Tag archives: pro-life

Falling for the Same Old ‘Overturn’ Trap

by Robert Morrison

September 13, 2012

It’s regrettable to see pro-life candidates falling for the same media trap all over again. The pro-abortion press presses in. “Do you favor overturning Roe v. Wade,” reporters ask earnestly. And all too often, pro-life candidates say, yes, Roe should be overturned. That question has been poll-tested for decades. It is designed to make pro-lifers look like they are the radical ones, like they are in favor of upheaval, chaos. Just keep in mind any TV picture in front of any U.S. Embassy in the Mideast this week. That’s the picture the media wants to frame in voters’ minds when they talk about overturning.

Roe v. Wade is what is radical. The Supreme Court’s ruling was rightly called “raw judicial power” by John Kennedy appointee, Justice Byron White. The Supreme Court in 1973 overturned the abortion laws of all fifty states. Protective laws. Liberal laws. Laws that protected some unborn children and exposed others to lethal violence. Every one of those laws was overturned by the radical ruling of Roe v. Wade.

Since Jan. 22, 1973, the mainstream media has consistently misinformed Americans about what is in Roe. As a result, most Americans do not know that there are 1,200,000 unborn children killed each year, or that Planned Parenthood publicly claims to have killed 340,000 of these unborn children.

The mainstream media won’t even call them unborn children. Except if they are the unborn children of an English Duchess. Kate Middleton’s possible pregnancy has excited the tab press. There, it’s OK to talk about a “baby bump.” Or, if the unborn child is expected by a Hollywood starlet.

Babies bump out everywhere. Except in politics. Except in federal court briefs.

My favorite example of this curious avoidance of the truth that everyone knows was a report by the late Peter Jennings. The ABC News Anchor described breakthrough prenatal surgery. “The fetus was diagnosed with hydrocephaly, water on the brain. Doctors removed the fetus from the mother’s womb. They put a shunt into the back of the head of the unborn child. They returned the unborn child to the womb, where the mother carried the fetus safely to term.”

Did we follow Peter on that one? Fetus-unborn child-fetus. It all depended on where the human being happened to be located. Within the womb, it was a fetus, outside the womb—even temporarily, even preterm—it was an unborn child.

Sen. John Kerry spoke to the problem liberals have with “that thing in the womb.” In Senate debate on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, Kerry said we cannot simultaneously regard the fetus as a human being and preserve “a woman’s right to choose.” Kerry voted that the child in the womb is therefore not a human being. It is the same position that state Senator Barack Obama took in Illinois.

Not a human being? TIME Magazine’s liberal Joe Klein noted that ultra-sound has made it “impossible to deny that that thing in the womb is a human being.” Well, Joe, just watch Kerry and Obama deny it. They do it every day.

When the Supreme Court ruled on Roe and overturned fifty state laws on abortion, every one of those laws was to be found in the homicide code. Homicide is invariably defined as the killing of a human being.

Most of those laws were put on the books by elected lawmakers in the 1800s. Even then, legislators knew when human life began. Science had told them as early as 1859: Human life begins at conception. Conception occurs when sperm meets egg. There is no such thing as a “fertilized egg.” It is a zygote, a developing human being.

I encourage pro-life candidates to state clearly and honestly: Roe v. Wade needs to be corrected. And that answer will lead naturally to a discussion of what needs to be corrected. Parents should have a right to know if their minor daughters are contemplating abortion. Mothers must have a right to see their unborn child. (Surely, the abortionists will never give up ultrasound to target and kill unborn children!) Unless fathers are rapists, they should have a right to know. A host of questions can be brought forward to show that Roe is radical and was erroneously decided.

It is not constitutional law,” said John Hart Ely, a respected dean of law, “and [the Roe ruling] shows no obligation to be constitutional law.” And Ely favored liberalized abortion!

Overturning is what we see daily on our TV screens. It powerfully suggests danger and disorder.

