Abortion Founder Remorseful and Regrets Participation

 

Who is Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the original founder of the abortion movement, and what prompted his conversion, in more ways than one?

Bernard N. Nathanson (July 31, 1926 – February 21, 2011) was an American medical doctor and co-founder, in 1969, of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), later renamed National Abortion Rights Action League. He was also the former director of New York City’s Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health, but later became an anti-abortion activist. He was the narrator for the controversial 1984 anti-abortion film The Silent Scream

Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Nathanson

I had not heard of Dr. Nathanson until recently, but I remember the first time I heard the word abortion.

My good friend and classmate had become pregnant, and her family was seeking an abortion for her that involved crossing state lines. She was underage. I was shocked because I not only had never known anyone who had had one, but we were just entering high school, and this was unheard of. She was also from an Italian-Catholic family. She tearfully called me and asked if I was spreading this rumor about her condition at school. I knew nothing about it I said, that this was the first I had heard of it, and I assured her that her secret was safe with me. She was afraid. Abortion was not legal in Pennsylvania then.

This was the late 1960s, and society was rapidly changing, but we were still a naïve and innocent culture in so many ways compared to today.

I learned of an eye-opening interview by a woman named Terry Beatley, the author who wrote “What If We’ve Been Wrong?” When she began researching the beginning of the abortion movement, she tried to contact Dr. Nathanson. His wife said he rarely gave interviews but consented. She traveled to speak to him and found him in very ill health with cancer. He spoke openly to her, revealing how he had joined with Lawrence Lader to form NARAL and felt responsible for 75,000 abortions. That was just the beginning of his remorseful confession.

He revealed to her that his lightning bolt conversion moment began with the introduction of the “real-time ultrasound machine,” brought into the hospital that he managed. He watched a baby in the womb, yawning and stretching, moving around with facial expressions. He saw the pain experienced by the fragile life within the mother’s womb as it was being aborted. He was not only shocked and mortified, but he became deeply depressed and suicidal for years, realizing his participation had forwarded an unstoppable movement that he claimed was entirely based on lies. He experienced constant nightmares and physical pain and sought relief through drugs and alcohol, and then sought spiritual guidance.

This is the first I have ever heard of his conversion. Generations of young women don’t know of his sorrowful experience and confession. The following is his story, as told to Ms. Beatley as part of a series. It is only on Part 5, but I feel that this urgent message cannot wait. I hope you will give a listen, and through Robert Moynihan, Ph.D., editor-in-chief of Inside the Vatican magazine, you can follow each segment. He will post the entire program in total at the conclusion.

https://insidethevatican.com/news/newsflash/letter-174-2021-mon-dec-13-the-nathanson-files-tape-4/

https://insidethevatican.com/news/newsflash/letter-176-2021-wed-dec-15-the-nathanson-files-tape-5/

It is the holy season for Christians and Jews. I love the movie “A Christmas Carol,” based on the novella by Charles Dickens, and watch every version — my favorite being the one with Ebenezer Scrooge played by the great Alastair Sim. This new information about Dr. Nathanson, which is not getting any news coverage, reminds me of the death scene where Scrooge’s partner, Jacob Marley, is on his deathbed and lifts a withered, pointy finger to Scrooge and whispers with his last breath …

“We were wrong … Save yourself.”

I feel like this is Dr. Nathanson’s message.

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  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Front Seat Cat: I have never heard of Dr. Nathanson,

    Me, either, until now. Thank you for telling us about him. 

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I suspect there are reasons we’ve never heard of him: the abortion supporters wouldn’t want his conversion to get out. What a tragedy; I’m glad he saw the error of his ways. Thanks, FSC

    • #2
  3. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    Neat post! I have his book “The Hand of God.” It has been ages since I’ve read it, probably 8-9 years ago. I remember enjoying it. It is nicely written and a great account of how his thinking on the subject changed. It isn’t polemical or preachy. It has a mix of emotional and intellectual appeal for a pro-life stance without coming off as an a form of apologetics. It’s hard for me to “review” a book like that because 1) I forgot most all of it except my feelings and 2) most people generally know where they stand on the subject so one book isn’t likely to change anyone’s mind.

     

    • #3
  4. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    Neat post! I have his book “The Hand of God.” It has been ages since I’ve read it, probably 8-9 years ago. I remember enjoying it. It is nicely written and a great account of how his thinking on the subject changed. It isn’t polemical or preachy. It has a mix of emotional and intellectual appeal for a pro-life stance without coming off as an a form of apologetics. It’s hard for me to “review” a book like that because 1) I forgot most all of it except my feelings and 2) most people generally know where they stand on the subject so one book isn’t likely to change anyone’s mind.

