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

John Jalsevac

In 2012 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.

"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." 

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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Euthanasia activists: 'Depressed? Here, we can help you kill yourself.'

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Canadian euthanasia activists are mad…for the most insane reason possible

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

April 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Last week Thursday, I was driving to a speaking engagement I was doing on euthanasia—its roots, its dangers, and its resurgence across the West. I turned the radio on, and flipped the dial to the CBC. One of the hosts was speaking to a panel on the Liberal government’s proposed euthanasia law.

“My guests,” the host was saying, “are very disappointed in the proposed legislation.” I nodded to myself, and turned it louder. I was disappointed, too.

But then the host continued: “I’d like to welcome two representatives from Dying With Dignity Canada to the program.”

A society that permits, even pays for, suicide for those with mental illness, reduces them to the level of second-class citizens.

That, apparently, is what qualifies as “dissent” for the Canadian mainstream media. Canada becomes one of only a handful of countries to legalize a procedure that actively ends the lives of human beings and fundamentally transforms the purpose of medical practice, and the two guests invited to speak about it both want to complain that the legislation doesn’t go far enough.

It takes a lot to make me angry. But the two suicide advocates on the CBC did it. They were outraged—outraged!—that those under the age of 18 and those suffering from mental illness could not qualify for assisted suicide.

In fact, they actually had the nerve to claim that to deny people suffering from mental illnesses like depression access to easy suicide made these sufferers “less equal.” Less equal, because the medical system would recognize that they were in need of treatment, not a lethal injection.

"Political language,” George Orwell once wrote, “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

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So many people are being sucked in by the smooth deceits being offered on mainstream radio programs and TV shows by the exit strategists advocating for a hasty and “dignified” death.

So let me explain something very important. Denying “assisted suicide” to those with mental illnesses like depression is the precise opposite of denying them a “right” (death cannot be a right, anyway). Instead, a society that permits, even pays for, suicide for those with mental illness, reduces them to the level of second-class citizens.

In such a society, I could walk into a hospital, and demand that a medical professional assist me in killing myself. The attending doctors would ask me a series of questions to determine if I qualified for this “treatment.” After discerning that I have no terminal illness, and do not suffer from depression, they could shrug and tell me that sorry, I do not qualify for a lethal injection. I’m too healthy. My life is worth too much.

But another person my age, suffering the black despairs of depression, could walk through those same doors, and request the same service. Once upon a time, our medical community would spring into action to ensure that this person could not harm himself. In the society desired by the suicide activists, however, this would no longer be the case. Instead, it would be discovered that the ravages of mental illness qualified this person for the final solution to their problem: death.

How can a system that can deny suicide to someone who simply wants to die, but offer it to someone who has mental illness and wants to die, claim that these two people are equal? When a society recognizes, in the most grotesque way, that mental illness in fact makes life not worth living and as a result will offer suicide, they are creating a second class of citizen, one in which many people are worth less. They, after all, are granted the “right to die.” Their condition qualifies them to be killed.

As I pulled into the parking lot of the church I was speaking at and I shut my radio off, one Bible verse, Proverbs 12:10,  popped into my head: “The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”

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Vatican website misquotes Pope Francis on Communion for the divorced and remarried

John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John

No one seems to agree about whether Pope Francis’ recent apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, changes Church discipline and opens the door to Communion for the divorced and remarried.

The now-infamous footnote 351 certainly appears to do just that, and this is the interpretation that Cardinal Walter Kasper - the cardinal behind the push to allow the divorced and remarried to receive Communion - himself clearly takes. But some have disputed this, pointing to clear canon law and established Church practice, as well as some of the ambiguities surrounding the footnote itself.

So it was with eagerness that many Catholics listened to a question on the matter posed to Pope Francis this past weekend on the flight back from the Greek island of Lesbos.

A reporter asked the pope, point blank, whether there are any “new concrete possibilities that did not exist before the publication of the exhortation” for the divorced and remarried, making specific reference to “the discipline that governs the access to the Sacraments.” The reporter’s complete question is provided at the bottom of this post.

The pope began his response saying simply, in Italian: “Io posso dire, si. Punto.” Translated into English, this means: “I can say yes. Period.”

In recordings of the pope's answer, the audio is completely unambiguous, as is the Italian itself. There can be no doubt about what the pope said, nor of how to translate those five straightforward words into English.

However, while those first five words - taken alone - seem at first glance like a stunningly clear response from the pope on a matter of enormous importance, the latter part of his answer reintroduces ambiguity.

