Dr. Anthony Levatino is an OB/GYN who not only performed abortions, but considered himself a firm believer in “abortion rights” at the start of his career.
While he didn’t work for an abortion facility, he did commit 1,200 abortions in hospital delivery rooms over the course of a nearly a decade. But during that same time period, personal struggles and great loss in his life opened his eyes to the realities of abortion and his participation in it.
In an interview with Live Action President Lila Rose, Levatino says abortion was simply a part of his job— just like delivering babies and performing C-sections— but that abortion was very different for him and other OB/GYN providers.
“When you’re an obstetrician / gynecologist and you say, ‘I’m pro-choice,’ well, that becomes rather a more personal thing because you’re the one who does the abortions,” said Levatino in a speech for the Pro-Life Action League.
His first spark of doubt concerning abortions occurred less than two years after he graduated, when he and his wife discovered they weren’t able to conceive a child. Having decided to adopt, they struggled with the arduous task of finding a newborn who needed a home.
“I remember very vividly, being in the delivery room one day doing a Suction D & C abortion and thinking, you know, ‘My gosh, I’m throwing this kid in the garbage, you know, and here I am trying to adopt a baby when I’m throwing them away’,” he told Rose.
“And I’m smart enough to know it’s people like me that make adoption so difficult in the first place. So the initial doubts that I had were selfish ones, but they were there.”
Still, Levatino buried those doubts, and he while ending the lives of numerous preborn children, he was reaching out to everyone he knew about his desire to adopt. Finally, in August of 1978, that dream came true when he learned of a 15-year-old girl in labor who wanted to place her baby for adoption. Levatino and his wife were able to adopt their daughter, whom they named Heather, and one month later they discovered his wife was pregnant with their son, Sean.
The couple now had what Levatino calls a “perfectly happy” life, and despite those concerns of throwing away babies through abortion, Levatino returned to his work delivering babies and performing abortions as usual.
But then the worst thing imaginable for a parent happened. While playing outside, his daughter, Heather, just a few months away from her sixth birthday, ran into the street and was hit by a car.
“You know, I’m a doctor. I’m supposed to be able to save people’s lives. My wife was an intensive care nurse at the time. This is what we did for a living. This was routine to us,” he explained to Rose. “But it made absolutely no difference and she literally died in our arms in the back of an ambulance that night.”
The pain from the tragic loss of his daughter followed Levatino into the room where he performed his first D & E abortion since her death— and when he ripped out that tiny baby’s limb, he became sick. He didn’t want to continue on, but had no choice, since stopping that abortion could cause an infection in his patient.
“I really, for the first time in my career, really looked at that pile of baby parts sitting on a table and I didn’t see all those things that had sustained me all those years. I didn’t see what a wonderful doctor I was helping her with a problem, and I didn’t see her wonderful right to choose, and I didn’t even see the $800 cash I just made in 15 minutes. All I could see was somebody’s son or daughter,” Levatino told Rose.
Hoping the feeling would pass, he committed a few more abortions. But he soon realized that these women were handing him cash to kill their babies, and he accepted it—that’s when he stopped doing second trimester abortions.
While this decision was huge for him and his co-workers, he was still aborting the youngest preborn babies. However, it wasn’t long until he realized it doesn’t matter how many weeks old a preborn child is— abortion at any time is the killing of a child. As of February 1985, Levatino has not performed a single abortion and vows to never do one again.
Over time, Levatino warmed up to the pro-lifers he once considered “kooks” and eventually, he joined the pro-life movement. He is now a major advocate for the preborn, testifying against legal abortion before Congress, and speaking out on what actually happens during abortion procedures. Now, he has joined forces with Live Action to create a new educational web site that will finally show the world the details and realities of abortion, including the abortionist’s perspective.
In addition to sharing how abortions are performed and the mentality necessary to perform abortions, Levatino shares why abortion is never necessary to save a woman’s life, the dangers of RU-486, and more details about his pro-life conversion.
It’s been 31 years since he performed his final abortion, and Levatino continues to work tirelessly to bring an end to legal abortion and it’s destruction of human life.