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ABORTION/ The Silent Scream

Doctor Bernard Nathanson died on February 21, 2011. After having performed more than 75,000 abortions, he decided to defend life since conception. In this interview, he explained why.

Bernard Nathanson Bernard Nathanson

Doctor Bernard Nathanson died on February 21, 2011. Doctor Bernard Nathanson was a physician who practiced for many years in New York City as obstetrician. In 1968 he co-founded the National Abortion Rights action League, the nation’s leading advocate for abortion calling it the right to “freedom and privacy”. He directed the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health of New York, the world’s largest abortion clinic and contributed to the refinement of abortion techniques and to the spreading of this knowledge in the medical field. In 1979 he stopped performing abortions and began to fight against this practice. Since then he spent his time and energy defending the right to life both by speaking at conferences throughout the world, and by publishing books on life issues. The general public is acquainted with him for the crudest and shocking film entitled “The Silent Scream”- the recording of the abortion of a fetus 11 weeks after conception. Dr. Nathanson was a non-practicing Jew but he converted to Catholicism and received the Baptism in 1996 by the hands of John Cardinal O’Connor. His autobiography “The Hand of God” narrates his journey from Death to Life. In this interview – that dates 2008 – he explained why, after having performed more than 75,000 abortions, he decided to defend life from conception.

We had the opportunity to meet him, already sick and home-bound, in the spring of 2008 and we asked him few questions. We visited him in his residence on the upper West Side in Manhattan. He looked a peaceful elderly man, with eyes full of wonder and curiosity. He spoke softly; we felt the weight of his words while we appreciated his effort to communicate with us.

Dr. Nathanson, can you tell us about the change that happened in your life, as you describe it in your book “The Hand of God”?

I didn’t have an epiphany. It was a slow process. It went over a span of years and it required of me significant effort of thinking and feeling which is not finished. I still have work to do. This process is infinite and has no end. The beginning is different for all of us but all the roads end up in the same place—we try to, at least.

Dr. Nathanson, what is truth?