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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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Creation is made up of the physical and the metaphysical, and all are ruled by God—Christians should not fall into the trap of conceding to secularists intellectual authority over the physical realm.

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If you can’t convince an atheist abortion is wrong…you’re doing it wrong

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

Feb. 10, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - One of the key mistakes Christians make when approaching the culture wars is dividing truth into two categories: “secular truth” and “God’s truth.” This is a wrong-headed approach. All truth is God’s truth, and thus making a scientific argument utilizing the facts of embryology is making a Christian argument. When, as some Christians do, we allow that embryology is somehow a “secular” realm of thought, we give credence to the claims of secularists and conscript ourselves into the binary worldview with which secularists have been cleverly defeating us.

Creation is made up of the physical and the metaphysical, and all are ruled by God—Christians should not fall into the trap of conceding to secularists intellectual authority over the physical realm simply because they claim it. It is not as if the miracle of new human life developing in the womb is part of the secular realm and Christian expertise is relegated to angels and such. The Christian worldview is complete and all-encompassing, and in defence of reality as it is Christians can appeal to truth in every form.

The binary Christian-Secular divide works cleverly for secularists in political debates and has been used to great effect in the culture wars, but such arguments fail when it comes to actual reality. For example, secular scholars may claim that the moral anarchy of the Sexual Revolution was a liberation of unmitigated success, but that does not change the fact that dozens of new sexually transmitted diseases and infections have mutated into existence since then, some of them deadly. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This truth is not simply a spiritual or metaphysical one, but also a very natural and physical one - as we see time and time again when God’s warnings and words are ignored. Today’s secularist may not acknowledge the concept of sin, but can scarcely ignore the presence of herpes.

This is precisely why, as I detailed in my column last week, it is so important for Christians today to arm themselves with a variety of arguments and learn how to debate atheists on the crucial, life-and-death issues of our day. Christians too often feel restricted by their worldview, as if belief in God somehow limited the scope of argument available to us. This is precisely wrong—rather, the fact that Christians can see Truth more fully, recognizing the natural and the supernatural, gives us a distinct advantage.

Still, we have to learn how to debate secularists in terms they understand. In many of the culture war battles, lives are literally at stake. By refusing to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves, we often ignore the fact that it is not simply an argument at stake—it is actual human lives.

For example, abortion is probably the simplest social issue to debate with atheists, because the case against abortion is one of human rights. The average member of the public might not understand the language of “sin,” but they certainly understand the language of injustice. The science of when human life begins is easily accessible to anyone, and to explain that any consistent philosophy of human rights must have those rights beginning when the human being begins is a simple task.

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There is another method of argumentation I like to use when debating atheists on abortion that I find very effective: that is, appealing to science-based legislation, something secular snobs delight to drone on about when fashionable issues such as global warming crop up in conversation. We should all be able to agree, I point out, that regardless of one’s position on the role of government, the one essential role of government is to protect the weak from the strong and to enforce human rights. Surely such laws should be informed by science—and science tells us precisely when vulnerable new human beings, the smallest members of our society, come into existence.

The mystifying idea that science somehow supports a pro-abortion position, promoted by the media and entertainment industry, is only widely-held because it is rarely challenged. In fact, the pro-choice position is a feeble and subjective one—and nearly every pro-choice person believes something different. Some think abortion should be legal up until the moment of birth, while others think it should only be legal in the earliest stages of pregnancy. Some think it should be legal up until viability, others until the fetus can feel pain. When I discuss abortion with someone who says they are “pro-choice,” I always have to ask them to explain what their position is, because that term is an extremely imprecise one.

So which of these should be taken into consideration when lawmakers meet to discuss policy: The pro-choice positions, which are about as easy to pinpoint as to nail Jello to a wall? Or the science-based, coherent human rights philosophy of the pro-life position? Perhaps some people were ignorant about life in the womb back when abortion was legalized. Now, however, we have ultrasound technology, embryoscopy footage, and sonograms, not to mention an iron-clad scientific consensus. I’ve had a number of atheists I debated on university campuses admit after long discussions that by any reasonable standard, legislating the shaky and scientifically illiterate morality of the pro-choice ideology was a mistake.

There’s another point to be made here, too. Often pro-choice activists will attempt to claim that since it is most often Christians advocating for the pro-life position and we live in a secular and multicultural society, the pro-life movement must be ignored. That attempt to evade the debate fails miserably: The fact that we live in a multicultural and diverse society with a secular government is another strong reason for laws that reflect a consistent human rights philosophy protecting each and every one of us from the very beginning of our lives.

