Please listen with discretion as this episode references sensitive topics, including sexual assault.
In this episode of TGC Q&A, Dr. Haywood Robinson joins us for the second installment of our four-part sanctity of life series, relaying his own story of being redeemed from a career of performing abortions. He shares insightful answers to medical questions related to pro-life issues.
Dr. Robinson addresses:
- Being found by Jesus (1:32)
- 40 Days for Life (2:33)
- His spiritual transformation (5:56)
- Reconciling his career with his faith (10:47)
- Whether there are permissible reasons for abortion (12:16)
- Scientific and medical implications of abortion (17:03)
- Encouragement for believers upholding the sanctity of life (20:36)
Explore more from TGC on the topic of abortion.
Join 40 Days for Life for prayer, fasting, and community outreach.
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Heather Calvillo: From conception to the grave, all life is precious. Scripture tells us we are created in God’s image, foreknown, knit together by God in our mother’s womb, fearfully and wonderfully made. His eyes saw our unformed substance. How should followers of Christ view the sanctity of life and love our neighbor and the unborn in a way that honors God’s creation?
Heather Calvillo: You’re listening to TGC Q&A, and this is the Sanctity of Life Series, where we seek to answer questions related to the pro-life conversation from a loving, biblical perspective. If you’re listening with little ears around, we encourage you to save this episode for later. And if you or someone you love has walked through a story of abortion, we want you to know that the episodes in this series are meant to point you to the love of Jesus, in whom there is hope, forgiveness, and healing.
Heather Calvillo: Today, you’ll hear from Dr. Haywood Robinson. Dr. Robinson recently retired from being a family physician for more than 35 years. He now serves as the Director of Medical Affairs and Education for 40 Days for Life. Dr. Robinson tells his story of how Jesus saved him from a medical career of performing abortions. He’ll also share some insightful answers to medical questions related to pro-life issues. Let’s listen in.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and God’s Word is eternal. The Word became flesh and Jesus Christ gave his life for us. And that’s why I’m here on this show. 36 years ago, Jesus Christ saved me. He saved me. I was lost, and now I’m found. I sometimes hear believers say, “Well, I found Jesus.” Well, no, you were lost, Jesus found you and saved you. So I can say that that’s what he’s done for me. He’s transformed me. For Jesus is Lord in our lives. If we are Christians, Jesus is Lord over our bank account, Jesus is Lord over our home, Jesus Lord on our right foot when we’re driving the car, but Jesus is Lord over our reproductive system.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Many people in the audience have seen the movie Unplanned. I work in the headquarters where that was filmed, where Abby Johnson walked out one day and a walked next door to the office of what, at that time, was known as the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life, that later became 40 Days for Life. And we’ve seen so much happen.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Those of you that saw in the movie how simply by standing and praying and loving on Abby Johnson… You see lot of pro-lifers don’t understand, you’re not going to gain influence and friends by shouting at people, hollering at people, calling them baby killer. The people outside of that fence, the Planned Parenthood here, they’re the ones that are being held captive and captives need to be set free. That’s what we were praying for. We were praying for this facility to be closed. Abby Johnson left. That’s one of the objectives of 40 Days for Life, that abortion workers leave their facilities, that babies are saved.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: We just passed our 18 thousandth baby that’s been saved, that we know of. If you look over my right shoulder, you might see a some black granite there and an angel, that’s our Memorial to the unborn, and there are 6,400 crosses on that granite along with some scripture, and those 6,400 crosses basically pretty much the number of babies that were killed in this facility right here on 29th Street in Bryan-College Station here.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: But one thing that God has done, just as he has redeemed me and saved me, what he can also do with land and physical property, what he did for Israel and moved into a promised land, and what he did for us. He moved us into this beautiful property, and now, instead of it being used for evil, it is now being used for good.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: We’re about to launch on our next 40 Day Prayer Campaign. And for those of you that have never participated, are not aware of it, for 40 days in the spring and 40 days in the fall, we stand and pray, fast, in front of these abortion facilities, so that again, babies are saved, workers leave, and facilities are closed. We’ve passed more than 100 facilities that have been closed. And just recently, for those of you that follow the pro-life news, we have just had the first abortion free state, Missouri.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: I’ve been with 40 Days for Life since it was the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life, when it was launched by a young lady, about a sophomore or junior, and Planned Parenthood announced they were coming to town. She calls a meeting at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the organization was started. So for you people that are young people particularly, that think you can’t make an impact, oh yes, you can. When God gives you the vision, he will give you the provision.