     

    Maybe they need to see some of those ultrasounds…

    • #4
  5. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    Neat post! I have his book “The Hand of God.” It has been ages since I’ve read it, probably 8-9 years ago. I remember enjoying it. It is nicely written and a great account of how his thinking on the subject changed. It isn’t polemical or preachy. It has a mix of emotional and intellectual appeal for a pro-life stance without coming off as an a form of apologetics. It’s hard for me to “review” a book like that because 1) I forgot most all of it except my feelings and 2) most people generally know where they stand on the subject so one book isn’t likely to change anyone’s mind.

     

    Maybe they need to see some of those ultrasounds…

    Might just make them bloodthirsty for more.   I would just as soon they didn’t work themselves into that state, though.

    • #5
  6. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    Another good book that tells his tale, Kingdoms in Conflict by Chuck Coleson. 

    • #6
  7. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    Great post.

    Meanwhile in Ireland our politicians voted against a bill about providing pain relief to unborn children in late term abortions just yesterday. There’s no end to the depravity of  the abortion movement.

    • #7
  8. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    Neat post! I have his book “The Hand of God.” It has been ages since I’ve read it, probably 8-9 years ago. I remember enjoying it. It is nicely written and a great account of how his thinking on the subject changed. It isn’t polemical or preachy. It has a mix of emotional and intellectual appeal for a pro-life stance without coming off as an a form of apologetics. It’s hard for me to “review” a book like that because 1) I forgot most all of it except my feelings and 2) most people generally know where they stand on the subject so one book isn’t likely to change anyone’s mind.

     

    The book must have made a lasting impact on you. It would be great if you would do a book review on it. He thought he knew where he stood on the subject too, but changed his mind. Your review could have the same effect on someone.

    • #8
  9. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    Great post.

    Meanwhile in Ireland our politicians voted against a bill about providing pain relief to unborn children in late term abortions just yesterday. There’s no end to the depravity of the abortion movement.

    Ireland of all places – I can’t imagine! @paddysiochain – do you have any updates on how things are in Ireland?

    • #9
  10. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    Neat post! I have his book “The Hand of God.” It has been ages since I’ve read it, probably 8-9 years ago. I remember enjoying it. It is nicely written and a great account of how his thinking on the subject changed. It isn’t polemical or preachy. It has a mix of emotional and intellectual appeal for a pro-life stance without coming off as an a form of apologetics. It’s hard for me to “review” a book like that because 1) I forgot most all of it except my feelings and 2) most people generally know where they stand on the subject so one book isn’t likely to change anyone’s mind.

     

    The book must have made a lasting impact on you. It would be great if you would do a book review on it. He thought he knew where he stood on the subject too, but changed his mind. Your review could have the same effect on someone.

    Very kind words. Thank you. I can consider it but it isn’t likely that it would happen anytime soon since I have to take a lot of work with me through the end of the year. But I’m not against skimming it again for later on. I remember enjoying it (as much as one “enjoys” a book on such a subject). 

    • #10
  11. JoshuaFinch Coolidge
    JoshuaFinch
    @JoshuaFinch

    Of the over 44 million abortions since the 1973 Roe vs Wade Supreme Court ruling, 19 million black babies were aborted.

    Black lives matter?

    • #11
  12. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    Great post.

    Meanwhile in Ireland our politicians voted against a bill about providing pain relief to unborn children in late term abortions just yesterday. There’s no end to the depravity of the abortion movement.

    Ireland of all places – I can’t imagine! @ paddysiochain – do you have any updates on how things are in Ireland?

    In the last few years Ireland has adopted all the progressive causes with hardly anyone noticing.
    People outside of Ireland don’t tend to notice what’s really going on here which is a shame because the  the Irish establishment never has to deal with international criticism.  I heard Douglas Murray recently describe how stupid Irish society has become, embracing the worst of second stage liberalism and I thought yes, he gets it.
    It’s around the 43 minute mark if you want to hear it.  Too bad he only mentions it in passing.

    • #12
  13. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    Of the over 44 million abortions since the 1973 Roe vs Wade Supreme Court ruling, 19 million black babies were aborted.

    Black lives matter?

