The pro-life community suffered a loss with the passing of Dr. Antonio (Tony) Cecutti on April 17, who died in his 82nd year. Cecutti spent his last days surrounded by his family in St. Michael’s Hospital, the institution where he spent his career as an obstetrician and gynecologist.
A 1951 University of Toronto medical school graduate, Cecutti instructed Campaign Life Coalition to interrupt him in his practice at St. Michael’s Hospital – where he eventually rose to chief of staff in obstetrics and gynecology – whenever they received a request to help a woman in a crisis pregnancy. In some instances, he would become involved with helping a woman who had changed her mind about an abortion after the abortion procedure had already commenced, by removing a laminaria.
Cecutti was “delivered” into the pro-life movement in full force when Jim Hughes, the president of Campaign Life Coalition, thought to give him a call after the doctor had delivered four of Hughes’s six children. It was not long before he became indispensible in the work of Campaign Life Coalition and, by extension, that of Aid to Women.
Cecutti was personally responsible for the deliveries of over 15,000 babies in the Toronto area.
Hughes has vivid memories of Cecutti in action. “At one point, there was a 42-year-old woman who was being pressured from all sides to abort. They were telling her that her baby would be handicapped,” Hughes recalled. “So we got Tony Cecutti on the phone and he talked to her.” Hughes added this same woman showed up at the Campaign Life Coalition national office 10 years later with a healthy 10 year-old little girl.
“Dr. Cecutti personally saved countless babies. He had a calming, confident way about him. The women felt safe with him. He always made himself available to help in any way he could,” Hughes said.
Aside from his pro-life involvement, Cecutti also served as an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Toronto, where he trained future doctors to uphold the dignity of life as he himself took great pains to do.
Hughes said Dr. Tony Cecutti will be greatly missed and fondly remembered, particularly by those thousands who were blessed enough to call him their doctor.