Heather Calvillo: Now that we know a little more about 40 Days for Life and their mission, Dr. Robinson shares his story of what he calls his Saul to Paul transformation.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: I wanted to be a physician since I was four or five years old. I was born and raised in Southern California and stayed there all the way through. I never left the area where I grew up by much more than 70 miles. And I actually came back to within just a few miles of where I grew up and went to high school, to do my internship and residency at Martin Luther King Hospital in South Central Los Angeles. Had an awesome, awesome training there. That’s the place where I learned to do D&Cs, which is dilation and curettage, which is a surgical procedure that cleans out the uterus.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: That procedure is generally used when a woman has a miscarriage to clean the uterus out of the tissue to prevent bleeding, infection, et cetera. However, that same procedure can be used to do abortions.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: So once I learned that procedure, I could do what we call an incomplete abortion or incomplete miscarriage, get the uterus cleaned out, and then the woman is basically back on track. But again, that same procedure can be used to kill a normal pregnancy. And we did abortions.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Well, after finishing residency, I met this wonderful lady in residency, Noreen Johnson, who was in a OB-GYN residency, and of course being family medicine, I spent time on that service. This was the most wonderful prim and proper and professional young lady. We were not involved socially at all. We were only professionally involved and we worked very well together. As a matter of fact, she helped train me to do abortions and eventually what happened, since we found that we worked so well together in the hospital, she started moonlighting, or working, in abortion facilities outside of the hospital, and I joined her in doing that.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Honestly speaking, I didn’t really enjoy it in the beginning. Yes, I did have apprehension about it. But it’s a funny thing. The thing about sin, you may have some reservation because of conviction at first, but if you continue in it, you become progressively more desensitized and dehumanized to the point of where you can kind of just overlook the whole thing, do it, get out of there. So it was a matter of, get to the facility, get out, do my work, get out of here, and I got my check. I’m gone.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Noreen and I were involved professionally, but we eventually got involved socially. Fell in love. Got married right after residency. We then moved to Bryan-College Station, Texas, and we started practice here. We had thought we might be involved with abortion here because there was no abortion provider, but we quickly found out that Bryan-College Station is a very conservative area and you do not want to come here and do abortions and become known as the town abortionist.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Well, we moved to Texas in 1981. Believe it or not, I was 27 years old. I know that looking at me, it doesn’t look like that may have been possible one day, but here we were, under 30, we had a honeymoon conception, and here the three of us were setting up practice.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Well one day, March the 2nd, 1986, I go to a Leon Patillo concert, a contemporary Christian music artist. halfway through that concert, he says, “I’m not going to give an altar call, but I want everyone who wants things to be 100% right with God to stand up.” And I tell you, I now know it was the Holy Spirit, because I was yanked up out of my seat without thinking. It would be too embarrassing for me to sit back down, so I stood there. He prayed. In my heart, I didn’t want things to be 100% right with God. I was not raised in a church that actually taught the Gospel or salvation. So when I left the concert, I knew something was different, but I didn’t know what it was.
Heather Calvillo: Dr. Haywood Robinson went on to explain how the godfather of their second child came to town and heard this story of what happened to Haywood at the concert. He was the son of a Pentecostal preacher, and that day he shared the Gospel with Haywood and with Noreen, And the two gave their lives to Christ that day. From then on, they were transformed. But God was still about to change how they would proceed in their medical careers.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Well, when we came to the Lord, it was just such a refreshing. Now I remind people that I was going to hell long before I did an abortion. I’m not saying abortion is why I was going to Hell. I was going to Hell because I didn’t know Christ or Christ had not saved me.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: However, one of the first things after I was saved is the Lord says, “Okay, let’s talk about this abortion thing.” And such a power of conviction came upon us. It was just enormous. And then that’s where he did our Saul/Paul conversion to pro-life warriors.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: We’ve worked in a number of pro-life ministries. My first ministry was our local pregnancy help center, which is still viable. I’m just thankful to be where I am, so for ever how many years I have left, I just look forward to doing as much as I can on behalf of pre-born children.
Heather Calvillo: In this segment, Dr. Robinson answers a very common abortion question that we received from you, our listeners. Please listen with discretion, as his answers will reference sexual assault. The question reads, “Is abortion permissible if the pregnancy was conceived through rape and is abortion permissible if the mother’s health or life are at risk?”
Dr. Haywood Robinson: I’ve been in, as you know, the pro-life movement, it’s been over 30 years. That’s a common question. First let’s look at rape. I’ve seen as patients some of these young girls that have been trafficked and it breaks my heart. It’s horrible. How is that allowed? Well, it shows the depravity of man.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: If you go back to rape, you have a man who has done a horrible thing. The woman has been violated psychologically and physically, and a baby comes out of it. Again, sexual assault is a traumatic event. Now let’s just say we say, “Well, let’s write a prescription for the trauma you have just gone through. Well, let’s just get you an abortion.”
