Bernard Nathanson, who went from helping found the pro-choice organization NARAL (the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws), and directing the world’s largest abortion clinic, to becoming a leading pro-life activist and committed Catholic who authored books and created documentaries that have been used to expose the abortion industry, died this week at the age of 84. Bill Muehlenberg wrote a great piece chronicling his life, below is a selection:
The pro-abortion activists have always claimed that thousands of women died each year in America before the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision to legalise abortion. Nathanson helped to make up this figure of 5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year.
He said this about it: “I confess that I knew the figures were totally false, and I suppose the others did too if they stopped to think of it. But in the ‘morality’ of our revolution, it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics? The overriding concern was to get the laws eliminated, and anything within reason that had to be done was permissible.”
Nathanson went on to describe the real figures: “In 1967 … the federal government listed only 160 deaths from illegal abortion. In the last year before [Roe v Wade], 1972, the total was only 39 deaths”. While 39 deaths are too many, the figure must be held up to the 1.5 million babies killed each year in the US since 1973.
Jim Hughes, President of Canada’s Campaign Life Coalition, recounted the following comical experience:
“He’ll be greatly missed. His story is an unbelievable story,” said Hughes, who recalled one time when Nathanson debated Canada’s “father of abortion,” abortionist Henry Morgentaler. “It was rather comical,” said Hughes “When Morgentaler put forward his ideas and his defense for the practice of abortion, and Nathanson laughed and said, ‘I invented all those phrases! I invented those statistics.’ It was quite the experience.”
The Center for Bio-ethical Reform has been displaying posters of aborted babies on college campuses across America over the last number of years. Recently, at Florida State University, they were shouted down by a group of very loud protesters. According to CBR:
The Center for Bio-ethical Reform and the Canadian CBR displayed the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) amidst much opposition at Florida State University (FSU).
During our recent open microphone session, on February 17, a large crowd of protestors attempted to disrupt our attempts to respond to questions from FSU students.
Despite their attempts, CBR succeeded in fielding dozens of questions from abortion advocates.
Watch the episode described below (pay special attention to the response by the CBR worker in part two to the accusations regarding the use of the Rwandan poster):
So murdering these 7 infants AFTER inducing labor is “one of the most horrific things” the news reporter of 30 years had “ever heard,” and these abortions are worthy of having the doctor charged with 7 counts of murder, and yet in a number of states, doing this same thing with infants the same age is fine as long as you do it inside the womb (Pennsylvania’s limit is 24 weeks)? What hypocrisy!
Shockingly (or perhaps, not that shocking come to think about it), there are notable pro-choice activists that say there should be no limits on when abortions should be able to be performed! According to the leftist magazine Slate:
Marge Berer, founding editor of Reproductive Health Matters, takes a similar position. In an article on the same site, RH Reality Check, she argues that “an abortion provider must never pass judgement on the validity of a woman’s need for an abortion.” Instead, “abortion providers should act as technicians with a clinical skill to offer.” According to Berer, “anyone who thinks they have the right to refuse even one woman an abortion can’t continue to claim they are pro-choice.”
Berer takes particular offense at a moral limit suggested by pro-choice writer Frances Kissling. Kissling has proposed that “when a fetus reaches the point where it could survive outside the uterus, is healthy, and the woman is healthy, and she has had five months to make up her mind, we should say no to abortion.” Berer quotes this statement with dismay and repudiates it with a question: “Who exactly are the ‘we’ that she [Kissling] now considers herself to be part of?” Berer concludes that “there will always be a handful of women” who don’t make their abortion decisions before 20 or 24 weeks, and “the pro-choice thing to do is to support them and do the abortions anyway.”
Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, goes further. “Is there anything qualitatively different about a fetus at, say, 28 weeks that gives it a morally different status to a fetus at 18 weeks or even eight weeks?” she asks. “Why should we assume later abortions are ‘bad’—or, at least, ‘more wrong’ than early ones?” Furedi rejects this assumption and concludes that “in later pregnancy, too, I believe that the decision, and the responsibility that comes with it, should rest with the pregnant woman. … We either support women’s moral agency or we do not. … There is no middle ground to straddle.”
Among other things, this means no time limits. Furedi argues that “women should have access to abortion as early as possible and as late as necessary.” In her current essay, she writes: “To argue that a woman should no longer be able to make a moral decision about the future of her pregnancy, because 20 or 18 or 16 weeks have passed, assaults [moral autonomy] and, in doing so, assaults the tradition of freedom of conscience…” In fact, “the delivery of an abortion procedure in the second (and even third) trimester is preferable to its denial.”
