there is no evidence that these drugs are fit for use. It is not scientifically possible to reverse a termination.”

Accurate statement:

The APRN Advisory Team, as well as more than the 1100+ providers in the APR Network unanimously agree that

Mifepristone blocks progesterone by competitively binding its intracellular receptor.

Progesterone is appropriate and effective, citing more than 50 years of safe use of that drug with pregnant women. This is a basic principle of reversible competitive binding of drugs to receptor sites and is a foundational concept in drug development. 

APR is a reasonable application of a time-tested, FDA-approved drug used effectively for decades to prevent miscarriage and preterm birth.

Mifepristone competes with the natural progesterone produced during pregnancy and APR involves emergency, ongoing doses of progesterone to counteract the effects of the first abortion pill. 

• Not only is progesterone undisputedly safe in pregnancy, but it is routinely used to protect pregnancies or treat related complications. 

Reversal is based on well-established medical science and is safe for women. The Abortion Pill Rescue Network has helped thousands of mothers choose life for their babies, even after taking mifepristone. 

Inaccurate statement by Logically: 

“However, medical experts have agreed that these drugs are not safe or tested and have advised against using them.”

Accurate statement: 

Progesterone is the drug used to counteract the effects of mifepristone as progesterone is essential for the maintenance of pregnancy. Not only is progesterone undisputedly safe in pregnancy, but it is routinely used to protect pregnancies or treat related complications. It is used to stop recurrent miscarriages for women with naturally low progesterone levels, prevent preterm birth for women with preterm labor, and maintain a pregnancy during in vitro fertilization. Progesterone can even sustain a pregnancy when an ovary has to be removed early in pregnancy.

Inaccurate statement by Logically:  

“Between 2015 and 2019, a number of U.S. senators attempted to introduce bills that would require doctors to provide women with advice on how to “reverse” an abortion if she chooses to. The bills repeatedly failed on account of a lack of reliable evidence.”

Accurate statement:

Actually, fourteen U.S. states have passed APR Informed Consent Bills to require abortion providers to share with patients that reversal is possible. Eight additional states are in the legislative process. Five states are currently challenged in the courts by organizations such as Planned Parenthood and Center for Reproductive Rights. Only three states have introduced bills that failed to pass. 

Some examples: here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Inaccurate statement by Logically:

“Research has shown that the vast majority of women do not regret their decision to have an abortion.”

Accurate statement: 

Actually, a recent study of experience with chemical abortion related that it is “not a matter of course for a woman’s decision to be absolute when she arrives at the clinic.” 

This study also reported that “health personnel have learned that the decision to terminate a pregnancy might be challenging and that some women may change their minds.”

Workers in that study related examples of women ingesting the medication and then immediately attempting to make themselves vomit.

Mitch Creinin, one of the developers of the abortion drug mifepristone, states in an interview with NPR: "There are people who change their minds. That's a normal part of human nature."

Regret after the start of a chemical abortion is so common that more than 150 women start the reversal process every single month through the APR Network. Women contacted our hotline from 65 different countries last year and all 50 states in the U.S. expressing regret and hoping to continue their pregnancies.

Tweet This: Regret after starting a chemical abortion is so common that 150+ women start the reversal process every single month via the APR Network

The women who have changed their minds after taking the first abortion pill and successfully reversed their chemical abortion frequently wish to share their joy in hopes of saving other moms from going what they have in beginning a chemical abortion. Their personal accounts directly counter claims about APR made by the abortion lobby.

Like others in Big Tech who have sought to censor life-affirming social media posts, Logically is attempting to perpetuate the myth that chemical abortion is a one-way street and hide the regret that many women experience after taking the first abortion pill. They are making medical assumptions that align with their political stance rather than basing their findings in facts, scientific studies, or the reality of what choices women are facing every day.

Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN) and Pregnancy Help News. 

Christa Brown

Christa Brown BSN, RN, LAS is Senior Director of Medical Impact for Heartbeat International

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