Saturday, February 26, 2011

A victory for truth: the life of Bernard Nathanson

An unlikely hero of human dignity died this week, a doctor who once performed thousands of abortions.

Carolyn Moynihan | Thursday, 24 February 2011.

During four decades of the abortion wars in the United States there has been much traffic across the battle lines. Many who should have been on the pro-life side positioned themselves in the opposite ranks -- the deceptively named Catholics for a Free Choice is the prime example. This was the easy path, a case of going with the cultural flow under the influence of leading institutions in the media and political life.

Defections from the pro-abortion side, however, have been much more significant, not to mention heroic. Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” plaintiff of the 1973 Supreme Court case which issued in the legalising of abortion throughout the US, became a high profile opponent of abortion and eventually petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn its Roe v Wade decision. Many others have followed her in the public renunciation of the killing of unborn children, most recently Abby Johnson, a young Planned Parenthood clinic operator from Texas, whose story was published last month.

But no convert to the pro-life cause comes near in prominence or influence to Dr Bernard Nathanson, one of the original abortion rights campaigners, who died on Monday at the age of 84. Dr Nathanson, did as much as anyone to launch abortion as a regular means of birth control, but for that very reason he also did more to discredit it once he faced the truth about this “procedure” and began to write and speak against it.

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