Abortionists leave the industry for a variety of reasons. Here are a few powerful stories of abortion doctors who had life-changing experiences that caused them to stop performing abortions and begin fighting to protect the lives of the preborn.
1) “And as I brought out the rib cage, I looked and I saw a tiny, beating heart.”
Paul E. Jarrett, Jr. was an abortionist in the 1970s. He recalls the 1974 operation that changed his mind about abortion forever. While doing a suction abortion, Jarrett realized the suction curette was obstructed by one of the baby’s torn-off leg. Jarrett then changed techniques to dismember the child with ring forceps. In a written testimony he said:
And as I brought out the rib cage, I looked and I saw a tiny, beating heart. And when I found the head of the baby, I looked squarely in the face of another human being–a human being that I’d just killed. I turned to the scrub nurse and said, “I’m sorry.” But I just knew that I couldn’t be a part of abortion anymore.(1)
2) “I began to feel like a paid assassin. That’s exactly what I was.”
Dr. Anthony Levatino started to process the lives he killed as an abortionist when his wife struggled to get pregnant. As he aborted roughly 10 children a week, he silently wished he could take one of them home. Looking for a child to adopt while taking the lives of preborn children begin to weigh on him. Thankfully the Levatinos were able to adopt a little girl named Heather, and they later had a son.
Levatino continued to do abortions until his daughter, Heather, was hit and killed by a car. Levatino said, “I couldn’t even think about a D& E abortion anymore. No way.” In his career he had done over 100 second-trimester suction D&E procedures up to 24 weeks, and approximately 1,200 abortions in total. Levatino describes the most prevalent second trimester abortion procedure in the following video.
He continued to do early abortions for a few months, but said, “I began to feel like a paid assassin. That’s exactly what I was….So I quit.”
You start to realize this is somebody’s child. I lost my child, someone who was very precious to us. And now I am taking somebody’s child and I am tearing him right out of their womb. I am killing somebody’s child.
That is what it took to get me to change. My own sense of self-esteem went down the tubes. I began to feel like a paid assassin. That’s exactly what I was. You watch the movies; somebody goes up to somebody, pays them some money to kill somebody. That’s exactly what I was doing. And when my own sense of self-esteem went down the drain, that was all it took.
It is still “old habits die hard.” But it got to a point, and Cic and I talked about it together, that it just wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth it to me anymore. The money wasn’t worth it. I don’t care. This is coming out of my hide; it is costing me too much. It is costing me too much personally. For all the money in the world, it wouldn’t have made any difference. So I quit.
Watch his video testimony during an interview with “Facing Life Head On.”
3) “I realized that what I’d done up to that point was not helping people. I was compounding their problems.”
Dr. John Bruchalski had powerful experiences that lead him to stop performing abortions and become an pro-life OB/GYN. He went with a friend to Mexico City and visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. While standing in front of the image, he heard a voice say clearly, ‘Why are you hurting me?’ Bruchalski said he couldn’t deal with it so he brushed it off. Looking for meaning, he then began attending a church and even volunteered at a pregnancy center. Volunteering, however, made him feel hypocritical. Bruchalski said, “I’m going back to my residency and I’m terminating pregnancies; it became a little schizophrenic.”
During that season, he delivered a baby that weighed 505 grams. The baby sadly did not survive. After the baby’s death, a neonatologist approached him and said, “I’ve seen you with your patients. On one hand, you take such good care of them, and on the other hand, when they don’t want the baby, you give me garbage. These are children, and they deserve better.”
Eventually the words that changed his heart for good came from a young woman from a Belgium pro-life group. She approached him and said, “I have some messages for you from the Blessed Mother. You’re a doctor, and you’re supposed to help. The woman said, “In health care, practice excellent medicine, see the poor daily and follow the teachings of my Son’s church. If you can do those three things, you will help my Son renew the face of the earth.”
The message caused John to cry and he said, “All of a sudden, the scales came off my eyes.” He told Jesus he was sorry for what he had done and determined to help protect lives from that point forward.
4) “Sometimes the babies were alive when they were born…We just left them to die.”
When Noreen Johnson and her husband finished residency, they moved from Los Angeles to the town of Bryan-College Station, Texas. Johnson began to introduce herself to other members of the medical community. When she paid a visit to one of doctors in the community, he said, “Dr. Johnson, are you planning to do abortions?” Johnson said, “Oh yes,” because she was proud of the work she did. To her surprise the doctor warned her saying, “Well, if I were you, I’d tread pretty slowly on that. You know, you don’t want to be called ‘the abortionist’ in town.”
Those words had a huge impact on Johnson. She always viewed her job as important and she also desired to be a respected physician in the community. She decided to keep her profession private and just do abortions for women for close patients or friends who would not talk about it.
Johnson soon realized word had gotten out when a colleague sent a patient to her for an abortion. She was shocked he knew she was doing them. Johnson felt her reputation was on the line, so she stopped performing abortions. Her husband, Haywood, was also an abortionist. Later the couple became Christians and began to speak out against abortion.
I’m grateful these doctors were awakened to the evils of abortion, and I pray many more would follow in their footsteps.