    I believe it’s over 60 million since RvW (and those are the abortions that get counted (some states don’t report) and maybe not even many of the chemical abortions, but mostly the surgical ones) . And more black babies are aborted in NYC than are born. It’s genocide.

    • #13
  14. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    This is must-see:

    • #14
  15. Podkayne of Israel Member
    Podkayne of Israel
    @PodkayneofIsrael

    There was a memorable interview with Nathanson in The American Spectator a few decades ago. Which I guess proves how memorable it was.

    • #15
  16. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    Great post.

    Meanwhile in Ireland our politicians voted against a bill about providing pain relief to unborn children in late term abortions just yesterday. There’s no end to the depravity of the abortion movement.

    Ireland of all places – I can’t imagine! @ paddysiochain – do you have any updates on how things are in Ireland?

    I have heard it said that it used to be that Ireland was split between Catholic and Protestant but now it’s split between religious (Northern Ireland) and non-religious (the Republic of Ireland).

    • #16
  17. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    Great post.

    Meanwhile in Ireland our politicians voted against a bill about providing pain relief to unborn children in late term abortions just yesterday. There’s no end to the depravity of the abortion movement.

    Ireland of all places – I can’t imagine! @ paddysiochain – do you have any updates on how things are in Ireland?

    I have heard it said that it used to be that Ireland was split between Catholic and Protestant but now it’s split between religious (Northern Ireland) and non-religious (the Republic of Ireland).

    Well I don’t know a lot about NI but unfortunately the people who make any stand in favour of traditional values are mostly to be found among the Protestant community and in the DUP. Sinn Fein are vociferously anti life and the SDLP have betrayed the legacy of the people who went before them.

    • #17
  18. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I have heard of Bernard Nathanson.  His flip to the pro-life was and still is a big deal in the pro-life movement.  I know I have heard him being interviewed.  If you go to YouTube and search his name you will see several interviews and testimonies.  Here is what appears is a death bed testimony.

    By the way, I’m not sure if it was mentioned.  He not only converted to pro-life, but he in time converted to Catholicism.  His repentance was profound and sincere.  His pro-abortion activities haunted him for the rest of his life.

    • #18
  19. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Now that the daily Wire is getting into entertainment, a Bio picture of this would be interesting

    • #19
  20. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    Now that the daily Wire is getting into entertainment, a Bio picture of this would be interesting

    A companion piece to the Dr Gosnell movie.

    • #20
  21. Michael Collins Member
    Michael Collins
    @MichaelCollins

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    Neat post! I have his book “The Hand of God.” It has been ages since I’ve read it, probably 8-9 years ago. I remember enjoying it. It is nicely written and a great account of how his thinking on the subject changed. It isn’t polemical or preachy. It has a mix of emotional and intellectual appeal for a pro-life stance without coming off as an a form of apologetics. It’s hard for me to “review” a book like that because 1) I forgot most all of it except my feelings and 2) most people generally know where they stand on the subject so one book isn’t likely to change anyone’s mind.

    Another book by Dr.  Nathanson, “Aborting America”.  He tells the story of his involvement in the pro-abortion movement, and his eventual conversion to the pro-life cause.  A couple of tidbits from the book: 1) Appealing to anti-Catholic prejudice was a deliberate tactical move by the pro-abortion side.  They still make use of religious prejudice, as you can see from this statement by Sonia Sotomayor: “The issue of when life begins has been hotly debated by philosophers since the beginning of time. It’s still debated in religions. So, when you say this is the only right that takes away from the state the ability to protect a life, that’s a religious view, isn’t it?”

    2) Blackmun was wrong to claim the medical line for viability was 24 weeks.  In 1973 the actual line of fetal viability was 28 weeks.  Blackmun was misled by the 1970 New York law which had set the limit for a legal abortion at 24 weeks.  So why did the State of New York choose that limit, rather than viability? Before the law was passed there was a contentious debate between two factions within NARAL.  One group wanted the legal line for abortion to be set at 28 weeks (the correct line of viability at that time).  The other group wanted the line to be set at 20 weeks since they believed it was possible for the child to feel pain after 2o weeks.  The two sides hotly debated the issue, but couldn’t come to any agreement.  So they split the difference.  Because Blackmun was a lawyer rather than a gynecologist he mistook New York’s  24 week limit for actual line of viability and wrote his mistake into the constitution. As Nathanson put it, “And that children, is how laws are made”.

    • #21
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