"But that would be too small an answer," he continued, after which he encouraged journalists to refer back to Cardinal Schonborn’s presentation about the exhortation. "In that presentation your question will have the answer," he said.

On the question of the sacraments for those in "irregular" unions, Schonborn's presentation largely just refers back to the text of the exhortation itself - including the controversial footnote 351. That footnote says that the Church's help for those in irregular unions can "in some cases" include the sacraments. (Schonborn himself allows the divorced and remarried in his diocese to receive Communion following a period of discernment.)

And so journalists are now scrambling not just to interpret the exhortation itself, but the pope's answer on the plane. However, that process of interpretation has not been aided by the fact that the Vatican website clearly misquotes the pope – in a way that adds additional ambiguity.

The Vatican transcribes the pope’s remarks thusly: “Io potrei dire ‘si’, e punto.”

The important change here is the obvious alteration of the verb “posso” (I can) to the verb “potrei” (I could). Nobody who listened to the audio could have possibly heard the word “potrei.” It’s simply not what the pope said.

And the change, while small, is not of small importance. In grammar-speak, whoever transcribed the interview for the Vatican changed the first person form of the verb “potere” (to be able) from the indicative mood to the conditional mood. And, as any grammarian or student of language knows, the conditional mood is designed to convey the hypothetical or the uncertain.

But if you watch the video of the pope’s answer (below - start at 21 minutes and 40 seconds), he doesn't appear to be speaking with uncertainty. His cadence, his gestures, his wording – everything conveys certainty and clarity. Thus, for instance, his use of the emphatic word “punto” (period) at the end of the first sentence. “I can say yes, period.”

Now, it could very well be that this transcription error was an innocent mistake. Having listened to a bunch of the rest of the interview, in Italian, and compared it to the Vatican transcription, it’s clear there isn’t always a one-to-one correspondence. Occasionally the pope’s words are moved around to clarify sentence structure, some adjustments are made to improve his grammar (He's not a native Italian speaker, and sometimes uses unusual grammatical constructions), or words that the pope mumbled or seemed to imply are simply provided.

The “Italian method” of journalism, as we have often been told during this current pontificate, sometimes takes the form less of a science than of an art (just think of the Pope’s unrecorded “interviews” with the atheist Scalfari, which Scalfari openly confesses he reconstructs from memory). It could be that the (likely Italian) transcriber of the pope’s remarks either misheard him (hard to imagine given the clarity of the audio), or simply thought the pope sounded like he intended to use the conditional (a not totally unreasonable possibility), and therefore “fixed” his grammar.

But even if so, the issue deserves to be corrected for the sake of the public record, since this a case where even an innocent attempt to "fix" the pope's grammar clearly amounts to editorializing. Given that these words are one of the only keys we have to intrepret the exhortation, it's important that the debate at least starts with an accurate transcription - after which we can get into the murky waters of what the pope "intended" to say, or what it means. 

There are already online disputes about the translation. (Bizarrely, one leading Catholic news agency mistranslated the pope as saying, “I can say yes, many” – which he clearly didn’t say - while Vatican Radio for some reason leaves out the emphatic word “punto.”) In response, some are simply referring back to the Vatican transcription as the official account of what the pope said. However, the Vatican transcription is clearly wrong. It seems the only way to truly confirm what the pope said in some cases may be to obtain the video of what he said and listen with your own ears.

The reporter’s complete question: Some maintain that nothing has changed with respect to the discipline that governs the access to the Sacraments for the divorced and remarried, and that the law and the pastoral practice and obviously the doctrine remains the same. Others maintain instead that much has changed and that there are many new openings and possibilities. The question is, for one person, a Catholic, that wants to know: Are there new concrete possibilities that did not exist before the publication of the Exhortation, or not?

h/t 1Peter5



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Be encouraged: There is some surprisingly good news about porn

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

April 13, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - I’ve written hundreds of pages on the porn crisis, and the number one complaint I get from readers is that my columns are too depressing. This is a fair accusation, since I cover a lot of depressing topics. But today, I’d like to share good news with you: There is light at the end of the tunnel.