In 1786, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton traveled to Annapolis, Maryland, to argue for a correcting of the increasingly unwieldy and inadequate Articles of Confederation. They called for a Constitutional Convention to meet in Philadelphia the following year to discuss necessary amendments. If they had said that they favored overturning the Articles of Confederation, we would be living under them today.

Let’s urge our pro-life candidates to make a strong case for correcting the fatal errors and reversing the lethal logic of Roe v. Wade.

Independence Day on Cook’s Point

by Robert Morrison

July 6, 2012

[caption id=”attachment_8278” align=”alignright” width=”224”] American, Maryland and Gadsden flags on Cook’s Point[/caption]

I hadn’t really expected to see the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag flying at an Independence Day celebration on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. But I knew this would be a special celebration. Peter and Margarete wanted to include a reading of the entire Declaration of Independence at their gathering of family, friends and neighbors. The Chesapeake Bay breezes, very warm, ruffled and flourished the American,Maryland and Gadsden flags on Cook’s Point.

The waters of the bay invited, but we were warned of jellyfish beneath the cooling waves. A boat ride may be better than a swim today. Maryland is just beginning its Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Two hundred years ago, it was stinging British warships that posed a greater danger than jellyfish in these waters. You cannot go anywhere these days, it seems, without pointed reminders of the country’s heritage.

We began our July 4th observance with prayer. A priest reminded us of the rare privilege we have in this country to pray publicly and how this right is the basis for our civil liberty, as well. Then, we all faced the flagstaff as the Star-Spangled Banner was played.

Following this, our hosts’ 13-year-old daughter stood atop a picnic table and read the first two stirring paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence.

She read with the enthusiasm and conviction that only a bright teenager can bring to this venerable 236-year-old document.

I had the honor of reading the middle part, everything from “…pursuit of happiness” to “…let facts be submitted to a candid world.”

My portion of the Declaration included that line stating that “governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.” I cannot help but consider the process of passing Obamacare when we talk about consent of the governed.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and the White House rammed through the Senate a bill that did not include protections from abortion coverage—on Christmas Eve, 2009. This in a country that Gallup tells us is increasingly pro-life. (51%-41% in the latest survey.)

Then, they spoke of having to go to a conference committee of the House and Senate to reconcile the different versions of the bill. That was because the House of Representatives in November 09 had passed Obamacare with the famous pro-life Stupak Amendment. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) joined with Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Penn.) to attach a pro-life provision to the Obamacare measure that passed the House.

Earlier, on November 7, 2009, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment passed the House by a vote of 240-194. It was the highest vote cast on any measure related to the overhaul of health care. If you were seeking consensus, if you yearned for bi-partisanship, if you cared about the consent of the governed, you must look to this historic vote.

The Senate might have taken up the House-passed version, and passed it, with its pro-life provisions. Or, it might have gone to a conference committee, reconciled the two versions and then re-passed the result.

But the Senate had passed a milestone with the Jan. 2010 special election in Massachusetts. Republican Scott Brown had been elected promising to be “#41” —a decisive vote to stop Obamacare from passing. In that famously liberal state, in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Massachusetts voters emphatically did not give their consent to Obamacare.

Faced with the possibility of the Senate’s having to swallow the House version, with the Stupak Amendment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pledged to go down the chimney, around the gate, over the wall; in short, to do whatever was necessary to steamroll the bill through. Stupak and most of his pro-life Democratic House colleagues were pressured and arm-twisted into swallowing an Executive Order from President Obama. They were gulled into believing this measure from the most pro-abortion president in history would protect Americans from having to pay for abortions. It wasn’t a fig leaf; it wasn’t even a bay leaf to hide their nakedness.

Dozens of those faux-life Democrats went down to defeat the following November as voters gave a “shellacking” to the president’s party. But not before the whipped and tricked House Members voted through the Senate version of the health care bill, 219-212. It was a hair’s breadth victory, but it met the Pelosi test of doing anything to jam and sham it through.

It was to this dog’s breakfast of a process that Chief Justice Roberts gave his blessing in his infamous ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius late last month. Then, continuing a wholly dishonorable tradition, the Chief absconded to the island fortress of Malta. He left the country perhaps to avoid having to answer any questions about his tortured reasoning and its suspect timing.