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Now, think about that. Let’s say you break your arm, they say, “Come on in here, baby. Let me break your other arm.” Abortion is a traumatic event. If a woman just has been sexually assaulted, the last thing that’s going to help her is another traumatic event. An abortion does not make a woman who’s been sexually assaulted, it doesn’t make her any better. Here’s here’s what God does. God actually, believe it or not, allowed that woman to become pregnant.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: What God does when a woman gets pregnant, whether it’s by sexual assault or not, God starts to build love in that mother for her child. It doesn’t matter who the daddy is. But the way a woman is created is to love her child unconditionally. So the baby actually is part of the healing process for the mother, and it allows the mother to see the baby separate from the criminal. She’s recovering from sexual assault. I can’t imagine that. But God can do it.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Now, let’s talk about when a mother’s life might be in danger. The key word here, the operative word here, is intent. If you have a mother who has an obstetrical complication, say like preeclampsia are what we call toxemia, pregnancy induced hypertension, really the only treatment for that for sure is delivery. Most prenatal issues can be treated long enough until a pregnancy that you can do an early delivery. Less just say, a woman is 22 weeks and she has preeclampsia. It’s so bad, they’ve done all the medical things that they know what to do, all the drugs, she’s in the hospital, but now it looks like they just can’t make her better.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: If we get to the point clinically where we have to get the baby out, we will do an early delivery and with the hope that the neonatal intensive care unit can take care of that baby. We try to get them to 22 to 24 weeks. When you’re doing that procedure, which is an early delivery, and the baby dies, that is not an abortion. The intent of the procedure was to save the mother and try to save the child. An abortion is when the doctor, from the beginning of the procedure and the interaction with the mother, is to kill the baby.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: A lot of people think that if they have an early delivery and the baby doesn’t survive, they’ve aborted the child. No, the doctors have done all they could, and now we’ve got to save the mother, because if the mother dies, you lose both. And nowadays, if we can get a mother past 23 weeks, 24 weeks, shoot, we’ve got the technology to save them.
Heather Calvillo: Next, we’ll hear Dr. Robinson’s answer to this question, “What are some of the scientific and medical implications of abortion?”
Dr. Haywood Robinson: The science says that at one point in time, a sperm and an egg came together within that woman’s belly and started a human being of one cell size. That one cell is a human being. Now, if in our culture, we say we don’t kill human beings, then that means abortion is wrong, and that’s the simplest way I can put it.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Organized medicine, and we as physicians, who, since the time of Hippocrates, with our Hippocratic Oath, [inaudible 00:17:54] we perform a massive betrayal of the public trust when we became the executioners for Roe V. Wade. In other words, nine men put on black robes, called themselves supreme, and declared that the human rights in the United States for pre-born children are now taken away and we can kill them.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Abortion in general goes against the basic biology and physiology of a human being. If you look at any species, particularly mammalian, and see what happens to the mother once she become pregnant, and once those babies, or puppies, or whatever are born, it’s all about protection. The human mother loses interest in a lot of things. They want to nurture. They want to love. So when you consider abortion, it goes exactly against the nature of how a woman was created. That’s why it causes such trauma to the woman.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: A woman does not want to kill her baby. It’s simple as that. And we as physicians have betrayed that public trust. But I believe also that’s going to turn. This is not political. This is not social. This is spiritual. There are two kingdoms, the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness. There is a satanic kingdom, and the devil leads it.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: When we see all the chaos and rebellion and anarchy and death that we’ve seen in 2020 and 2021, that’s not political, that’s spiritual. That’s Satan doing what he does best, kill, steal, and destroy.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: What’s the answer? And this is what a lot of listeners need to understand. It’s not the work of the Democrats or the Republicans or any manmade body that can turn this around. You go to 2 Chronicles 7:14, that’s your solution. And when we do 2 Chronicles 7:14, when that happens, what did God say he would do? He would heal our land. But first the body of Christ has to do what we’re supposed to do.
Heather Calvillo: To close out our conversation, Dr. Robinson shares encouragement for believers in upholding the sanctity of life.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: We’re called to be followers of Christ, but also to represent, or some people would say re-present, Christ and his story to others so other people can experience what you have, what I have. We are his hands, fingers, eyes, by his Holy Spirit.
Dr. Haywood Robinson: I remember there was one time, and I know we’re closing, I was involved with a delivery and the baby was in such a state that they had to be transferred to Houston, which is about 100 miles from us, had to be medevaced, helicopter out, and I knew this family probably didn’t have a lot of resources, the father was going to have to get on the road. They had to find a place to stay, food to eat [inaudible 00:21:36]. I just pulled him to the side and I just slid some money into his hand, and I says, “Man, get yourself some gas and a meal, man. Let me know what’s going on.”
Dr. Haywood Robinson: Now that happened probably 20, maybe 25 years ago. I totally forgot. About a year ago, it was either my Bible study or somebody, they said. “I ran into somebody and they said that you took care of them and you gave them this X amount of dollars and they didn’t have any money, and they still talk about that.”
Dr. Haywood Robinson: You see? So we’re to be out there doing… I didn’t do that to make myself feel puffed up or make him feel like he was poor and I was rich, but because I think I responded with what the Lord wanted me to do it at that time. It’s not my money. It’s God’s money. We just move it around, you see. So what that does for me, that encourages me and says, wow, we’ve got to listen to the Holy Spirit, because he tells us little things to do like, pay for that person’s gas, get that person’s toys out of layaway or whatever. So it’s about life. It’s about our time. It’s about our treasure. It’s about our reproductive system. It’s about everything. It’s about Jesus is Lord over all that we are and over all that we have.
Heather Calvillo: Thanks for listening to this episode of TGC Q&A. Be sure to tune in to our next episode in the Sanctity of Life Series. We hope these conversations will encourage you to draw closer to God’s heart and seek his wisdom on this topic. If this series brought up new questions for you, please send us an email at [email protected] We’d love to hear from you.