Bernard Nathanson

So sorry to hear of the passing away, from cancer this morning, of Bernard Nathanson. An ob/gyn and abortionist who helped found NARAL, he was later convinced by ultrasound technology of the humanity of the unborn child, repented, and became an important pro-life champion. He was creator of "Silent Scream," an ultrasound film which shows a child in the womb fleeing from the abortionist's instruments.
In his 1996 autobiography The Hand of God, he told the story of his journey from pro-abortion to pro-life, saying that viewing images from the new ultrasound technology in the 1970s convinced him of the humanity of the unborn baby. Outlining the enormous challenge of restoring a pro-life ethic, he wrote, “Abortion is now a monster so unimaginably gargantuan that even to think of stuffing it back into its cage … is ludicrous beyond words. Yet that is our charge — a herculean endeavor.”
He noted, regretfully, “I am one of those who helped usher in this barbaric age.”
His autobiography, The Hand of God, tells the story of, among other things, his conversion to Catholicism.

Nathanson later said that he was drawn closer to God while viewing a massive Operation Rescue event, when hundreds sat down in front of a New York Planned Parenthood building, blocking traffic. The sight of so many pro-lifers selflessly sacrificing their selves and risking arrest made him realize that they must be answering a higher call, he explained.
In an epilogue to the second edition of The Hand of God, Father McCloskey called the book “one of the more important autobiographies of the twentieth century,” which documents “man’s inhumanity both to humanity and to his personal self, and the possibility of redemption.”
Another strong factor in his conversion was the book Pillar of Fire, by noted psychiatrist Dr. Karl Stern, who tells of his own journey from Judaism to the Catholic Church. Nathanson studied briefly under Stern in medical school, though at that time he did not know about Stern’s conversion. It was only years later, when Nathanson read Pillar of Fire that he learned off his former professor’s religious views.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.