The American people at every point had rejected this bill. They had voted in an avowed opponent in the nation’s most liberal state. They had voted out scores of Obamacare backers in the House. And yet, Chief Justice Roberts genuflected to this bizarre legislation as evidence of his judicial restraint. He tells us he is constrained to respect this abuse of power, this rape of the representative process, as the prerogative of the legislative and executive branches.

One of the classic political science texts on Congress is called The Dance of Legislation. This bill might more properly be called the St. Vitus Dance of Legislation. And the four-Justice minority pointed out that if this is a tax, then tax bills have to originate in the House of Representatives (Art. 1, Sec. 7, Clause 1).

The pretzel pundits in many an elite journal are tying themselves in knots trying to see a silver lining in the dark cloud Chief Justice Roberts pulled over us.

He labeled the Individual Mandate a tax, they say, thus making it harder for this administration, or any liberal successors to do anything worse.

If you allow them to keep this scaffold in place, why do they need anything worse? Roberts’ ruling merely takes away one rope. Just as then-Speaker Pelosi swore back in 2010, they will find another rope.

Let’s understand what Obamacare is: It is the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade. It is the basis for the HHS Mandate against hospitals, schools and para-church ministries. The HHS Mandate is the gravest threat to religious freedom in our nation’s history. It will force all of these private and religious groups, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to provide coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs. If they can Mandate abortion drugs now, why not Mandate abortion procedures and sex-change operations after election day? Then, as we’ve all overheard, Vladimir Putin and the rest of the world may see an even more “flexible” administration.

I believe the Roberts Ruling and the media reaction to it reflects a bottomless, Inside-the-Beltway cynicism. The best example of cynicism I’ve read comes not from Washington but from Paris. In 1815, France’s Foreign Minister Talleyrand waited impatiently for the Russian Minister to meet him. When the Russian failed to show up on time, Talleyrand tapped his foot in irritation. Told that the Russian had collapsed and died in his carriage en route to the meeting, Talleyrand stroked his chin pensively and said: “I wonder why he did that.” That’s how I read the pretzel pundits.

Chief Justice Roberts may actually come back to the Constitution when the many lawsuits against Sec. Sebelius’ HHS Mandate get to the Supreme Court. Let us pray he does. But that is no reason to go silent now. If his outrageous ruling of June 28th was a mere maneuver intended to give him more latitude later, that ignoble tactic can only work if conservatives help him out by raising a hue and cry against his unprincipled opinion. We must beat the drums of opposition to this appalling decision.

After he was confirmed in 2005, reporters asked Chief Justice Roberts if he would wear the three gold stripes that the late Chief Justice had added to his robes as a badge of rank. “I think I’ll have to earn them,” Roberts said with becoming modesty then. Now, unfortunately, it is the liberals and the pretzel pundits who are sewing on those gold stripes.

As the sun set over the Chesapeake, I was encouraged by the faith and courage of the good people I met on July 4th on Cook’s Point. Our beloved Declaration was crafted with such folks, the “good people of these colonies,” in mind.

After our reading of the Declaration, I pored over the names of those intrepid Signers of 236 years ago. Two names stood out:New Jersey’s Rev. John Witherspoon andMaryland’s Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Witherspoon was a Presbyterian pastor, a leader among hundreds of clergy in the “Black Regiment” of preachers who rallied to Freedom’s cause. Charles Carroll lived in my home town of Annapolis. A wealthy landowner, he was the only Catholic to sign the Declaration. Witherspoon and Carroll pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Can we do any less? In that Catholic-Protestant alliance our nation was forged. In such a strong faith coalition, it may yet be saved.

Pro-Choice Women I Have Loved

by Robert Morrison

January 31, 2012

Today is my late mothers 90th birthday. We sometimes had words. For starters, she couldnt abide George W. Bush. Of my last visit in 2005, however, my memories are sweet. I did not know how ill she was. She told me how my dad had proposed to her. They shared a love of poetry, especially Robert Burns. Praising the Scots lyrical Mary Morison, Ma Jo (My Joy), my father said: If you marry me, your name will be Mary Morrison. What poetry lover could resist?

