by Don Feder
Bernard Nathanson needn’t feel lonely anymore. A founder of the abortion movement, now an eloquent exponent of the unborn, Dr. Nathanson once was an anomaly. Today he is joined by a growing number of colleagues.
In November 1987, the Pro-Life Action League held a seminar in Chicago of former abortion providers, and they offered poignant witness against their erstwhile occupation.
Dr. Anthony Levatino did abortions for eight years as part of his Albany, New York practice, performing dilatation and evacuation in late-term abortions. “In a D & E abortion, you are pulling out pieces of unborn children,” the doctor disclosed.
From the outset, Levatino was vaguely troubled by the work, but continued to do it for the money. “It’s highly profitable. I could do three abortions in my office, in an hour and a half, and make more than caring for a woman nine months and delivering her baby.”
It took a personal tragedy to prompt a change of heart. While he was doing abortions as a resident, he and his wife were trying desperately to have a child. “There I was throwing kids in the garbage, five or six a week. Just give me one, I thought.”
Eventually, they adopted a child. Several years later, their daughter was killed by an auto in front of their home. The girl died in Levatino’s arms. “If you lose a child, you look at things differently. What was once uncomfortable becomes intolerable. You feel that you’re destroying a human being for money, like a paid assassin.” At that point, the doctor disconnected his suction machine.
Dr. Joseph Randall of Atlanta had a different experience. Randall, the operator of a clinic, estimates he performed 32,000 abortions. Like Levatino, he used the D & E procedure.
After the operation, “you have to reassemble that baby – arms, legs, head, chest – everything [to be sure no pieces remain in the mother]. That’s when it got rough, even for old-timers like me,” Randall recalled.
He used ultrasound to determine the child’s development. “When you looked at an ultrasound, there was no mistaking that this was a baby.” Which is why “ladies who come in for midtrimester abortions were shielded from the images. Several nurses quit. They would bond with the baby they saw on the screen; they couldn’t take it.”
Randall finally stopped performing pregnancy terminations when a Christian woman, who had come to work in his office, convinced him of their immorality. Today, he does volunteer counseling at a facility offering alternatives to abortion.
`A certified medical assistant, Debra Henry worked at a Detroit-area abortion mill for six months in 1984. “Hearing the baby’s bones breaking, as the doctor was taking it out of the woman – it was just an experience you never forget,” she declared.
Clinic workers weren’t allowed to refer to the unborn child as a baby, only as “tissue” or a “cluster of cells.” Women were never told about the possibility of sterility or other complications, Henry claimed.
She quit after an encounter with a right-to-lifer who was picketing the clinic. Today, Henry is assistant director of the Michigan Pro-Life Action League.
Carol Everett was a merchant of death, operating two clinics in Dallas, from 1977 to 1983. Although not a health professional, she also assisted in the procedures, holding the women’s abdomen, to mark the position of the child’s head and buttocks for the abortionist. Says Everett, “I could feel the babies fighting, struggling to escape the forceps.”
She maintains gross malpractice occurs at many clinics, which the medical establishment usually succeeds in covering up. (“We were maiming or killing one woman in every 500.”) “A beauty of 21 came into the operating room. I’ll never forget. My left hand held the baby in place. First the doctor pulled out the placenta, then her bowel. She had to have a colostomy.”
Consumed by guilt, Everett finally sold her lucrative business, contributing most of the proceeds to the right-to-life movement, which she continues to support by maintaining a heavy speaking schedule.
Perhaps these deserters from the death-head’s brigade will at last turn the tide. Surely their heart-rending testimony cannot be ignored.
Reprinted with permission from the Boston Herald.