WASHINGTON—Andrea Minichini cried as she sat with her boyfriend in a New Jersey Planned Parenthood office last year. Eight weeks and one day into an unplanned pregnancy, Minichini, 22, didn’t want to take the RU-486 abortion pill in her hand.
“I can’t do this,” she told the abortionist, who said she had to because it was a bad time for her to have a baby. He clapped his hands when she swallowed it. Minichini, still crying, ran out of the room and tried to throw up the pill outside the building. Nothing happened.
She was supposed to take another pill the following day, but instead she recruited her family to see if there was any way to reverse the abortion. The Planned Parenthood staff said it was impossible. The local hospital staff said her baby would be deformed if she tried to carry it to term.
A Google search gave Minichini the hope she sought: Culture of Life Family Services in San Diego connected her with a local pro-life doctor who said it was possible to save the baby if she could still find a heartbeat. An ultrasound revealed a heart beating 170 times per minute—normal range for a healthy baby.
The doctor administered five shots of progesterone, the pregnancy hormone, to neutralize the mifepristone, a drug intended to detach an embryo from the uterus, and sent her home with progesterone pills. The treatments worked. On Dec. 31, 2014, Minichini delivered a healthy baby boy, Gabriel David.
Minichini recounted her story on Monday during a news conference at the National Press Club to promote the increasing success record of abortion reversal. Between May 2012 and December 2014, physicians in 34 states attempted 223 reversals, resulting in 78 babies born—including Minichini’s son—and 51 ongoing pregnancies.
Dr. George Delgado, medical director of the Culture of Life Family Services, said more than 40 women per month are calling his clinic’s hotline (877-558-0333) to inquire about abortion reversals—which WORLD first reported on in 2013—in addition to those who visit his website, www.abortionpillreversal.com.
“Obviously women are changing their minds and interested in options,” said Delgado, who noted none of the babies has been born with a major birth defect.
So far, 230 doctors are available to administer the procedure. The physicians want to make it so mainstream that no woman will have to travel more than an hour to find care.
“We have women coming in, but we need more physicians,” said Dr. Sandy Christiansen, who appeared with Delgado and several other doctors at the event sponsored by Priests for Life and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetrician-Gynecologists. The groups unveiled a new “Emergency Abortion Pill Reversal Kit” they would like to see placed in emergency rooms and urgent care clinics around the country.
About 1 in 4 abortions performed before eight weeks is a medical abortion, as women seek to avoid the risks of surgical abortion. Dr. Mary Davenport noted women experienced complications in about 1 in 5 medical abortions, so many of them end up having a surgical abortion anyway. Davenport has participated in five abortion reversals.
“It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done in my medical practice,” Davenport said. “Not only are we saving the women complications, we’re saving the babies.”
Minichini and her boyfriend, Chris Caicedo, expressed gratitude for their son and encouraged others to rethink their decision.
“It’s a very hard situation to go through, but it’s not as hard as you think,” Caicedo said. “It’s very special to have Gabriel in our lives.”