Time for Congress to Stop Painful Abortions on Unborn Babies

Opinion   |   Tony Perkins   |   May 24, 2013   |   10:45AM   |   Washington, DC

Dr. Anthony Levatino understands plenty about post-abortion grief. When the Ob/Gyn lost his little girl in a car accident, the man who had performed as many as 1,200 abortions said he couldn’t finish another one without getting sick.

“For the first time after all those years… I didn’t see her wonderful right to choose; I didn’t see what a great doctor I was helping her with her problem. All I could see was somebody’s son or daughter,” he said quietly.

Today, Dr. Levantino brings that passion and emotion to the debate over abortion–most recently in his testimony this morning for Rep. Trent Franks’s (R-Ariz.) fetal pain bill. In a roomful of people, the longtime doctor explained with stomach-turning clarity the reality of abortion.

“Imagine,” he said, “if you can, that you are a pro-choice obstetrician/gynecologist like I once was… and [your patient] is asleep on an operating room table.”

In graphic detail, he described the instruments he would use on women who, at 24 weeks, had already felt their babies kicking. Dr. Levatino talked about a specialized clamp, whose wide jaws and rows of sharp metal teeth were for “grasping and crushing tissue.” “When it gets a hold of something,” Dr. Anthony Levatino warns, “it does not let go.”

I won’t go into the horrific details, but Dr. Levatino makes it quite clear that “If you refuse to believe that this procedure inflicts severe pain on that unborn child, please think again.”

Under Rep. Franks’s bill, America would at least outlaw this inhumanity when babies can feel pain, at 20 weeks. Eleven states have similar laws, but Franks’s H.R. 1797 would extend nationwide.

Jill Stanek, a nurse who helped expose infanticide in U.S. hospitals, testified on the hypocrisy of the abortion movement. Why is it, she asks, that premature babies “are routinely given pain relief who are born at the same age as babies who are torn limb from limb?” “The World Health Organization,” she told the Committee, “goes so far as to recommend analgesia for preemies getting simple heel pricks for a couple drops of blood.” Do people think that “babies marked for abortion are somehow numb, while their wanted counterparts aren’t”?

Dr. Maureen Condic, an expert on pain science, gave a lengthy background on the medical facts of these babies’ suffering.

“Imposing pain on any pain-capable living creature is cruelty,” she told leaders. “And ignoring the pain experience by another human individual for any reason is barbaric.”

Based on the latest polling data, an overwhelming majority of Americans agree. Sixty-four percent of the country said they would support a law like the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act–including 47% who identify as “pro-choice.” They understand, as Trent said, “We’re not trying to subjugate women or restrict freedom. We’re trying to protect children.” It’s time Americans stopped trying to numb their consciences and started focusing on the real pain of abortion.

Urge your Congressman to help by backing H.R. 1797.