Dr Bernard Nathanson, abortionist turned pro-life advocate, died on February 21 in New York after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Nathanson was responsible for over 70,000 abortions in the clinics he directed and personally responsible for about 5,000 prior to his conversion in the late 1970s. He was co-founder and last surviving founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).
Nathanson’s story of conversion resembles that of Abby Johnson’s. Both left the business after seeing an ultrasound-guided abortion in which the unborn baby recoiled from the instrument that was being used to dismember and suck him from his mother’s womb.
In both cases, the conversions had nothing to do with religion, but rather the scientific evidence of ultrasound. Prior to his change of heart, Nathanson described himself as an atheist Jew; it would be nearly two decades before he would convert to Catholicism.
While at the same time enjoying the unrestrained enthusiasm of pro-life groups at his conversion, Nathanson suffered much at the hands of former colleagues and friends, who likened him to infamous traitors and political spies.
Nathanson, who converted to Catholicism following his renunciation of the abortion industry, took pro-life activist Joan Andrews Bell, as his Godmother. Bell is best known for her active opposition to abortion and has spent many months in prison for peaceful civil disobedience - trespassing and blocking the entrance to clinics.
Bell related that Dr Nathanson spent much time fasting in reparation for his past. A past which he would spend the remainder of his life speaking against.
Dr Nathanson is known for his videos The Silent Scream and Eclipse of Reason which show the gruesome realities of abortion. His book Aborting America describes how he and other abortionists fabricated statistics to advocate for legalized abortion.
© Eva Whiteley 2011