John Jalsevac

The most heartrending abortion testimony you’ll ever hear, from a former abortionist

John Jalsevac

Last week a former abortionist, who admits to having committed around 1200 abortions, appeared before a U.S. House subcommittee. The hearing was on the so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks in D.C., based upon the fact that unborn babies can experience pain at that stage of pregnancy.

Dr. Anthony Levatino, who has since turned his life around and is pro-life, was speaking in favor of the ban. And his testimony is perhaps the most brutal explanation you will ever hear for why abortion is evil - plain and simple. (Read his testimony below, with the strongest portions in bold.)

For those who may be tempted to write off Levatino’s testimony because he’s just “another pro-life nutjob,” it’s interesting how his testimony has eerie echoes to that of notorious late-term abortionist Leroy Carhart, who is still involved in the gruesome trade. During a preliminary injunction hearing in a US District Court in 1997 on the issue of late-term abortions, Carhart testified that he would sometimes dismember advanced-stage unborn babies during abortions, while the babies were still alive. Carhart described in detail the process of grasping the limb of the baby to be removed, and then twisting it off. When asked if the babies usually die during the process of dismemberment, Carhart responded, “I don’t really know. I know that the fetus is alive during the process most of the time because I can see the fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound.”

How is this considered anything but evil?

 

Testimony of Anthony Levatino, MD, JD before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives on The District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803)
May 17, 2012

Chairman Franks and distinguished members of the subcommittee, my name is Anthony Levatino. I am a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist. I received my medical degree from Albany Medical College in Albany, New York in 1976, and completed my OB-GYN residency training at Albany Medical Center in 1980. In my 32-year career, I have been privileged to practice obstetrics and gynecology in both private and university settings. From June 1993 until September 2000, I was associate professor of OB-GYN at the Albany Medical College, serving at different times as both medical student director and residency program director. I have also dedicated many years to private practice and currently operate a solo gynecology practice in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I appreciate your kind invitation to address issues related to the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803).

During my residency training and during my first five years of private practice, I performed both first and second-trimester abortions. During my residency years, second- trimester abortions were typically performed using saline infusion or, occasionally, prostaglandin instillation techniques. These procedures were difficult, expensive and necessitated that patients go through labor to expel their pre-born children. By 1980, at the time I entered private practice first in Florida and then in upstate New York, those of us in the abortion industry were looking for a more efficient method of second-trimester abortion. We found that the “Suction dilation and evacuation” procedure (or “Suction D&E”) offered clear advantages over older installation methods. The procedure was much quicker and never ran the risk of a live birth.

Understand that my partner and I were not running an abortion clinic. We practiced general obstetrics and gynecology, but abortion was definitely part of that practice. Relatively few gynecologists in upstate New York would perform such a procedure at the time, and we saw an opportunity to expand our abortion practice. I performed first-trimester suction dilation and curettage abortions in my office up to 10 weeks from last menstrual period and later procedures in an outpatient hospital setting. From 1981 through February 1985, I performed approximately 1200 abortions. Over 100 of them were second-trimester Suction D&E procedures up to 24 weeks gestation, by which I mean 24 weeks from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period (LMP), which is equivalent to 22 weeks post-fertilization age.

...

Imagine, if you can, that you are a pro-choice obstetrician/gynecologist like I once was. Your patient today is 24 weeks pregnant (LMP). At twenty-four weeks from last menstrual period, her uterus is two finger-breadths above the umbilicus. If you could see her baby, which is quite easy on an ultrasound, she would be as long as your hand plus a half, from the top of her head to the bottom of her rump, not counting the legs. Your patient has been feeling her baby kick for the last month or more, but now she is asleep on an operating room table and you are there to help her with her problem pregnancy.

The first task is to remove the laminaria that had earlier been placed in the cervix, the opening to the uterus, to dilate it sufficiently to allow the procedure you are about to perform. With that accomplished, direct your attention to the surgical instruments arranged on a small table to your right. The first instrument you reach for is a 14-French suction catheter. It is clear plastic and about nine inches long. It has a bore through the center approximately • of an inch in diameter. Picture yourself introducing this catheter through the cervix and instructing the circulating nurse to turn on the suction machine, which is connected through clear plastic tubing to the catheter. What you will see is a pale yellow fluid the looks a lot like urine coming through the catheter into a glass bottle on the suction machine. This is the amniotic fluid that surrounded the baby to protect her.

