By Lisa Bourne
The UK doctor who stood up for women desiring a second chance at life for their unborn children after starting a chemical abortion brought the story of life-affirming Abortion Pill Reversal to Ireland’s biggest pro-life event.
Dr. Dermot Kearney prevailed earlier this year against UK abortion apologists out to cancel his ability to practice medicine if he would not stop prescribing APR.
Kearney addressed the All-Ireland Rally for Life in Dublin earlier this summer, sharing the specifics of the reversal protocol, revisiting his ordeal with abortion supporters siccing England’s General Medical Council on him, and detailing lies the abortion lobby spreads about APR.
The rally was attended by thousands and was the first in-person rally since 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions. The 2022 Ireland Rally for Life was energized by the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade in the U.S., with pro-life supporters there hoping the pro-life victory in the states would spur pro-life progress for them. Pro-life advocates launched a campaign to retain the 3-day waiting period before an abortion at the event.
Kearney told the thousands gathered for the Ireland rally about 22-year-old Layla (a pseudonym) who was under pressure to abort and had taken the first abortion pill, when she quickly felt regret.
“She regretted what she had done as many women do,” Kearney said. “It’s often that after taking that first pill, that the regret really sets in.”
Layla went back to where she had gotten the abortion pill and told them she could not go through with it, he said, she’d changed her mind and wanted to save her baby.
“And they told her, ‘Nope, sorry, nothing we can do about that,” said Kearney. “Come back tomorrow. And we’ll give you the second pill.’”
Layla was just slightly more than 10 weeks pregnant.
So, in desperation, she went online looking for help, and she found the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN).
“A very compassionate and understanding nurse said, ‘We can try to help you. We can get you in touch with a doctor in the United Kingdom who might be able to help you in this situation,’” Kearney recounted. “And that doctor turned out to be myself.”
Within six hours they had gotten Layla progesterone – the antidote to the first abortion pill – and commenced her treatment.
Chemical abortion consists of two drugs. Mifepristone blocks the progesterone in the pregnant woman’s body, starving the unborn child. Misoprostol, the second drug, taken a day or so later, causes the mother to deliver her deceased child.
If a mother takes the first abortion pill and experiences regret, and she acts swiftly enough, it may be possible to save her child through Abortion Pill Reversal (APR).
APR consists of prescribing a bioidentical version of progesterone to counter the effect of the first abortion pill.
The Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN), managed by Heartbeat International, reports that to date more than 3,000 lives and counting have been saved through reversal.
Abortion proponents attempt to smear APR as junk science or dangerous, as it underscores the fact that women can regret abortion and it represents a life-affirming remedy to chemical abortion.
In the case of Kearney, the APR detractors attempted to put his license to practice medicine at risk with false charges about his handling of the patients he had treated with APR. However, with numerous witness statements from the women he treated and defense from Christie Concern’s Christian Legal Center, the UK’s General Medical Council determined there was no basis to restrict Kearney from practicing or prescribing APR.
His colleague in Ireland Dr. Eileen Reilly had similar false allegations. Reilly’s restriction from prescribing APR was ultimately lifted as well.
Kearney recounted how the next day after Layla began APR treatment, she’d gotten a phone call from the abortion provider asking where she was, as they had her down to come back and get the second abortion drug. When she explained that she was pursuing APR, she encountered disturbing pushback from the abortion representative.
Layla told them she had changed her mind; she was trying to save her baby and had started the progesterone treatment.
“The nurse laughed at her,” Kearney told the Rally for Life crowd. “She mocked her. She said, ‘You’re wasting your time. This doesn’t work. Your baby is already dead.’”
“In tears, Layla contacted me,” he said, “and asked me, ‘Was that true? Is my baby already dead?’”
Kearney asked her if she’d had any bleeding or cramps. She had not. Kearney explained there was at least a 50-60% chance that her baby is still alive, but they needed to do an ultrasound to be certain.
“So, three days later we got an ultrasound scan, and her baby was alive and well,” Kearney shared, “strong heartbeat, normal growth.”
“Layla continued the progesterone treatment as we recommended,” Kearney said. “I kept in regular contact with her, as I did with all the ladies that I helped. And six months later, mid-October 2021, she gave birth to a beautiful little baby girl that she calls her princess.”
“And they’re doing fine,” said Kearney.
That little girl is one of 32 UK babies who between Kearney and Reilly, they’ve managed to save with APR.
Kearney took care to mention that not all babies can be saved. If a mother takes both abortion pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, there is a 98-99% chance the baby will die. If the mother takes the first abortion pill, mifepristone, decides not to take the second pill, but doesn’t get any help, there’s a less than 20% chance that the baby will survive.
If, as in Layla’s case, and in many others, he said, she takes the first abortion pill changes her mind, doesn’t take the second pill, but receives progesterone promptly, ideally within 24 hours, but up to up to 72 hours, there is at least a 50 to 60% chance that the baby will survive with that abortion reversal treatment.
“And by any standard in medicine, any emergency treatment, that is remarkable,” said Kearney. “There are not many medical interventions where you more than double the survival rate by a simple medical intervention.”
Kearney described three lies put forth about APR by people who are opposed to the protocol.
“The first lie they say is that women don’t need this, there’s no need to provide this service,” he said. “And we know that’s not true.”
“We know hundreds and hundreds have come looking for the service in the UK alone,” Kearney said, noting that it’s not advertised, and women find it online by their own searches.
“Number two is that it doesn’t work,” Kearney said. “We know that it more than doubles the survival rate of the little baby if the mother manages to get progesterone in time.”
The third lie the abortionists say, he said, is that APR might work, but it’s dangerous, either for the mother or for the child.
“And we know that that’s not the case,” Kearney explained. “In the United States alone there are more than 3000 babies who have been born in the last 10 years after their mother received this rescue progesterone treatment.”
There is no danger to the mother, he said, and there is no increased risk of any congenital abnormalities for the baby.
“So, we know that it’s needed. We know it’s effective very often, and we know that it’s safe,” said Kearney.
This is an important message that must be gotten across to the general public and to doctors, he said, urging rally attendees to inform their doctors about APR.
The only complaints that came about his providing APR, he pointed out, were from those “who have vested interest in the killing of early human life in the womb.”
After international abortion provider Marie Stopes and the UK’s pro-abortion Royal College of Obstetricians, along with other abortion-supportive organizations, complained to the General Medical Council, they managed to get what he and Reilly were doing for women stopped for about nine months.
In that period of time, 167 women contacted the APRN helpline and were told that unfortunately they could no longer be helped with APR. Kearney grieves those babies’ deaths.
Kearney expressed gratitude at the pro-life rally for those who were supportive, signed petitions, and prayed during the ordeal he and Reilly went through. This contributed their having the strength to fight against the trumped-up charges and prevail.
“And at this stage, we’re now allowed once again to provide reversal treatment to these mothers, who desperately need this help in protecting their baby’s lives,” Kearney said. “So, please continue to pray for us and please continue to support your own doctors and other healthcare professionals in helping women to make these lifesaving decisions.”
Editor’s note: Heartbeat International manages the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN) and Pregnancy Help News where this appeared.