Christian doctor banned from providing abortion reversal treatment takes legal challenge to High Court

Dr Dermot Kearney(Photo: Christian Legal Centre)

A Christian doctor is to ask the High Court to reverse a ban preventing him from providing abortion pill reversal treatment.

Dr Dermot Kearney, former president of the Catholic Medical Association, was barred last year from providing emergency abortion pill rescue therapy (APR) for up to 18 months. 

He was also investigated by the General Medical Council over the treatment. 

APR involves administering progesterone to a pregnant woman who has taken the first abortion pill, mifepristone, but changed her mind about proceeding with the abortion by taking the second pill. 

Critics say the treatment is unproven and potentially dangerous but pro-lifers say it can save the life of unborn babies.

Dr Kearney is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) and will have his case heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on 24 February where his lawyers will argue that the ban is disproportionate and should be revoked.

The CLC said there had been a "spike" in demand for APR after the government changed abortion rules to allow the two pills needed for an abortion to be sent to women in the post.

The organisation said 32 women who received APR treatment from Dr Kearney went on to give birth to healthy babies.

CLC chief executive Andrea Williams said Dr Kearney should be free to help women save their pregnancy. 

"We have seen many women immediately regret taking the first abortion pill," she said. 

"Abortion providers are putting women on a conveyer belt which means once they start the abortion process, they have to go through with it and are pressured to do so or left with no alternatives.

"Women should be properly informed, as a matter of course, that the baby's death is not inevitable after the first pill is taken.

"Women who immediately regret taking the first abortion pill and who urgently need support to try and save the pregnancy are being denied access to care due to this ban.

"Many women feel unbelievably grateful to Dr Kearney for helping them to save their babies. Even where the babies were not saved, or where they decided to decline the progesterone treatment, they feel that he has cared for them and helped them when they most needed it. He steps into the breach where the abortion providers are manifestly failing.

"In any other area of medicine, treatment would be stopped if consent was withdrawn. Is ideology and the vested interests of abortion providers in the UK getting in the way of the woman's right to choose?"