FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 15, 2014
Contact: Leslie Palma
STATEN ISLAND, NY — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today that Dr. Matt Harrison, one of the physicians on the Medical Advisory Board of Priests for Life, has taken additional steps to equip medical professionals to save lives by reversing the effects of the abortion technique RU-486. This involves the deployment of an RU-486 reversal kit and increased publicity in the coming months.
When a 20-year-old woman walked into Dr. Harrison’s family practice in North Carolina in 2007 and asked if he could stop the chemical abortion process she had set in motion 36 hours earlier, the first thing he did was pray. Then he turned to his medical books and came up with an idea: Progesterone injections.
The first drug a woman ingests for a chemical abortion is mifepristone, progesterone counterfeit that tricks the body by filling the progesterone receptor with a key that will not turn the lock. Without progesterone, the placenta is starved and sloughs off, along with the baby, causing an abortion. The second drug, misoprostol, taken two days later, causes the baby to be expelled from the uterus.
Dr. Harrison hoped that by flooding Ashley’s system with progesterone, it would beat the RU-486 to the progesterone receptors and support the baby’s life.
Although the doctor had no idea if it would work, or what kind of side effects it might cause, Ashley was willing to take the risk for the sake of the baby she tried to abort only because her boyfriend was pressuring her to do so.
The progesterone injections worked and today Ashley’s daughter Kaylie is a happy and perfectly healthy 7-year-old.
Dr. Harrison said that after Father Pavone published a column on the reversal, “I started getting calls from all over, including other countries.” But because Dr. Harrison is a family practitioner, he doesn’t see that many OB-GYN patients.
But physicians who are part of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) began seeing more pregnant women seeking RU-486 reversals, leading Dr. George Delgado, medical director of Culture of Life Family Services in California, to develop a protocol similar to Dr. Harrison’s. When Dr. Mary Davenport contacted Dr. Harrison to send information on his reversal for a study she and Dr. Delgado hoped to publish, Dr. Harrison didn’t hesitate.
“We’re working together to try to promote this protocol to save lives,” he said. “We’re not interested in the credit.”
The study Dr. Davenport and Dr. Delgado published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy in December 2012 reported on six women treated with progesterone after mifepristone. Four of them had healthy babies, while two other babies could be saved.
Since then, 206 reversals have been attempted, with 65 healthy babies born and another 84 pregnancies continuing, Dr. Davenport said.
Dr. Harrison and Dr. Delgado speak about these successes in episodes in the current season of Defending Life, the worldwide EWTN program on abortion produced by Priests for Life. Dr. Harrison has also been on the series on previous years to spread this good news.
Drs. Davenport, Delgado and Harrison will be at an AAPLOG conference in February at Georgetown University to discuss the RU-486 reversal protocol and to unveil a new kit available to physicians.
“The kit will include everything that’s needed for a reversal, except the progesterone,” Dr. Harrison said.
In addition, the physicians, the reversal kit, Ashley and Kaylie all will take part in a press conference co-sponsored by Priests for Life Feb. 23 at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. More details will be released before the conference.
“The importance of this RU-486 abortion reversal protocol cannot be overstated,” said Father Pavone. “Chemical abortions now make up one-quarter of the estimated 800,000 abortions performed before nine weeks. At the abortion clinics, women are told there is nothing to do to save the baby once the chemical process has started, but it is absolutely clear now that is not the case.
“It’s easy to think it’s ‘too late!’ But where there’s life, there’s hope!”
Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.