With suction complete, look for your Sopher clamp. This instrument is about thirteen inches long and made of stainless steel. At the business end are located jaws about 2 inches long and about 1/2 an inch wide with rows of sharp ridges or teeth. This instrument is for grasping and crushing tissue. When it gets hold of something, it does not let go. A second trimester D&E abortion is a blind procedure. The baby can be in any orientation or position inside the uterus. Picture yourself reaching in with the Sopher clamp and grasping anything you can. At twenty-four weeks gestation, the uterus is thin and soft so be careful not to perforate or puncture the walls. Once you have grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard – really hard. You feel something let go and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again and grasp whatever you can. Set the jaw and pull really hard once again and out pops an arm about the same length. Reach in again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs.

The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby’s head. The head of a baby that age is about the size of a large plum and is now free floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face may come out and stare back at you. Congratulations! You have just successfully performed a second-trimester Suction D&E abortion.

If you refuse to believe that this procedure inflicts severe pain on that unborn child, please think again.

Before I close, I want to make a comment on the claims that I often hear that we must keep abortion legal in order to save women’s lives, or prevent grave physical health damage, in cases of acute conditions that can and do arise in pregnancy. Albany Medical Center, where I worked for over seven years, is a tertiary referral center that accepts patients with life-threatening conditions related to or caused by pregnancy. I personally treated hundreds of women with such conditions in my tenure there. There are several conditions that can arise or worsen, typically during the late second or third trimester of pregnancy, that require immediate care. In many of those cases, ending or “terminating” the pregnancy, if you prefer, can be life saving, but “terminating a pregnancy” does not necessarily mean “abortion.” I maintain that abortion is seldom if ever a useful intervention in these cases.

Here is why: Before a Suction D&E procedure can be performed, the cervix must first be sufficiently dilated. In my practice, this was accomplished with serial placement of laminaria. Laminaria is a type of sterilized seaweed that absorbs water over several hours and swells to several times its original diameter. Multiple placements of several laminaria at a time are absolutely required prior to attempting a suction D&E. In the mid-second trimester, this requires approximately 36 hours to accomplish. If one were to use the alternate method defined in federal law as Partial-Birth Abortion (but now generally banned), this process requires three days, as explained by Dr. Martin Haskell in his 1992 paper that first described this type of abortion.

In cases where a pregnancy places a woman in danger of death or grave physical injury, a doctor more often than not doesn’t have 36 hours, much less 72 hours, to resolve the problem. Let me illustrate with a real-life case that I managed while at the Albany Medical Center. A patient arrived one night at 28 weeks gestation with severe pre-eclampsia or toxemia. Her blood pressure on admission was 220/160. A normal blood pressure is approximately 120/80. This patient’s pregnancy was a threat to her life and the life of her unborn child. She could very well be minutes or hours away from a major stroke. This case was managed successfully by rapidly stabilizing the patient’s blood pressure and “terminating” her pregnancy by Cesarean section. She and her baby did well. This is a typical case in the world of high-risk obstetrics. In most such cases, any attempt to perform an abortion “to save the mother’s life” would entail undue and dangerous delay in providing appropriate, truly life-saving care. During my time at Albany Medical Center I managed hundreds of such cases by “terminating” pregnancies to save mother’s lives. In all those cases, the number of unborn children that I had to deliberately kill was zero.


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7989 West Virginia Drive, Dallas, where Planned Parenthood is working on secretly opening up a new abortion facility. Google Streetview

Planned Parenthood is trying to secretly open this abortion clinic in Dallas. But pro-lifers found out.

Abby Johnson Abby Johnson Follow Abby
By Abby Johnson
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Pro-life activists protest outside the planned abortion facility in Dallas. Catholic Prolife Committee of Dallas

“For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” Luke 8:17

We have known for years that Planned Parenthood will do anything to get into our public school system, our churches and even our neighborhoods.  

They will pose as a “medical organization” instead of saying they are with Planned Parenthood. And when they want to open a new facility, they will always use a secret identity, usually in the form of a newly formed LLC.

I have always questioned the secrecy, even when I was employed at Planned Parenthood. If we were so proud of our services, then why did we work so hard to hide them? 

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by an amazing pro-life group, the Catholic Prolife Committee of Dallas. They had learned some interesting and troubling news. Here is the report directly from them. 

The Catholic Pro-Life Committee (CPLC) received information that Planned Parenthood applied for a license to operate an ambulatory surgical center (ASC) at 7989 West Virginia Drive, Dallas (formerly Specialty Surgical Services), across from Methodist Charlton Medical Center. The property records for this location show that the deed to the property was transferred to A Brooks Group LLC on January 30, 2014 with an appraised value of over 2.2 million dollars.