My mother told me how shed walked across the Brooklyn Bridge at midnight during World War II. She crossed over walking arm-in-arm with her young sisters-in-law. The kicker: I was carrying you then, she said. We differed strongly on abortion, but I will always cherish those stories she gave me as her parting gifts.

Frieda was the mother of one of my best friends in high school. Often, Id drop by their home, looking for my friend. Id often linger talking politics with Frieda and her husband, Irv, even if my friend was not at home. Irv was a Democratic zone leader in our town. Frieda did not suffer from polio. She suffered from nothing. Her lively talk distracted me from the special shoes and hobbling gait that polio had inflicted on her. She was totally like her beloved FDR. He, too, used witty repartee to distract everyone from his polio. Frieda and Irv named their black Scottish terrier after FDRs little dog, Fala, and they moved to his town of Hyde Park when they retired. Frieda and Irv instilled in me an indelible memory of the Holocaust and a deep concern for Israel.

In the midst of many a passionate debate on Fridays, all talk would come to a halt as the sun set. Frieda would be transformed from a strong advocate to a glowing follower of Judaism. Were political liberals, she told me, but were conservative Jews She lived her faith. I envision Frieda putting on a veil-like head covering and ceremonially lighting the Shabbos candles. Frieda would say the prayers that welcomed the Sabbath like a treasured guest.

Last week, on January 22nd, of all days, my wife, our daughter, and I helped celebrate Maries eightieth birthday. She has been like a cherished aunt to my daughter and son-in-law ever since they moved into her town several years back. Maries late husband, Joe, had been my seventh grade civics teacher. Joe later volunteered to be my campaign manager when I ran for the New York State Assembly. Joe drove me to Albany to meet the leaders of our party. Learning I had not previously visited our state capital, he said: You must say a shehechayanu, a Hebrew prayer for the first time you do anything. Joes father was a rabbi who made an aliya to Israel. His father had taught him: Blessed art Thou, O L-rd, Master of the Universe, that Thou hast preserved us in life to savor this experience for the first time. And Joe taught it to me. When I took a public stand against abortion, Joe was upset. He told me Marie disagreed strongly, too. But he and Marie never stopped working hard for my election. Frieda and Irv never slackened any effort for me, either.

As I think of these pro-choice women I have loved, I am most grateful for their being in my life. My wife and daughter are pro-life. So, I pray, will be our twin granddaughters. Each of these women, I believe, deserved a birth day.

Courage is What Counts in Battle for Life

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 20, 2011

For years, Christians and other people of conscience have worked to undo the great damage done (53 million unborn lives lost, and countless women deeply scarred) by the 1973 Supreme Court ruling known as Roe v. Wade.

Thus far, we have been unsuccessful in correcting Roe, which is why, after nearly four decades, there are those who say we should evacuate the public square, abandon political activism, support our local pregnancy care centers, and admit legislative and jurisprudential defeat. Focus on personal and ecclesial acts of charity, they say, but let politics alone.

Such an attitude betrays a weak understanding of the nature of political change. Such change is almost always incremental, involving two steps forward and one step back, over and over again. This process is tedious and sometimes discouraging. It is also necessary and intrinsic to any system of representative self-government.

At some point in the future, a Supreme Court that honors life might end Roe’s legacy of death. Until then, however, conservatives and champions of life will have continued opportunities to hem-in unrestricted access to abortion on demand.

For example, under President Bush, we were successful in enacting the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, a ban on partial-birth abortion, and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. We ended U.S. funding for organizations that perform abortions in the developing world and prevented federal funding of embryo-destructive stem cell research. Mr. Bush appointed a series of pro-life judges to the federal courts and actively fought efforts to clone human beings. This is only a partial list.

Under President Obama, some of these have been reversed: Our country now funds groups that perform abortion abroad and subsidizes abortion at home. The Presidents most recent Supreme Court nominee was a leading advocate for the legalization of partial-birth abortion. Yet some of the progress under the previous President has not been, nor likely will be, reversed.

