Texas Right to Life mourns the death of Dr. Bernard Nathanson
Austin, TX — Texas Right to Life mourns the loss today of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the former abortionist whose conversion to the pro-life cause was major news at the time and whose impact reverberates to this day. Dr. Nathanson, 84, died earlier this morning after a long battle with cancer. In the early 1970s, Dr. Nathanson was director of the largest abortion facility in the world, New York City’s Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health, at which he presided over 75,000 abortions. He personally performed about 5,000 abortions.
In his 1979 book, Aborting America, Dr. Nathanson gave an insider’s account of building what was then called the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), recently rebranded Naral Pro-Choice America. In that classic, Dr. Nathanson explained how he and others strategically fabricated and exaggerated statistics about the number deaths from illegal abortions while consciously vilifying the Catholic Church hierarchy.
In his autobiography entitled The Hand of God, Dr. Nathanson admitted that he was one of the individuals most responsible for dismantling the laws that safeguarded the unborn and then pushing for the Roe v. Wade decision. Once he realized his error, he dedicated the rest of his life to restoring the sanctity of preborn life and protecting women’s health. In 1984, Dr. Nathanson unveiled “The Silent Scream,” a mesmerizingly powerful video which shows sonogram images of an unborn child frantically wincing from the abortionist’s instruments. The landmark video was one of the first of its genre, confirming the sheer horror and brutality of abortion through the window to the womb.
Texas Right to Life was proud to host Dr. Nathanson at many of our events, and he unselfishly served Texas Right to Life in an advisory capacity for a number of bioethics issues. He will be missed. For many years Dr. Nathanson described himself as a Jewish atheist, but in 1996, Nathanson was baptized a Catholic by Cardinal John O’Connor.
Dr. Joseph Graham