As an OB/GYN who performed roughly 1,200 abortions in the early part of my career, I can tell you that the majority of Americans–whether they call themselves pro-life or pro-choice–really don’t know what happens to a child in the womb during an abortion, or how developed that child really is. But I knew.
I believe if most “pro-choice” people saw that the tiny person inside wasn’t a “blob of tissue,” but a baby with a beating heart at just 3 1/2 weeks from conception, they would think very differently about abortion.
If they knew that abortionists used vacuums 20 times more powerful than a household vacuum cleaner to rip the limbs off bodies so they could extract them from the mother, or used scissors and forceps to cut and pull apart the torsos of living children and crush their skulls, or injected preborn babies with toxic chemicals that caused their little hearts to stop beating, I am convinced they would think very differently about abortion.
Me? Even though I saw it all, I was in deep denial. My journey to becoming pro-life was a long one.
So many people say they are pro-life or pro-choice, yet abortion doesn’t usually affect their lives directly. But when you’re an OB/GYN and you say you’re pro-choice, it becomes very real for you, because you have to decide whether you’re going to end nascent lives at the same time you’re helping other mothers bring new lives into the world.
I used to tell myself a million excuses to justify what I did: “We need the money.” “I’m not pro-abortion, I’m pro-woman.” “Abortion is only a small part of what I do as a doctor.”
It wasn’t until my young daughter was hit by a car and taken from me that it all changed. When I experienced the pain of burying my own child, I was forced to face the ugly truth about the darker side of my job.
When I returned to my practice after Heather’s death, I tried to go about my business as usual. But before long, it was my turn to perform a second trimester abortion. As I started the procedure, I inserted a clamp and ripped out the baby’s arm.
Then I paused for what seemed like forever.
I just stared at the arm in the clamp. A procedure I had done over a hundred times before suddenly made me ill.
At that moment, all the lies I’d told myself to feel better about this part of my practice disappeared. The only thing that mattered was the innocent child whose life I had just ended. That day marked the beginning of my journey from abortionist to pro-life advocate.
I recently partnered with Live Action, an organization that has used the power of video for nearly a decade to change people’s hearts and minds about abortion. Together, we developed a series of groundbreaking videos that show people the truth about what an abortion does to a child in the womb – and to her mother.
Last week, we began publicly releasing these short videos online in a long-term campaign that is intended to reach millions of people and change their hearts and minds about a barbaric procedure that has strangely become accepted, commonplace, and even revered — by a society that considers itself “progressive.” In less than five days, they received over 10 million views.
As a doctor, I wanted these videos to educate. Therefore, they aren’t sensationalized. They don’t use graphic photos of abortions. They’re just the cold, hard facts based on undisputed medical science.
We use medical animations to show what happens inside the womb during each of the four most prevalent abortion procedures. I also describe the very real risks abortion poses to the mother — something many abortionists either won’t reveal to their clients or leave hidden in the fine print of a consent form.
I’ve been on both sides of this debate, and I know the tactics of the abortionists all too well. For too long, the abortion industry has relied on people not wanting to talk about abortion in polite company, which has allowed it to hide behind a veil of deceit and euphemisms like “tissue mass,” “clump of cells,” and “product of conception.” I say “euphemisms” because I know that what’s actually being aborted is a baby with a beating heart, a developing brain, a face, and often, arms, legs, fingers, and toes —and a mother and father.
My hope is that others are able to see what it took me far too long to recognize: the ugly truth of what abortion does to a preborn child and the realization that, no matter what you’ve believed about abortion before — or what you’ve done — it’s not too late to make a decision to protect the preborn.
Dr. Anthony Levatino is an OB/GYN and former abortionist. He has been asked to testify before Congress numerous times as an expert on the issue of abortion. His videos can be seen at AbortionProcedures.com.