These essays vary, but together, they capture the absolutist worldview. There’s no moral difference between eight, 18, and 28 weeks. No one has the right to judge another person’s abortion decision, regardless of her stage of pregnancy. Each woman is entitled to decide not only whether to have an abortion, but how long she can wait to make that choice.
Make no mistake about it, what Kermit Gosnell, the physician charged with murdering these infants, did was business as usual in the abortion industry (save for his less than sanitary abortion office and less-than-professional way of doing things). After all, what do people think abortion is?
As disgusting and horrific as this case is, the words of pro-choice activist Ann Furedi should resound: “Is there anything qualitatively different about a fetus at, say, 28 weeks that gives it a morally different status to a fetus at 18 weeks or even eight weeks?”
Former Director of the Bryan, Texas Planned Parenthood, Abby Johnson, recently released a book chronicling her transformation from Planned Parenthood Director to pro-life activist. The first chapter of her book, an account of the day that changed her life, was released on LifeSiteNews in full. Click here to read it. The visiting physician needed Abby’s help with an ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13 week old baby. The following is the key section of her account. I dare you to read this and not be shaken.
At first, the baby didn’t seem aware of the cannula. It gently probed the baby’s side, and for a quick second I felt relief. Of course, I thought. The fetus doesn’t feel pain. I had reassured countless women of this as I’d been taught by Planned Parenthood. The fetal tissue feels nothing as it is removed. Get a grip, Abby. This is a simple, quick medical procedure. My head was working hard to control my responses, but I couldn’t shake an inner disquiet that was quickly mounting to horror as I watched the screen.
The next movement was the sudden jerk of a tiny foot as the baby started kicking, as if it were trying to move away from the probing invader. As the cannula pressed its side, the baby began struggling to turn and twist away. It seemed clear to me that it could feel the cannula, and it did not like what it was feeling. And then the doctor’s voice broke through, startling me.
“Beam me up, Scotty,” he said lightheartedly to the nurse. He was telling her to turn on the suction — in an abortion the suction isn’t turned on until the doctor feels he has the cannula in exactly the right place.
I had a sudden urge to yell, “Stop!” To shake the woman and say, “Look at what is happening to your baby! Wake up! Hurry! Stop them!”
But even as I thought those words, I looked at my own hand holding the probe. I was one of “them” performing this act. My eyes shot back to the screen again. The cannula was already being rotated by the doctor, and now I could see the tiny body violently twisting with it. For the briefest moment the baby looked as if it were being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed. And then it crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula before my eyes. The last thing I saw was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube, and then it was gone. And the uterus was empty. Totally empty.
Read her entire account (the first chapter of her book) here, then buy her book via the link at the bottom of the page.
A couple is conducting a poll that asks internet users whether they should kill their 17 week old pre-born baby. Evidently, the results of the poll well help them decide. The couple states the following on their website:
You can vote and choose whether we abort or keep our unborn child. For the first time, your vote on the topic of abortion can make a difference.
We invite you take this journey with us as we contemplate our own options and encourage you to utilize this site to vote and voice your opinion in a way that will have a real consequence… in a way that truly matters. Here, your vote will not go unheard.
* Planned Parenthood’s roots of Margaret Sanger and Eugenics
* The lucrative business of abortion and government funding
* Planned Parenthood’s willful covering up of sex crimes against minors
* Expanding use of RU-486
* The agenda of sex education for children
* Planned Parenthood’s corporate financial partners
Here’s an example quote they have from Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood:
As an advocate of Birth Control, I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to point out that the unbalance between the birth rate of the ‘unfit’ and the ‘fit,’ admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation to the mentally and physically fit though less fertile parents of the educated and well-to-do classes. On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.
The Nebraska Legislature passed a law entitled the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” that would make it a felony for a doctor to abort an unborn baby that is more than 20 week old. Why 20 weeks? According to National Right to Life statement:
By a vote of 44-5, the Nebraska Legislature this morning gave final passage to the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act introduced by Speaker Mike Flood. Governor Dave Heineman is expected to sign the bill in a ceremony this afternoon. The law will take effect on October 15, 2010.
“By 20 weeks after fertilization, unborn children have pain receptors throughout their body, and nerves link these to the brain,” National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch said in a statement. “These unborn children recoil from painful stimulation, which also dramatically increases their release of stress hormones. Doctors performing fetal surgery at and after 20 weeks now routinely use fetal anesthesia.”
Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago I saw the video below, entitled The Numbers Don’t Lie, which was put out by the Bound4Life folks in June. I thought the video was great, but wondered how they could attribute the shift in public opinion on abortion directly to the Bound4Life/JHOP movement. I asked my friend Gordon MacIlvaine with JHOP:San Diego to share some thoughts on the subject, and he graciously accepted. Below is his guest article for VOR, entitled The Numbers Don’t Lie.
“Who, tho’ he has fought against thee, is now reconciled to thee, and will maintain thy cause against all thine adversaries.”– John Wesley.1
Seeds of Intercession
God contends with those who contend against His people. Then He calls us to be a kingdom of priests who do what He is doing in this generation. Intercession is much more than an activity to which we devote two hours of our time each morning and evening. Intercession is much more than a current trend into which we take refuge for a season of time and then move along as the culture sways us. Intercession is the very reason and the very lifestyle for which we are all created. The purpose of this short piece of writing is to call to account and to bring to remembrance the primary vocation of every believer in Jesus. Even though it is our inheritance to go from glory to glory in the place of intercession, we more frequently than we should lose sight of our identity in Christ the Intercessor.
Secrets of Intercession
Secret of intercession #1 – Jesus Himself made it plain, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” In another place Jesus furthers expands on this, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Secret of intercession #2 – To go humbly before God and ask Him questions. You might for example ask God, “Oh Lord, how do I pray?” This is what the twelve disciples asked Him; should we do any differently? Another question which directly relates to revival and reformation is this: “Why has America’s opinion about the practice of abortion shifted from pro-choice to pro-life within the last year?” Several recent polls have all confirmed this to be true, yet why is this happening? Why is America changing her view about abortion? If this causes confusion to you because you think that abortion is just an issue2 that isn’t worth worrying about, then you might want to ask these questions: “God, what do you think about abortion? Should men and women have the right to choose if their child is going to be born?” Many across America have asked this very thing, have heard God answer clearly, and have gone forth in obedience to His unmistakable voice. In simple terms, we cannot enter into intercession unless the voice of God leads us on, and unless the power of the Holy Spirit is alive and active in our midst.
The Red Warriors
Again, I believe that we should indeed be asking the questions, “Why have the hearts and the minds of Americans shifted concerning abortion? Does this shift reflect or relate to the increasing amount of prayer all across America for the ending of abortion and for revival and reformation? This is critical for America to understand in light of the social, political, moral, cultural, health, educational, and spiritual states of emergency into which we find ourselves today. I would dare to say that much of our crisis is undoubtedly bound to the issue of the bloodguilt of America. But don’t just take my word for it. Ask God! He is proclaiming it loud and clear. In all 50 states there are groups of people who have committed themselves to pray for the ending of abortion. Why is this? Because God loves babies!3 Bound4LIFE chapters made up of young and old followers of Jesus gather to fast, weep, and travail in prayer for the ending of abortion. We stand in front of abortion clinics and courthouses praying silently with red tape over our mouths that says LIFE. We wear red wristbands called Life Bands as a symbol and reminder of the covenant with God that we have made to PRAY for abortion to end every time we see the red mark on our wrist, to VOTE for candidates that are actively pro-life, and to OBEY God as he leads us into works of compassion and justice. And we repeat this prayer daily: “Jesus I plead your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation, God end abortion and send revival to America!”
If this is not God raising up a united cry for the pre-born babies who don’t yet have a voice of their own, then we are to be pitied among Christians because we stand in silent prayer for several hours every week. But if this is what Jesus is doing right now among thousands of His followers throughout America, Canada, Europe and the world, then it doesn’t take a prophetic eye to discern that the Holy Spirit is drawing forth a Moses Generation out of the bloody river of abortion; He is longing much more than we are for abortion to come to an end. In 1994 during the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, Mother Theresa declared boldly before President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and many congressional leaders, “Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted, and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child, and be loved by the child.”4 Oh that the Church of America would see and embrace the truth!
The Numbers don’t lie. Thousands of Christians, young and old, are gathering together all over America to fast and pray for the ending of abortion.5
The Numbers don’t lie. Since 1973, 50 million American lives have been lost in the bloody river of legalized abortion. Each day, over 4000 children are aborted in America.6
The Numbers don’t lie.
Right now the momentum is on your side. A recent Gallup poll7 shows that in May 2008 50% of Americans considered themselves “Pro-Choice” and 44% considered themselves “Pro-Life.” In the last year, there has been a complete reversal of statistics. As of May 2009 51% of Americans now consider themselves “Pro-Life” while only 42% say “Pro-Choice.” This is a FIRST-the majority of Americans are Pro-Life.