For starters, The Washington Post just published a full exposé of the porn industry, titling their article, “Is porn immoral? That doesn’t matter: It’s a public health crisis.” This is perhaps one of the most resoundingly anti-porn pieces published in a mainstream newspaper in years, replete with quotes like this:

The thing is, no matter what you think of pornography (whether it’s harmful or harmless fantasy), the science is there. After 40 years of peer-reviewed research, scholars can say with confidence that porn is an industrial product that shapes how we think about gender, sexuality, relationships, intimacy, sexual violence and gender equality — for the worse.…

Extensive scientific research reveals that exposure to and consumption of porn threaten the social, emotional and physical health of individuals, families and communities, and highlights the degree to which porn is a public health crisis rather than a private matter. But just as the tobacco industry argued for decades that there was no proof of a connection between smoking and lung cancer, so, too, has the porn industry, with the help of a well-oiled public relations machine, denied the existence of empirical research on the impact of its products.

The Post is not the only mainstream publication finally acknowledging the scientific consensus on pornography. TIME Magazine, too, published a front page story called “Porn and the threat to virility,” detailing the widespread evidence that compulsive porn use can lean to erectile dysfunction. “Porn,” the cover of the magazine announces, “Why young men who grew up with Internet porn are becoming advocates for turning it off.”

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It is encouraging to see that increasingly, pornography is not being treated as a “free speech” issue or a “sexual freedom” issue, but a health crisis. It is a very positive sign that publications which generally cheer on any new manifestation of the Sexual Revolution are beginning to recognize pornography for the cultural cancer it is. I was shocked when Utah recently decided to declare compulsive porn use a “health crisis,” and much of the media coverage was not scornful. Some was even thoughtful.

From FOX13, for example:

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, filed Senate Concurrent Resolution 9, which declares that pornography is creating a “public health crisis.” The resolution states that pornography is leading to hypersexualization of teens, addiction, prostitution and other problems.

“WHEREAS, because pornography treats women as objects and commodities for the viewer’s use, it teaches girls they are to be used and teaches boys to be users,” Weiler wrote. “Pornography normalizes violence and abuse of women and children; WHEREAS, pornography treats women and children as objects and often depicts rape and abuse as if they are harmless.”

“Whereas pornography use is linked to lessening desire in young men to marry, dissatisfaction in marriage, and infidelity,” the resolution states.

SCR9 asks the “Legislature and the Governor recognize the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of our state and nation.”

It’s not just Utah, either. Canadian Member of Parliament Arnold Viersen recently put forward Motion M-47, which would ask the House of Commons standing committee “to examine the public health effects of the ease of access and viewing of online violent and degrading sexually explicit material on children, women, and men.”

The Toronto Sun reported:

Statistics suggest the average age of first exposure to Internet porn is between 10 and 12 in Canada. This makes Peace River-Westlock MP Arnold Viersen worry about how it could affect his children. "They are growing up in a world that's completely different than the one I grew up in," he said…

Health professionals have been warning about the harmful effects of violent media on children and adolescents for decades. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, thousands of studies have "associated exposure to media violence with a variety of physical and mental health problems for children and adolescents, including aggressive and violent behaviour, bullying (and) desensitization."

And before you scoff and point out that Canada has a Liberal government that is sure to ignore such a motion, remember that when he was asked about violence against women, even Justin Trudeau pointed a finger at pornography, noting, “I think there’s probably an awful lot of factors that come together to shape societal behaviour — whether it’s certain types of music? There’s a lot of misogyny in, you know, certain types of music. There’s issues around pornography and its prevalence now and its accessibility, which is something I’m really wrapping my head around as a father of kids who are approaching their teen years. And there’s also just the shifting parental roles as well. There’s a lot of communities in which fathers are less present than they have been or they might be in the past, and there’s more need to have engaged positive role models.”

Great Britain has made moves against pornography, too, with some sources accusing Prime Minister David Cameron of a “war on porn.” From Fight the New Drug:

The UK government is proposing new legislation that will require all sites containing pornographic content to request age verification of visitors to their sites. Rather than porn sites putting an “18+ to enter” button that can be clicked just as easily by an 8-year old as a 28-year old, internet providers will access public information that will help to identify the age of the visitor. This is a huge step forward in protecting kids from the harmful effects of pornography.

The motivation behind this effort, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, is to keep children safe on the internet, preventing them from viewing material which is proven to be damaging to children. A press release from the Prime Minister’s Office states, “Viewing pornography at a young age can cause distress and can have a harmful effect on sexual development, beliefs, and relationships.”

A “war on porn”? Bring it on!

So to those readers who review the statistics on porn use and despair, take heart. There are some in our culture who are waking up to the reality of what pornography has done to our culture, and how many have been swept away by the avalanche of sleaze that the Internet has unleashed. There are now editors and journalists willing to cover this health crisis, and even politicians willing to call it that. We have a long way to go, but for today, at least, be encouraged.

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