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Youth Conference Preview: An interview with Dr Levatino, former abortionist

Posted by Fiorella Nash on 2 February 2017


"It is easy to say how much you believe in abortion, it is different actually doing them."

Dr Anthony Levatino is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist who performed abortions for eight years before he stopped in 1985. He went on to become a powerful pro-life witness to the truth about abortion and will be speaking at our youth conference in March about his journey from abortionist to pro-life campaigner. I had the chance to chat with Dr Levatino over the phone about his early days as a doctor who performed abortions.

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I started performing abortions in 1977 but never counted the number. It was about 1200. Abortion is such a divisive issue and people are either pro-life or pro-choice but for most people it doesn't affect their lives. If you're an obstetrician it becomes personal because we perform them. It is easy to say how much you believe in abortion, it is different actually doing them. When I was a medical student I could say, "I'm pro-choice, it's between a woman and her doctor." It's different when you do them.

When you look back at your own change of heart, what tactics work?

You will never change a person's mind unless you develop a personal relationship with them. Sign up as a patient and talk to the pro-abortion doctor. Make friends with people who work in the industry and establish a relationship. Would you open up to a complete stranger who turned up outside your house and shouted abuse at you?

How do women typically respond to abortion?

When abortionists claim that the first thing a woman feels after an abortion is relief, they are telling the truth. When a woman has an unexpected pregnancy, she can be under tremendous strain. There may be a million reasons why she's worried and the whole process is incredibly stressful. So the first feeling will be relief - she's dealt with it, the problem is solved. The chances are, the abortionist will never see the patient again and it's afterwards, weeks, even years afterwards that the woman may begin to regret. Not all of them. Some are fine with it, but a fertility doctor I know said that when he discussed previous abortions with infertile couples, around half would express regrets and about 15% would go into absolute meltdown.

Do many abortion workers leave?

There are no hard statistics but lots are leaving the industry and there are difficulties in recruitment. Hence the promotion of RU-486. Some leave for personal reasons, others stop because they just can’t take it anymore.

What happened when you stopped performing abortions?

Colleagues were understanding but becoming involved in the pro-life movement was definitely not OK. It caused a lot of friction and I lost every friend I had ever had. The phone stopped ringing, invitations dried up. If I hadn't spoken out, it would have been fine, but I did.

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