Since the first of the year, more than 400 pro-life measures have been introduced at the state level, with many becoming law (see page 3, FRC Actions State Pro-Life Legislative Report for 2011). For example:

  • In Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation ending tax credits for Planned Parenthood.
  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott “has signed into law four pro-life bills, including an ultrasound mandate and a ban on abortion coverage in the insurance exchanges mandated by President Obamas health care law.”
  • In Nebraska, there is now a law mandating parental consent for under-age abortion.
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a measure preventing late-term abortions in his state.
  • South Dakota now has a law requiring a three-day waiting period before a woman can have an abortion.
  • In Kansas, pro-life champion Gov. Sam Brownback has led his legislature in enacting key pro-life provisions (as detailed here).

Now in Virginia, pro-life Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli have won approval for new regulations on abortion clinics which require hospital-quality standards for first-trimester abortions. Insisting upon sound sanitation, adequate ventilation, and sufficient physical space in facilities where a woman has one of the most invasive procedures known to medicine strikes most Virginians and most people generally - as quite reasonable.

As University of Alabama scholar Michael New has documented, these state laws play a significant role in reducing the number of abortions.

In other words, the pro-life movement has not won a single, comprehensive victory, but rather we have advanced a series of measures that increasingly have constrained abortion at both national and state levels. We have made great strides in convincing our fellow citizens that the unborn child has value independent of his or her mother, that this child is a person from conception onward and enjoys a God-endowed right to life that should be protected in law.

When some professing conservatives call for their compatriots to relinquish the battlefield for good public policy to those who oppose it, they do so out of a misapprehension as to the nature of political achievement and also an immature weariness that vitiates productive, and needed, action.

Defeat is never fatal, Winston Churchill is reported to have said. Victory is never final. Its courage that counts.

In the wake of the many welcome successes of recent years, lets keep up the battle with the courage of which Sir Winston spoke and with the “grace and truth” Christ alone can give. After all, we know Who wins in the end.

State of Public Opinion on Pro-Life Laws

by Family Research Council

July 25, 2011

One of highlights of the various 2011 state legislative sessions is the successful passage of many solid pro-life bills. According to a recent report by Guttmacher, 80 bills restricting abortion were passed in 19 states, more than tripling the 23 passed last year. This impressive number not only sets a record for the most life-affirming bills passed in one year, but it also more than doubles the previous record of 34 bills in 2005.

Some abortion advocates suggest that this is an example of legislators with extreme right-wing social ideologies pushing their agenda on the people in their state who likely do not agree with them on these issues. They even go so far as to assert that there has been an all out attack on women by these state legislators.

Now, thanks to Gallup poll data released today, we can check those assertions. Are these pro-life legislators out of touch or do they reflect the feelings of the majority of Americans? Are women feeling attacked and fighting back, or do they support and advocate bills that require their doctor to fully inform them of potential abortion risks, show them an ultrasound, and get parental consent for minors to receive an abortion?

Gallup says:

Of seven abortion restrictions tested in a July 15-17Galluppoll, informing women of certain risks of an abortion in advance of performing it is the most widely favored, at 87%. Seven in 10 Americans favor requiring parental consent for minors and establishing a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions. Nearly two-thirds favor making the specific procedure known as “partial birth abortion” illegal

 

Data from this poll also affirms a striking consistency in polling data that abortion is not a man verses woman issue, with men pushing pro-life views on women who just want to make choices with their pregnancies. To the contrary, four out of seven pro-life measures addressed in this poll scored a higher percentage of support among women than men!

 

Polling Chart

Read the Poll results in their entirety for yourself here.

State of the 2011 Session in Review: Idaho

by Family Research Council

April 19, 2011

Since the Adjournment of Idahos 2011 legislative session on April 7th, a wide spectrum of adjectives have been used to describe this years proceedings. Governor Otter called it very succesful, while Senate Democrats called the session the worst in their collective memories. Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis said it was a difficult session among some of the worst economic times in memory and Representative Erik Simpson summed it up by quoting Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”

From a pro-life and pro-family perspective it is easy to agree with the Governor and call Idahos 2011 session very successful indeed. According to Julie Lynde, Executive director at Cornerstone Family Council, Governor Otter signed every piece of pro-life legislation that crossed his desk. And many of those measures were quite significant.

