The extraordinary news of the rehabilitation of British gynecologists Dermot Kearney and Eileen Reilly would not have been possible without the involvement of the Christian Legal Centre. That’s why iFamNews spoke directly to Andrea Minichello Williams, founder and CEO of the Christian legal think-tank that is fighting for the rights of the most defenseless: the unborn children. In the UK, the battle for unborn life faces significant obstacles, but, as attorney Williams explains, the recent decision by the General Medical Council offers a not insignificant chance for pro-life physicians.
Attorney Williams, Dr. Kearney and Dr. Reilly can now resume their abortion pill reversal treatment. Do you think this is a victory for life?
This is a victory for everyone who believes in the right of every human being to life. It is a victory for real choice for women and the freedom for them to choose not to go through with an abortion. Women in the UK who regret that they have taken the first abortion pill, Mifepristone, will now have access to abortion reversal treatment provided by doctors willing to help them. It means that abortion pill reversal is now recognized by the UK medical authority as being safe and potentially effective. Doctors with the necessary experience and knowledge, who are willing to provide abortion reversal for women seeking help, can now do so without fear of accusations of professional misconduct. Many babies’ lives will be saved who would otherwise have died from abortion. Many mothers will avoid serious mental health problems that would have resulted from knowing they had contributed to the death of their own children by abortion. This outcome in the UK will have worldwide ramifications and will support doctors in many other countries who wish to provide support for women seeking help to save their babies.
What evidence would you have brought to the trial in favor of your clients?
The evidence from the women who have given birth to healthy babies after receiving treatment from Dr. Kearney speaks for itself. These are miracle children who simply would not be alive today without the treatment, and their mothers adore them. We provided expert evidence to the High Court, which revealed that Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) is safe, and 11 witness statements from women who had been helped by Dr. Kearney. The General Medical Council (GMC) ruled based on this evidence that, contrary to accusations from abortion providers, women had received high-level support. Ultimately, the GMC provided independent expert evidence themselves which said: “There was limited randomized controlled trial evidence to suggest that APR increases risk of hemorrhage, but this is more likely to be related to the generic risks of Early Medical Abortion (EMA) rather than to specific risks of APR treatment, i.e. women who fail to complete EMA are at much higher risk of hemorrhage compared with those who do, irrespective of whether they are prescribed APR or not.”
Why do treatments like Dr. Kearney’s face so many hindrances?
The mantra of the abortion lobby of “my body, my choice” should extend to a woman changing her mind about going through with an abortion. The abortion industry does not want to give women that choice. Abortion providers and medical institutions, who are wedded ideologically to abortion-on-demand, often control the media narrative and the data the public and government receive on complications and safety. These providers are wedded to the view that once you take the first pill, you must go through with the abortion, and there’s no going back. This case and independent evidence has proven that this is simply not true. Abortion providers claim APR is dangerous and should be banned, but have failed to provide any credible evidence to support their position. They frequently cite a trial by Dr. Mitchell D. Creinin, that was abandoned for safety concerns, but fail to mention that negative side effects were seen amongst the group that was given placebos. Two of the three women in the study who suffered hemorrhage requiring emergency care were given placebos following mifepristone administration. Only one had received progesterone. One of those three, notably in the placebo group, required a blood transfusion. The main author of the study, Dr. Creinin, an outspoken critic of APR, stated that enrolment for the study was discontinued prematurely “for safety reasons after the third patient required emergency evaluation and a transfusion”. It had been intended to recruit forty women in total for a complete study. Citing this study, it has been concluded by opponents of APR that progesterone administered in this context represents a serious danger to women. However, the limited findings of this study in no way support the idea that APR treatment is dangerous.
Today, women’s “right” to have an abortion seems unquestionable. Do you think that, on the contrary, their right not to have an abortion (or to change their mind if they take the first abortion pill) is sufficiently protected?
Women’s stories like Amrita’s story are crucial in this respect. Last year, Amrita was a struggling entrepreneur when she became pregnant. She had significant difficulties with hormones in the early stages of her pregnancy. Not in a stable relationship and with financial concerns, she turned to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) for support. They told her that if she did nothing, that the baby would be fine. After doing more research, however, she discovered that it was highly likely that the baby would not be fine and eventually was put in contact with Dr. Kearney. Now she has a beautiful baby girl and says herself: “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.” We hope that this story does set a precedent for women like Amrita. It is really sad to think of the many women who have been prevented from receiving life-saving treatment since this ban came into effect. No woman should be prevented from changing her mind and seeking to save the life of her child.
What will be the next challenge for British pro-life doctors now?
The abortion industry never sleeps. The biggest challenge for pro-life doctors will be the UK government making Pills-by-Post service permanent and expansion of extreme guidelines from health bodies worldwide. This is now a developing global issue, which is seeing relentless attempts to erode safeguards and protection for women and the unborn, especially during the pandemic. During the Ukrainian crisis, the World Health Organization introduced extreme abortion guidelines calling on governments to scrap the legal time limit on abortion. New guidelines claim that laws preventing abortion at any point during pregnancy risk violating the rights of “women, girls or other pregnant persons.” These are radical and extreme guidelines which reflect the abortion industry’s long-term strategy of abortion-on-demand across the globe. Governments must look closely at these guidelines. They are misleading because it is not about family planning at all, but about exporting abortion and the ideology that goes with it. It’s a warped world when all the best Western elites have to offer vulnerable women in the developing world is abortion dressed up as family planning. The escalation of these issues over the past two years will create huge challenges for pro-life doctors and we are here to support and stand with them through every challenge that comes.