According to online corporate records, Aimee B. Boone is the sole managing member of A Brooks Group, LLC. Aimee Boone (now Aimee Boone Cunningham) is an officer of the Center for Reproductive Rights and recently served as Vice President of Development for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas (formerly North Texas). She is the daughter of Cecilia Boone, board member of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (board chair, 2012-2013).

“So what now?” they asked. The only answer was to blow this open before Planned Parenthood had a chance to announce their new property. We all know that Planned Parenthood is at their weakest when they are on the defensive.

The first day of the peaceful prayer vigil, Planned Parenthood turned the sprinklers on the pro-life activists. No problem. It’s hot here in Texas anyway, we appreciate the cold water.

I only wish I could have been present when Planned Parenthood got the call from the first reporter. They had been exposed…and they weren’t ready.

Since the release of this new information, the Dallas pro-life community has been at work. They are already outside their new facility praying and holding signs to let the surrounding medical community know that there is an abortion clinic coming to their area. 

The first day of the peaceful prayer vigil, Planned Parenthood turned the sprinklers on them. No problem. It’s hot here in Texas anyway, we appreciate the cold water.

After the sprinkler fiasco, a physician from another non-abortion providing facility came out to ask what they were doing. He was very concerned that these prayer warriors may interfere with his business. They kindly told him that they would be there EVERY DAY now that Planned Parenthood was opening an abortion facility. He said that he had an “obligation to his patients,” to which they replied, “We have an obligation to the victims of Planned Parenthood.” 

I applaud CPLC for their proactive approach to this problem. The best way to keep these centers out of our communities is to expose them for what they are. They are corrupt. They are dirty. They are not the people they want as your neighbors.

CPLC is doing active community outreach to the medical professionals in the area to inform them about Planned Parenthood and their unsavory practices. They are holding community wide events in an attempt to educate those in the local community. 

Here is more directly from CPLC and their director, Karen Garnett. 

An initial prayer vigil will take place on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 10 a.m. on the public right of way outside 7989 West Virginia Drive, followed by a community meeting.

Planned Parenthood currently commits abortions through the first 15 weeks of pregnancy at one location in Dallas, 7424 Greenville Avenue. The fourth provision of the new Texas law (HB 2), requiring that all abortion facilities meet the safety standards of an ambulatory surgical center, is scheduled to go into effect on September 1, 2014. There has been no visible indication that Planned Parenthood on Greenville Avenue is modifying its facility to meet these requirements. Apparently unwilling to lose its profitable 'hold' on Dallas, Planned Parenthood is reportedly planning to open this new South Dallas location -- already outfitted as an ASC, where it will be able to commit abortions through five months.

'The South Dallas medical community, devoted to promoting health and saving lives, should not be forced to accept the heinous business of abortion right outside their doors, let alone through five months of pregnancy,' said Garnett. 'One has to wonder at the sad irony of pregnant mothers arriving at the nearby Methodist hospital for the joyous arrival of their babies, while Planned Parenthood takes advantage of mothers in need with the false 'hope' of abortion.'

We have seen amazing things happen in Texas this past year. We have had a record number of abortion facility closures. We have had abortionists lose licenses because of their inability to uphold the law. We have seen an unprecedented amount of “saves” on the sidewalks outside abortion facilities. As of September 1st, we will have just seven (including this new facility) abortion facilities in the state.

The end of legalized abortion in Texas is coming soon. Let this all be a lesson to us to remain vigilant in our pro-life efforts. Just because we experience successes does not mean that we can become complacent.

Thank you to CPLC and the prolife community in Dallas for being observant and exposing this. 

Planned Parenthood is of course bragging that they will run the majority of the abortion facilities that will remain open after September 1st. Hmm. Didn’t they say they wanted abortion to be safe, legal and rare? I guess they were just kidding.


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To any woman I convinced to have an abortion, I am sorry. I am sorry that we did not tell you the truth about abortion. But please know that healing is possible.

I talked her into getting an abortion. And then I ran into her at the store.

Abby Johnson Abby Johnson Follow Abby
By Abby Johnson

I used to have a standard line that I would ask people if I thought I recognized them. “Do I look familiar to you?” I would ask. I used to ask that question at least once a week, but I haven’t asked anyone that in at least four years.  

Four years ago, I saw a woman in a store and I knew that I recognized her.  I could tell that she recognized me, too, because every time we would pass each other she would give me a little smile. 

Finally, I just asked, “Do I look familiar to you?”

