“We fed the public a line of deceit, dishonesty, a fabrication of statistics and figures. We succeeded because the time was right and the news media cooperated. We sensationalized the effects of illegal abortions, and fabricated polls which indicated that 85 percent of the public favored unrestricted abortion, when we knew it was only 5 percent. We unashamedly lied, and yet our statements were quoted [by the media] as though they had been written in law.”
Dr. Bernard Nathanson (1926 – 2011) was the Co-founder of National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws, now called National Abortion Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), one of the strongest advocates for legal abortion in the USA.
However, a little known fact was that this same doctor who was instrumental to the success of the pro-choice movement, and who was responsible for close to 75,000 abortions during his career as a gynaecologist and obstetrician, underwent a profound change of heart to become a passionate pro-life author and activist later on in his life. A watershed moment for him was in the 1970s after the advent of ultrasound allowed him the opportunity to observe a real-time abortion.
“I ran the largest abortion clinic in the world for 2 years. I had no conflicts whatsoever at the time I was doing the abortions. I changed my mind because the new scientific data which we were getting from advanced technology persuaded me that we could not indiscriminately continue to slaughter what was demonstrably a human being.”
“In the early 70s we began to use machinery, apparatus, and instruments which allowed us to finally put a larger and much more sophisticated window into the womb. But for the first time as a physician and as an ethical person, I began to understand that more was involved in an abortion than merely suctioning out a mass of cells, a few grams of tissue. I began to be aware that there was something here which had a moral density to it which commanded respect.”
Some of his works include his book, Abortion Papers: Inside the Abortion Mentality (1983), his autobiography, The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind (1996) and a documentary he co-produced and narrated The Silent Scream (1984) and the follow-up documentary The Eclipse of Reason (1987).