Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, May 23rd, former abortionist Anthony Levatino testified before a special congressional committee in an effort to call upon Congress to ban abortion, including the practice of late-term abortions.
Levatino gave his testimony in front of the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, a thirteen-member congressional body currently chaired by Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ).
As stated in a press release, Thursday’s hearing was held in order to discuss H.R. 1797, a proposed bill that would ban late-term abortions in the District of Columbia. However, Franks told reporters that he plans on revising the bill to make the ban applicable nationwide. In the release, Chairman Franks expressed his hopes that “hearts and laws will change” once America truly understands the “horrifying reality” of late-term abortions.
Levatino, currently a gynecologist living in New Mexico, is all too familiar with the horror of late-term abortions. Earlier in his career, Levatino conducted well over 1,000 abortions as part of his obstetrics and gynecology routines, many of which were second trimester procedures up to 24 weeks gestation.
However, even when Levatino was regularly performing abortions, he knew something wasn’t right.
“There was this tremendous conflict going on within me,” he once shared. “[Some of the abortions were especially] horrible because you saw one intact, whole baby being born, and sometimes they were alive. That was very, very frightening. It was a very stomach-turning kind of existence.”
During this week’s congressional hearing, Levatino shared in detail some of the sickening procedures he and other abortionists would perform that ultimately led him to stop conducting abortions. First, he described one of the primary tools used in second trimester abortions—the Sopher clamp.
“This instrument is about thirteen inches long and made of stainless steel,” he explained. “At the business end are located jaws about 2½ inches long and about ¾ of 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 so-called “dilation and evacuation” (D&E) abortion, Levatino detailed, is one where the Sopher clamp is used. It involves blind sweeps through the uterus.
“Picture yourself reaching in with the Sopher clamp and grasping anything you can,” he recounted. “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.”
With each D&E abortion, these “sweep and pull” maneuvers are repeated as many times as necessary. “Reach in again and again with that clamp,” he continued, “and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs.”
According to Levatino, the baby’s head was almost always the most difficult body part to extract, because it was sometimes the size of a large plum. However, when the head is finally removed, that would often lead to a haunting sight.
“Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you,” he recalled.
“Congratulations! You have just successfully performed a second trimester Suction D&E abortion. You just affirmed [a woman’s] right to choose,” he said with sarcasm. “If you refuse to believe that this procedure inflicts severe pain on that unborn child, please think again.”
Ultimately, it was chilling experiences like these, and the sudden death of Levatino’s young daughter, that led him to the conclusion that all life is precious. Thus, in 1985, he denounced the practice of abortion and has supported the pro-life cause ever since.
Levatino wrapped up his congressional testimony in the words of Barack Obama, which were used to backfire upon the president:
“If there is just one thing that we could do that could save just one child, don’t we have an obligation to try?”