General Medical Council drops case against doctor who offers abortion reversal treatment

Dr Dermot Kearney with three babies he has helped to save through abortion reversal treatment.(Photo: Christian Legal Centre)

The General Medical Council has lifted restrictions against a Christian doctor who was prevented from providing abortion reversal treatment for 18 months.

In May 2021, a tribunal ordered Dr Dermot Kearney to stop providing Abortion Pill Reversal Treatment (APR). 

APR involves administering the natural hormone progesterone to a pregnant woman who wishes to reverse the effects of the first abortion pill, mifepristone.

To date, 32 women who received APR from Dr Kearney and consultant obstetrician, Dr Eileen Reilly, have given birth to healthy babies.

Ten women provided witness statements in support of Dr Kearney, describing him as "very professional" and "not at all judgemental".

"He was not trying to sell me something I did not want. He told me how he could help me. He was not at all pushy," read one witness statement.

Pro-abortionists claim that the treatment is dangerous, but the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which has supported Dr Kearney throughout, said there was no evidence of this.

The GMC said it had considered information provided by MSI Reproductive Choices, openDemocracy, Safe Abortion Action Fund UK and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and decided that "no further action" would be taken.

It concluded that the women helped by Dr Kearney had received high-level support.  Following expert advice, it concluded that abortion reversal treatment is safe.

Impartial expert evidence included in the GMC's examiners' report stated that "there was no evidence to suggest that APR increases the risk of harm to a foetus".

It concluded that there was little evidence to suggest that APR increases risk of haemorrhage and that "this is more likely to be related to the generic risks of Early Medical Abortion (EMA) rather than to specific risks of APR treatment, ie women who fail to complete EMA are at much higher risk of haemorrhage compared with those who do, irrespective of whether they are prescribed APR or not".

The GMC report also recognised the experience of the women who provided witness statements.

"We have been able to read those statements and we have recognised the consistent opinion provided in the statements that Dr Kearney left the women he had treated well informed about the treatment, was not judgemental, did not attempt to push his own views on them, and was overall considered to have been highly supportive," it said.

The GMC reached its decision ahead of a High Court legal challenge that had been due to take place this week.

Responding to the outcome, Dr Kearney, said he was "relieved and delighted" to have been exonerated, but added that medical professionals should be free to provide APR without fear, and that women should be informed about the treatment. 

"I have been the victim of a coordinated campaign by senior figures in the abortion industry who have been determined to prevent women in urgent need from accessing abortion reversal treatment," he said. 

"At all times my concern and priority has been the women who have been referred to me for urgent medical support. I am humbled by the support they have shown me in return.

"The whole investigation and the untruths about abortion reversal reported in the media have taken a toll on me and my family. The truth about abortion reversal treatment must now be told and medical professionals who are able and willing to support women with the treatment should be allowed to do so without fear.

"My hope is that woman across the UK will now be told by medical regulators and abortion providers that abortion reversal treatment is safe, that it is available, and that success is possible if they regret their decision to have an abortion and choose to seek help."

Dr Kearney with mum Amrita Kaur and her baby girl, who was saved after successful APR treatment.(Photo: Christian Legal Centre)

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said she was "delighted" with the outcome but "deeply concerned that a case was brought against him in the first place". 

"The government's Pills by Post telemedicine service has led to a spike in women undertaking DIY abortion home alone without proper medical supervision. These are women in a crisis situation and many instantly regret taking the first pill and desperately search for help to save their babies," she said. 

"It is really sad to think of the many women who have been prevented from receiving life-saving treatment since this ban was in place. No woman should be prevented from changing their mind and seeking to save the life of her child.

"The mantra of the abortion lobby of 'my body my choice' should extend to a women changing her mind about going through with an abortion. The abortion industry does not want to give women that choice.

"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."

Amrita Kaur, an entrepreneur who was given APR by Dr Kearney and went on to give birth to a healthy baby girl, also welcomed the GMC's decision. 

"I am pro-choice in that I believe that women should have access to abortion services, but they should also have the choice to try to reverse the abortion if they want to and if they ask for help to do so," she said.

"I believe the ban against Dr Kearney was silly and ridiculous and I am glad he has finally been vindicated and will now be able to continue to provide crucial support to women in crisis pregnancies."