She started laughing and said that I did, but she could not figure out where she had seen me before.  As soon as she started talking, I knew. She had sat across from me at my desk at Planned Parenthood. I had talked her into getting an abortion. I remembered her story vividly. She was crying. I was reassuring her, saying things like, “Just because a decision makes us cry, doesn’t mean it’s not the right decision.”

I remember that I was trying to get her out of my office. We had been talking for at least 45 minutes and that was way over my 15 minute maximum for “counseling.” I knew I must have a stack of charts waiting in my box outside. I finally pulled out the final card to hurry this thing along. I told her, “If you don’t have the abortion today, you won’t be able to come back to us for at least a week and it will be more expensive. You don’t want that, do you?”

Reluctantly she said that she was ready to go back for the abortion. Good. My job was done. Every line was signed and every box was checked. 

I am sorry. I am sorry that we did not tell you the truth about abortion. I am sorry that you were deceived by people who you thought you could trust. I am sorry that we didn’t listen to you when you cried in our offices. 

I was now, once again, staring this young woman in the face. I had left Planned Parenthood. I was pro-life. I was sorry that I had done that to her. But what do I say now? I panicked and said, “Well, who knows? Maybe I will see you around again.” I rushed off, feeling ashamed.

I really hoped that would never happen again. But, it did. Several times. Each time, I would look into the woman’s eyes and walk the other way. How could I face these women? My sin was staring at me when I looked at them. I didn’t want to look at that sin. It was too real. 

After a while, it happened less and less. We moved to a different town for my work and I rarely saw people that I recognized from the clinic. And even if I did, I was more confident now. I was okay to tell them who I was and how I knew them. I was now quick to apologize for my part in their abortion. The more I healed, the easier it became. 

About six months ago, I received an email that I wasn’t expecting. My confidence was shaken in just a few seconds. A young woman had come to my clinic when she was just 16. Admittedly, I did not remember her. She told me her story through a message and I was heartbroken for her. She had gotten hooked on drugs, dealt with very serious depression and even attempted suicide after her abortion.

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She blamed me. “You told me I would feel fine after my abortion,” she said. I told her she wouldn’t have any regrets. But she did. She told me that I was the cause of her pain. And while I read her email, I felt that pain. I also felt that shame that I hadn’t experienced in several years. 

I probably read her email at least fifty times. Honestly, I thought about just deleting it…pretending that I hadn’t ever received it. But I knew I couldn’t do that. I had to respond. I had to apologize. After pondering about my response for two days, I finally sat down to write.

I took the blame. I apologized at least ten times in my first response. I didn’t make any excuses. I didn’t justify my words or actions. I just apologized, over and over again. And then I offered help. This young woman, who was now in her early twenties, needed healing. We have now had several conversations through email and phone. I was able to get her connected to a post-abortive healing ministry in her area. She is a different person. And because of her honesty, I am a different person. 

I recently asked a few former abortion clinic workers a question. “If you could go back and say something to a woman who had an abortion in your clinic, what would you say?” The responses were somewhat varied, but all had the same theme. They would tell these women that they were sorry. They would apologize for lying, for misleading them. 

So here is that apology to any post-abortive woman reading this right now. I am sorry. I am sorry that we did not tell you the truth about abortion. I am sorry that you were deceived by people who you thought you could trust. I am sorry that we didn’t listen to you when you cried in our offices. I’m sorry that you were treated like a number and not the beautiful person that you are. I’m sorry for the pain you felt. I’m sorry for any regret that you felt or continue to feel because of our dishonesty. 

As much as I wish I could, I can’t change the past. I can’t change the poor decisions that we have all made. But I can let you know that there are many of us who care about your healing. You don’t have to live with regret, pain and shame. If you haven’t yet, please take that first step and find help. Call your local pro-life group and ask about resources in your area. I have found freedom and healing from my past. You can find that freedom, too.

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My little girlish heart goes a bit faster when I see his obvious intelligence and think of his courage, his loyalty, kindness and moral fortitude. What a guy!

I have a crush on Donny Osmond, and I don’t care who knows it

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

I have a crush on Donny Osmond and I’m not the least embarrassed to admit it. At 56, what a handsome bloke! Much better looking now than when he was a drippy teenager. And so talented in music and showmanship in general. But mainly brave, and steadfast in holding to his moral convictions against a sea, nay, a tidal wave of pressure to abandon them. He resisted temptations that would have flattened nearly any of us, and he fought his way back, and has been happily ruling his corner of the pop/Broadway musical world since the late 80s.

Here is certainly a guy who refuses to be destroyed by the legendary fickleness of his industry.