Fetal Pain

Idaho joined Nebraska and Kansas as the third state to prohibit late term abortions (in this case 20 or more weeks) based upon an unborn childs ability to feel pain. This is a huge step toward upholding the value of all life, and in reinforcing the humanity of the unborn child. At least 12 other state legislatures are advancing similar measures. (See the Fetal Pain state map here).

Prohibiting Abortion Coverage in Obamacare

With the passage of S 1115, Idaho ensured that abortion will not be covered in health plans created through the Health Exchange instituted in Obamacare. Seven other states have passed this same law (AZ, LA, MO, MS, TN, UT, VA) and at least 17 other states have introduced similar measures. The passage of this bill ensures that the current law in Idaho, which prohibits abortion coverage in all health insurance plans, will not be jeopardized by Obamacare.

In addition, a resolution was passed (HCR 23) which removed a dangerous Health and Welfare Medicaid rule that could be used to fund teen abortions and potentially circumvent existing parental consent laws.

Not only was unborn life further protected by the legislature this year, but life was also protected until natural death with the passage of S 1070 prohibiting physician assisted suicide.

Fiscally speaking it was also a productive session. Governor Otter was an active proponent of a bill that was passed to balance the budget without raising taxes and several educational reform bills removing collective bargaining for teachers, instilling a merit-based pay system, and shifting allocation of school funds toward technology.

Very successful seems to be an adequate description of this years session, though it is easy to see how some might disagree. Perhaps Senate President Pro Tempore Brent Hill sums it up best of all when he says: History will tell if this session was a great accomplishment or failure. Anyone who claims we haven’t accomplished much wasn’t paying attention.

State of Pro-Life Legislation in the States

by Family Research Council

March 17, 2011

Polling data affirms that more Americans now consider themselves pro-life than pro-abortion with the percentages coming in at 51% to 42% according to a Gallup poll conducted May 7th - 10th, 2009. This pro-life view was voiced at the polls last November resulting in the election of many pro-life legislatures across the states. Pledging their commitment to support the rights of the unborn child, legislators in many states have sponsored a broad range of pro-life bills. These bills range in subject matter from requiring ultrasounds, to parental consent, to stricter abortion clinic regulations, to bills that would outlaw abortions from the point at which the unborn can feel pain, but all are uniformly based on the fundamental idea that life is precious and should be protected at all stages of development.

The following maps will begin to give you a picture of the state of pro-life legislation in the states. More maps documenting pro-life legislation will be forthcoming.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson and the Power of Love

by Robert Morrison

February 24, 2011

I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who passed away this week, several times in the course of my own pro-life witness. This prolific author and teacher was the highest profile convert to the pro-life cause.

He had been a co-founder with Lawrence Lader in New York of NARAL—originally the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. He was an OB/GYN who had, by his own admission, supervised some 75,000 abortions. In his later writings, he showed how intelligently he and Lawrence Lader strategized to overturn U.S. laws for the protection of the unborn child. Lader famously said: Abortion is central to everything in life and how we want to live it.

Pro-lifers who underestimate the hideous strength that comes from that determination will be unprepared for the furies that are unleashed against anyone who tries to prevent abortion-on-demand from being fully funded and included within ObamaCare.

In the late 1960s, Lader focused on the Catholic Bishops, not Catholics in general. As New Yorkers, Lawrence Lader and Bernard Nathanson knew that they could not stage an anti-Catholic campaign. There were too many Catholics in New York for that. They also knew that many lay Catholics groused about the Bishops, especially those who onsidered themselves liberal, sophisticated New Yorkers.