After all, in a society containing numerous religions, cultures, and belief systems, it is paramount that the government adheres to a philosophy of human rights that keeps everybody safe. When a society contains dozens of different cultures, each of which differ from each other in many ways, even drastically so, it is even more essential for the government of said society to ensure that the human rights of each and every human being are respected. There can be no equality and ultimately no safety for anyone when some groups of human beings are denied human rights based on the subjective and exclusionary terminology of “personhood,” a discriminatory label that has only ever been used to victimize those human beings not standing beneath the umbrella.

It is arguments like these that are tremendously effective when debating with secularists. Too often, Christians feel as if the unbelief of those they interact with is an automatic barrier to any discussion on crucial issues like abortion. That is not the case. These issues can be discussed, and I have seen many secularists become pro-life as the result of such discussions. And often, it goes further. Those who have been introduced to some small part of Truth begin to ask what else might be true. Those who realize how thoroughly and insidiously they have been lied to about abortion begin to ask how else they might have been deceived. Many times, we have seen that opening the door just a crack can allow quite a lot of light to pierce the darkness.

And that, after all, is the point.

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The best response yet to the pro-abort freak-out over that Doritos Superbowl ad

John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John

Pro-aborts lost their minds yesterday after Doritos aired a commercial that...*gasp*...showed an ultrasound of an unborn baby.

Seriously.

The humorous commercial showed a dad eating a bag of Doritos while his wife gets an ultrasound, and the baby tries to grab at the Doritos in his hands.

Watch it for yourself:

Funny, right? And kind of cute, in a silly way. But not for NARAL Pro-Choice America.

They tweeted their disgust:

Get that? "Humanizing" a fetus.

Since last night there hasn't been any shortage of responses to NARAL's bizarre anti-scientific, anti-baby, and anti-human extremism.

But one of the best responses I've read comes from Dr. Robert George, a pro-life professor at Princeton University, who posted this on Facebook:

I gather that the really big news, as always, had to do with a commercial advertisement that was broadcast in the course of the game. Evidently, a potato chip manufacurer, or some such profit-driven purveyor of packaged foodstuffs, showed a video image of an unborn baby. This shocked and appalled the folks at NARAL, the big abortion lobby, who promptly accused the company responsible for the ad of "humanizing the fetus." Since, however, the fetus in the video was, by all accounts, a human fetus, the offspring of human parents, and not a bovine, canine, or feline fetus, it's less than clear how it is that the potato chip company (or whatever it was) is to blame for the humanization. Surely NARAL's complaint would be more fairly lodged against God, or nature, or plain old biological reality.

Memo to NARAL: that's what an unborn baby actually looks like.

Every couple who has ever had an ultrasound has watched their baby being "humanized" right in front of their eyes, which is why having an ultrasound is such a beautiful and moving experience.

Nowadays, with crystal-clear "4D" ultrasounds, couples can watch their babies kick about, suck their thumbs, respond to noises in the room, move away from the doctor's or nurse's touch, etc.

RELATED: ‘I saw little arms, little legs, and a head!’: Mom leaves abortion clinic after seeing ultrasound

And that's why pro-life activists are working furiously to pass laws ensuring that women are given the opportunity to see an ultrasound of their babies before they go through with an abortion. It's called "informed consent." That means, telling a patient everything they need to know to make an informed decision before going through with an irrevocable medical procedure.

But pro-abortion groups like NARAL are fighting these commonsense laws tooth and nail. Why? Because they know what pro-lifers who work in crisis pregnancy centers have learned through long experience: when women see their baby in front of their eyes on an ultrasound, they are far, far less likely to go through with the abortion. And that means lost income for abortion clinics.

RELATED: UK parents reject abortion after seeing son smile on ultrasound

That's why story after story has come out of women saying that even when they asked to see the ultrasound of their baby before their abortion at an abortion clinic, the staff at the clinic refusedBecause feminism. 

So, a question for abortion supporters out there: If your whole ideology has to be propped up on a stubborn denial of one of the most clearly proven scientific facts - i.e. the humanity of the human unborn child - what does that say about the value of your ideology? And if the only way you can get women to buy your product - abortion - is by lying to them, what does that say about your view of women? 



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Gone are atheists like George Bernard Shaw, eager to take on apologists like G.K. Chesterton in battle. Instead, we have snarky, mocking snipes like Bill Maher, men who do not seek to understand.

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Atheists aren’t even trying any more…and why that’s terrifying

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

Christian scholars, speakers, authors and apologists are beginning to notice a trend: Atheists no longer even try to understand Christianity. They don’t take Christian beliefs seriously, and they don’t find them relevant. Worse: They find Christians ridiculous, unintelligent idiots who believe in all sorts of ludicrous notions. Gone are atheists like George Bernard Shaw, eager to take on apologists like G.K. Chesterton in battle. Gone, it seems, are even atheists like Christopher Hitchens, willing to spar with philosophers like William Lane Craig. Instead, we have snarky, mocking snipes like Bill Maher, men who do not seek to engage or understand.