In general, having been raised on the classical music of CBC radio, his kind of sparkly, plasticised televised pop culture never really did appeal to me much, and my well-educated family had nothing but scorn for it. Along with the Bee Gees and other pop-culture icons of the 70s, I don’t think the Osmonds’ name was ever mentioned in my family except with a disdainful and dismissive sniff. Besides, at that time, I was still busy having a crush on Captain Kirk.

So why has it taken me 40 years to catch up and have a little (dignified) bout of middle-aged, sighing admiration now?

In this 45-minute documentary, centered around a long interview with Piers Morgan, Donny, Donald Clark Osmond, the man, talks about the struggles of being Donny Osmond the teen idol, and then, with terrifying abruptness, becoming Donny Osmond the 25 year-old has-been wash-out, who was literally told that his name was “industry poison”… by no less a person than his friend Michael Jackson.

After years of being THE teen boy-king, with the millions of screaming teenage girl fans around the world, he was suddenly a joke. Indeed, I remember the girls in school mocking him (which was a pretty unattractive thing for them to do, come to think of it). He wasn’t just forgotten, as the video says, but hated. And I think it has taken me until now to understand, to see why that particular brand of sneering hatred seems so familiar.

I listened to this documentary this weekend while puttering about my flat, and it struck me that neither Piers nor Donny himself had completely understood why the public had rejected him so powerfully.

11:41…

Piers: “There must be a part of a 14-year–old, good-looking boy seeing twenty thousand screaming girls, going, ‘I quite like this.’”

Donny: “…You’re on stage, 20,000 girls screaming your name and then you go to a hotel room and the silence is deafening.”

Piers: “The modern day pop star wouldn’t be in his hotel room on his own. There’d be half the screaming girls back in the room with him.”

Donny: “Absolutely.”

Piers: “But you had none of that, did you?”

Donny: “I had none of it. I can honestly say, look you in the eye and say I had none of that.”

Piers: “No groupies…”

Donny: “I married as a virgin. I really did [laughing]. And, I’m proud of it. It was difficult. Boy! let me tell you it was difficult! The hormones were raging…”

Piers: “Do you wish you’d just piled in back then, Donny?”

Donny: “I’m glad I withheld. I really am.”

Donny Osmond, the idol of millions of girls, married at the age of 20, and she’s the same woman he’s happily married to today. They have five sons and six grandchildren.

I was too young to have caught any of the Donny Osmond mania, having reached the target audience age only after his famous career collapse. But I do remember it, and I think that date is significant. I turned 13 in 1979, by which time the Sexual Revolution, and all its cultural, social and psychological darkness, its glorification of misery and self-loathing, had fully descended on us. It should be no mystery why an act like the Osmonds fell out of favor.

I think Donny Osmond, with his whole family, represented something more than just silly teeny-bopper pop songs. They were sold as the “clean” pop act of their time, happy, innocent and cheerful. They made their name not only as a talented family act, but as one dedicated to the old fashioned religious-based virtues that had been hugely popular since the end of World War II. They were, in fact, the living embodiment of an innocent enjoyment of youth and, yes, I’ll say it, romantic love, that itself turned to “industry poison” at exactly that historical moment.

All we need for proof of this hypothesis is the suggestion of his publicist that he invent and spread a false rumour of drug-related trouble with the law, to “improve” his image and make him a saleable property again. And all we need to know about his character is that he rejected this absurd and awful suggestion, not only because it would be wrong, but because of the bad influence it might have on the young members of his family. If he was going to come back, it was going to have to be the honest way or no way at all.

At that time, the pop culture world was determined to immerse itself as deeply as it could into a completely new paradigm. Romance was no longer fashionable, whether teenaged “puppy love” or adult courtship. All anyone wanted now was sex, and that desire was quickly being mixed with a worship of death that was eventually to metastasize into what Pope John Paul II called the Culture of Death, where hedonism and sexual license was mixed liberally with nihilism, despair and gross, salivatory materialism. Everything, in short, that Donny Osmond himself had rejected.

The world in the early 80s wanted the Sex Pistols, New Wave and the sexual androgyny and moral ambivalence of David Bowie. This was my time as a teenager, and I remember the appeal quite well (and I’m listening to a playlist of 80s synthpop as I type this.) So here we are, 40 years on, and the western world is now reeling from the disasters of having embraced the sex n’ death culture. I still don’t really like Donny Osmond’s musical style much. I still like David Bowie and the Police.

But Donny the man, well… my little girlish heart goes a bit faster when I see his obvious intelligence and think of his courage, his loyalty, kindness and moral fortitude. What a guy!


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