Pew Research8 recently discovered a radical trend indicating a massive loss of support for abortion. Tracing back to August 2008, the number of people that think it should be illegal in all or most cases is dramatically increasing, and those that think it should remain legal is desperately decreasing.
Rasmussen Reports9 recently conducted a study that shows that 58% of Americans now think that abortion is morally wrong. Among them, 64% are women.
In spite of what you hear OR MAY NOT HEAR in the media, America is changing her views on abortion. Bound4LIFE believes this can be directly attributed to the mass mobilization of prayer targeting the ending of abortion and revival in the nation. To put it another way prayer and fasting are in fact shifting the hearts and minds of America. Clearly minds are changing when increasing numbers of people are calling themselves “Pro-Life” and thinking that abortion should be illegal in most cases. The fact that more people believe abortion is morally wrong means that hearts are shifting too.10
Why is this happening? The secret of intercession is found in the blood of Jesus. It is found in the priestly calling of every believer to appropriate the blood and in so doing we give God all the glory. The secret of the Intercessor who stands in the gap on behalf of the land is bound to the fact that He pleads with blood. What does it mean to plead with blood? It means blood for blood. It means life for life. God established the system of atonement during the time of the Levitical Priesthood for this purpose. Ezekiel expresses profound insight into the necessity of bloodshed, sacrifice and atonement, “Therefore, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, ‘I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you.'” (Ezekiel 35:6). Of course the Torah of Moses is 100% fulfilled in Jesus Christ; He gave everything because of the demand of righteous blood in order for the fulfillment of God’s justice. Jesus pleads with His blood, with His life given over to Father on the cross of Calvary. This is the call to prayer. This is the call to intercession. This is the call – to plead His blood over our sins and the sins of our nation – For He is worthy of it all.
The Future of America
The numbers don’t lie. The reason that Americans now lean more towards pro-life values than we did one year ago is because men and women have counted the cost and have subsequently left all behind, for the sake of pleading the righteous blood of Messiah Yeshua over the future of America. There is no political remedy to the shedding of innocent blood in our nation. The only thing that will cover our sins is the pure, undefiled, innocent and Holy blood of the Son of God. Oh that the destiny of our nation would not be aborted! The perfect justice of His intercession on the cross has set us free. HE is the giver of freedom. For whom the Son sets free shall be free indeed. It cost Jesus His own life, blood for blood, life for life, and freedom for freedom; should we do any differently?
Let me say this clearly, men and women are forsaking the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; instead we are turning aside to seek the greater reward11 which is God’s dream which is the Cross of Yeshua. For it says of Jesus that He was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. God’s dream is incomparably more excellent than the humanistic self-empowering American dream in which we ourselves demand from the state the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The eternal reality of God’s everlasting kingdom bears witness to a much more excellent way. Only God can give life, only God can give freedom, and only God can give us the gift of happiness. Let us pursue Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. For it will require all -inside and out – soul, spirit, and body entirely surrendered unto Him who is mighty to save, since there is only one place that true freedom can be found – on the cross.
This is why America is turning pro-life. God is speaking to us that abortion is wrong, and thousands from all over the nation are refusing the dream of America and accepting the call to plead the better blood of Jesus12, though it may cost them their dreams, their ambitions, their careers, and their very own lives. For it says of Jesus that for the joy set before Him he endured the cross and despised its shame.
Seeds of intercession always bear fruit, provided that they first fall to the earth and die. Jesus Himself declares this in John 12:24. The bloodguilt of America is not beyond God’s power to reckon, nor is it past His people’s place of intercession which is to stand and plead His blood over our sins so that abortion ends. We are crying out for speedy justice. Their blood cries out. His blood cries out. God is alive and He will not be silent, “Life for Life.”
1. John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible, Isaiah 51:22. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wesley/notes.ii.xxiv.lii.ii.html
2. Many would consider abortion a “health issue” when in reality it is purely criminal. Moreover, in God’s eyes this is hardly an issue, it is a spirit of murder which always seeks to destroy God’s plan and purpose and destiny for an arising generation of deliverers.
3. Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”
A majority of Americans are pro-life! According to Gallup:
A new Gallup Poll, conducted May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves “pro-life” on the issue of abortion and 42% “pro-choice.” This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.
The new results, obtained from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, represent a significant shift from a year ago, when 50% were pro-choice and 44% pro-life. Prior to now, the highest percentage identifying as pro-life was 46%, in both August 2001 and May 2002.
In 1995 56% of Americans were pro-choice, and 33% were pro-life. Today 51% are pro-life, and 42% are pro- choice. This is change we can believe in!