Dr Dermot Kearney is an Irish physician working in England. Through use of the Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) treatment, he has saved at least 20 babies who would otherwise have been lost to abortion. Abortion provider, Marie Stopes International, made a complaint against him to the General Medical Council, but the complaint was recently dismissed. In fact, it backfired, because the complaint ended up publicising the fact that the APR can be successful.
The Abortion Reversal Pill operates through the administration of the natural hormone progesterone to women who changed their mind after taking the first of two abortion pills.
Progesterone, which is used also to prevent miscarriages, helps to undo the effects of the first pill and increases significantly the chance of survival of the baby.
Marie Stopes International accused Dr Kearney of using the treatment without it being properly backed by evidence. They also accused him of ‘imposing’ anti-abortion beliefs on a patient.
As a result, Dr Dermot Kearney has been prevented from offering the APR treatment for an initial period of 18 months, later reduced to 9 months, but the investigation could not find a single woman speaking against Dr Kearney, despite treating dozens who had changed their mind after taking the first abortion pill.
Instead, a woman claimed that Marie Stopes International had twisted her experience with Dr Kearney to suit their complaint, and she felt pressured to criticise him.
“None of the women I helped complained to the GMC, and none of the families either. The women themselves were all very grateful, even when it didn’t work. I struggle to understand why some people oppose this treatment.”, said the doctor.
The General Medical Council dropped all sanctions against Dr Kearney, who can now provide APR treatment again.
This is an important victory because, as Dr Kearney explains in this video interview, his case refutes three common claims: women don’t regret having abortion, APR doesn’t work, and it is dangerous.
As mentioned, the complaint against him raised awareness of this life saving treatment and now more health professionals may well offer the service, not only in the UK but also in other countries.
In Ireland, in 2020, some doctors were attacked for using the Abortion Reversal Pill here and a HSE spokeswoman claimed that it is not a reliable medical practice.
The HSE website says: “Once you take mifepristone, the abortion will begin. It is irreversible. If you decide not to take the second tablet, there is a risk of harm to the foetus if you continue the pregnancy.”
The experience of Dr Kearney, and of other doctors who use APR treatment, shows that the effect of mifepristone is not irreversible and a percentage of babies can be saved with a prompt intervention. (The living proof is here).
Moreover, the General Medical Council’s examiners’ report states that: “there was no evidence to suggest that APR increases the risk of harm to a foetus.”
Following this case, the HSE should offer a similar service to women who regret taking the first abortion pill. There is no reason why those who claim being pro-choice should deny women this last choice.