‘This service is essential and should be supported’

4 June 2021

‘Emma’ (not her real name) shares how the abortion pill reversal service gave her all the support she needed when she was worried that she had lost her baby to abortion.

Faced with an unplanned pregnancy in lockdown, Emma wasn’t sure whether it was the right time to have a baby. With all of the uncertainties that the pandemic had brought, both her and her partner decided that an abortion was the best option for them both.

“When I discovered that we were pregnant, it was unplanned and a total surprise. Although we are both employed, financially stable and happy, we were not sure we wanted to continue with the pregnancy given the time frame, lockdown and other personal reasons. As a result of this, we explored all options and eventually made the hard decision to terminate the pregnancy.”

As Emma was early into the pregnancy, she was given abortion pills to take at home.

“We took the tablets home and continued to agonise over the decision for another couple of days,” she says. “Finally, we both agreed that we would continue with the termination.”

‘Lack of support from abortion providers’

However, within hours of taking the first abortion pill, both Emma and her partner were deeply regretting their decision to terminate and trying to find a way to undo the effects of taking the Mifepristone.

Emma believes that the nature of a home abortion intensified the feelings of regret as no support was given to them by the abortion clinic: “The situation we ended up in through our choice to terminate without fully understanding the ramifications (mainly due to the isolated nature of the process and distance from medical professionals) was extremely distressing, a situation worsened by the lack of medical support provided to reverse such a process.

“Having taken the first pill, we quickly knew that we had made a terrible mistake and within eight hours we were urgently seeking help in the hope that we could try and save the pregnancy. The final nature of the process, and ‘at home’ nature of the abortion practice, meant that this realisation was hard, and we felt isolated from any and all support.”

‘We found help on our own’

Given that the clinic had given Emma no real support, and no information about what to do if she suddenly regretted her decision, she turned instead to the 111 telephone service.

“We utilised the 111 service, but given the time in the evening and the fact that it was a weekend, we were advised to wait and informed that there were limited options that could help us in this situation.”

With nowhere else to turn, Emma and her partner started searching online for possible abortion to reverse the side effects of the abortion pill.

“We were able to find the abortion pill rescue service and discovered that there was an option that could help reverse the effects of the abortion treatment.

“We managed to get through to the abortion reversal hotline who were then able to put in in contact with a UK-based medical professional who could advise us of our options – Dr Dermot Kearney. As this was a time-sensitive issue, we were very relieved and comforted by the help and support provided by Dr Kearney; he was able to provide us with all the relevant information, explain the possibility of success, which he put at about 50%, given that we had reversed our decision so quickly, and identify locations where we could receive the required medication to counteract the abortion process.”

On-hand advice

Over the next weeks and months, Emma was in touch regularly with Dr Kearney. When she was worried that she was losing the baby, he was able to provide her with the advice she needed.

“Dr Kearney was on hand to provide advice if we required it, and ensure the wellbeing of both mother and child. I had his number and he was there to allay my fears when I experienced some bleeding a few days after taking the progesterone. He told me this was to be expected due to the effects of taking the first abortion pill.

“He made sure I was accessing antenatal care and encouraged me to have two early scans. He sent me a text message every week whilst I was taking the progesterone to check that I was OK. He messaged me at the routine scan times. I felt so well cared for by him.

“Without his efforts, we would have been left without information, option or support. Our words will never be able to convey the benefits of his charitable medical services provided to us.”

Expecting a baby girl

Emma is now expecting a baby girl later this year and says she is ‘overjoyed’: “She is strong, healthy and we are overjoyed to have been able to take steps to permit us to continue with the pregnancy. Without the commitment, support or medical offering from Dr Kearney and the organisation he volunteers for, we would have been left isolated and unable to rectify our own mistake.

“The advice, guidance and support offered by Dr Kearney was absolutely amazing. He was well-informed, compassionate, understanding and guided us with facts and options. His actions saved our baby; his actions will never be forgotten.”

Emma believes that the services that the abortion pill reversal team provides should be more widely known about: “The service they provide is invaluable to individuals who are unsure about termination. They can provide fact-based information and support with required medical action if suitable. This cannot be undersold given our current way of life; with medical resources stretched and limited beyond compare, this service is essential and should be supported.”

Find out more about Dermot Kearney
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