Simply put, secularists cannot understand why Christians act the way that they do, because their perception of reality is fundamentally different. For the secularist, there is only the physical. Things are what they are. For the Christian, the metaphysical is as real as the physical, and these realms interact on every level. A miracle may strike a Christian with awe, but the Christian possesses a worldview that allows him to understand what a miracle is—the Creator intervening directly in the created order in a visible way. A secularist insists that the miracle could not have happened, pointing out that the natural order does not function that way—in essence, accusing a miracle of being…a miracle.

Secularists claim to have placed their faith in “reason,” when in reality this is simply another way of saying that they have placed their faith in themselves. They will only believe in what they can understand. The problem is that the Religion of Reason is a circular feedback loop: Reason cannot in and of itself prove that reason is rational. One must have faith that it is. The secularist must believe that his brain, supposedly created by chance and programmed over millions of years of natural selection to react instinctively in certain ways, is capable of independent thought. A rather ludicrous notion, when you think about it.

As I said to one university student in debate: “Any god that can fit within the confines of your skull is a god too small for anyone to worship.” He was offended by this statement—a true secularist. As Chesterton wrote: “The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.” 

It’s important for us to realize that secularists and Christians don’t just believe different things, but see everything differently. In the secularist world, there is no Heaven, no Hell, no angels, no devils, no world unseen—or at least, no world that could not be seen.

Adding to that, of course, this means there is no soul, no good, and no evil. This is a fact that no secularist truly wants to confront: I remember my psychology professor calling off our seminar a half hour early after I asked her repeatedly to give me one philosophically coherent reason that rape was wrong in a world that slouched into existence by accident. Besides a few feeble appeals to subjective “social contracts” and the like, she could not. For there to be any objective moral law, there has to be a Lawgiver.

The chasm between the world as Christians see it and the world as secularists see it is deep, dark, and wide. That is why the presently raging culture wars so often seem as if the two sides are simply yelling into the abyss—because these battles mean very different things to the opposing armies.

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As I noted in my column on euthanasia last week, secularists see euthanasia more or less in terms of ushering a suffering animal out of his or her misery. Humans, in the materialist view, are soulless animals, and thus it may actually be more compassionate or merciful to kill someone suffering awful pain than it would be to consider palliative care. When secularism put the idea of human exceptionalism to death, it guaranteed that many humans would be put to death, too. After all, why not?

So it is too with abortion. Every once in a while when an abortion activist tells me that the human being in the womb is just a clump of cells, I like to point out that she is just a clump of cells, as well. But this argument isn’t always indicative of scientific illiteracy—although that is often the case. Sometimes, it is an accurate depiction of how they see human life. For people to value human life, they have to have a reason to value human life. Secularism has yet to mount a truly consistent, much less philosophically coherent, reason to value human beings. Instead, it puts forward the inherently discriminatory notion of “personhood,” which has been used to exclude and oppress women, African Americans, aboriginals, Jews, and now the pre-born. At no point in recent human history have all human beings been considered persons, and at no point in recent human history have we stopped killing those excluded from this subjective category invented by the strong to oppress the weak.

This chasm is also why secularists cannot agree with Christians on the Sexual Revolution—because no one can even agree on a definition of what sex is to begin with. For Christians, sex was created to be unitive and procreative, serving to bond the husband and the wife, with that love at times being blessed with the miraculous creation of a new human being. From the metaphysical standpoint, marriage represents the relationship between the Lord Jesus and His church.

While the secularist may agree that those are certainly options for sex, in their relativist world, sex is whatever makes you feel good. If one of those engaging in the interaction can extract some measure of pleasure, then it is “good”—and any orifice will do: two animals moving their soulless bodies about with one another to produce a pleasant sensation. Thus, hollowing out and redefining marriage, disregarding gender, and abandoning the traditional family structure are an inevitable result of the spread of secularism. Physical heresies multiply.

The culture wars have been fought for decades, and Christians have been losing. Secularists have long stopped trying to debate Christians or understand the Judeo-Christian building blocks upon which Western civilization has been precariously perched these last few centuries. From late night TV to Hollywood to the mainstream media, Christians are treated with contempt and scorn. That contempt is turning swiftly into intolerance, as many Christian beliefs are being recast as bigoted and hateful.

It is paramount that Christians arm themselves with the tools to fight back.

Editor’s Note: This is Part I of a Two-Part Series

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