Being pro-abortion in those days was like reading your Sunday Times over a cuppa and your bagel with. Its what you did and who you were. Why, the Bishops had not even repudiated Pope Paul VIs 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, (Of Human Life). If you werent going to listen to your Bishops about contraception, you were far less likely to follow their guidance about abortion. Lader brilliantly exploited those fault lines, artfully blurring all distinctions between preventing the conception of a child and killing the child in utero.

When he first broke with Lader, NARAL, and the pro-abortion ranks in 1972, Bernard Nathanson took pains to emphasize that his newfound opposition to abortion was based on his medical and scientific discoveries alone. He continued to describe himself as a Jewish atheist. He did not want the secular media to dismiss him as a religious fanatic. Its interesting to note that for all his documented anti-Catholicism, the mainstream media never dismissed Lawrence Lader as an anti-religious fanatic.

In his 1979 book, Aborting America, Dr. Nathanson wrote of how seeing the unborn child on ultra-sound had changed his mind about abortion. The scientific reality was—for this brilliant thinker and writer—inescapable.

I first met Dr. Nathanson in the early 1980s when he addressed a Lutherans for Life national convention. He brought his beautiful wife, Christine, with him and she memorably related how she welled up with tears upon hearing us sing Beautiful Savior, a hymn she recalled from the Lutheran churches of her childhood. Still, Dr. Nathanson took pains to emphasize his reasons for now opposing the satanic world of abortion were non-religious.

In Kansas City in 1984, I again encountered Dr. Nathanson. This time, he was to present his compelling film, The Silent Scream. The convention of the National Right to Life Committee eagerly awaited this video. So many convention goers crowded into the room for the screening that organizers had to move the showing to a larger room. Dr. Nathanson asked me to help set up the TV monitor. We had to put the heavy television on stage on two chairs so that people in the back of the hall could see the grainy ultra-sound footage.

I told Dr. Nathanson I would have to stay up there to hold the monitor or it might pitch forward into the crowd of watchers below. My God, Bob, I hope not! He said it with such emphasis that I thought then he was not going to be able to maintain his Jewish atheist shtick much longer.

That film was later described by Planned Parenthood, the outfit that kills as many as 350,000 unborn children yearly, as the most powerful thing the right to life movement has put out. I thought, I hoped, that if we could only get everyone in America to watch this overwhelming film, we could put an end to abortion. I still believe that.

Dr. Nathanson later wrote, in his 1996 book The Hand of God, about the power that ultra-sound images have over us:

For the first time, we could really see the human fetus, measure it, watch it, and indeed bond with it and love it. I began to do that.

It was in 1996 that I saw Dr. Nathanson for the last time. He spoke to a Capitol Hill meeting of pro-lifers. He was to speak to us about his recent conversion to Catholicism.

We were all interested to hear what he had to say, but before he could affirm his new faith, he wanted to confess to us his sins.

He described how he had performed an abortion on his girlfriend, killing his own child. He admitted driving the children of one of his wives into mental institutions. It was a heart-wrenching confession, painful to hear. Then, he recited the Apostles Creed and all present wept.

Except, perhaps, Professor Hadley Arkes. Hadley was viewing all this with evident emotion, but with a certain distance. Jim Jatras, a respected Hill staffer and noted Greek Orthodox believer, with a flowing beard, innocently asked Hadley if he, too, had not converted to Catholicism. Arching a bushy eyebrow, Hadley gave a shrug and said: Not yet.

Dr. Nathanson now goes to his Beautiful Savior, asking for His mercy. The power of love is what brought Bernard Nathanson around. It may yet bring around those professional killers, Warren Hern and LeRoy Carhart. That, and no violence on our part, is our best hope.

Celebrating Ronald Reagan’s Birthday

by Krystle Gabele

February 7, 2011

Check out an op-ed that was written by FRC’s Bob Morrison that appeared on American Thinker.

President Reagan spoke of the unborn in his Inaugural Addresses. He appealed for their lives in his State of the Union Addresses. These are the most august ceremonies in this Great Republic. By bringing the fate of unborn children into those state occasions, he said he knew and he cared. He said we must all know and must all care. He would not be silent about what he called “the slaughter of innocents.”

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