By Julie Anderson
It’s hard to imagine an award being given to someone as a result of his/her work to promote the deliberate killing of a baby; yet, that’s exactly what happened in our nation that night. Here at Hosea Initiative, we would like to offer you an alternative, the first-ever Life is Beautiful Gala with the presentation of the first Bernard N. Nathanson Courageous Witness for Life award.
NARAL, also known as NARAL Pro-Choice America, began in 1969 as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. One of its founders was Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson, but as Terry and thousands of other Americans have discovered, despite being one of its founders, the late Dr. Nathanson didn’t stay with the organization for very long.
According to its website, as an organization, NARAL boasts 2.3 million supporters with a stated mission of fighting “for reproductive freedom for every person in every state.” Elsewhere on its website, the organization claims that seven in 10 Americans “believe abortion must remain legal and accessible.” Calling themselves “the foot soldiers who work to ensure that abortion access is not only protected, but expanded for every American.”
It’s hard to accept those numbers. After all, as Hosea Initiative founder Terry Beatley details in both her Face-Check booklet and book What If We’d Been Wrong? Keeping My Promise to America’s ‘Abortion King,’ one of the founders of NARAL, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, later admitted to falsifying statistics as part of the organization’s strategy to legalize abortion in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Take for example, the number of illegal abortions.
Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Nathanson and another one of the NARAL’s cofounders, Lawrence Lader, reported to the media that one million women had illegal abortions every year in the United States. The two also told the media that somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 women died annually in “back-alley abortions.” Dr. Nathanson also claimed that more than 60 percent of Americans wanted abortion on demand. The reality was much different.
According to Dr. Nathanson, around 98,000 women had illegal abortions annually, and 250 women died as a result of abortion. Those numbers, he said, were also on the high side. And as for the percentage of Americans in favor of abortion, the number was one-tenth of one percent. As Terry says in her fact-check booklet, “It’s hard to believe, but many people bought this audacious lie.” And it was a lie that Dr. Nathanson came to deeply regret. He even contemplated suicide over the harm he had caused by unleashing abortion on the American public.
In 1973, the very year in which my husband and I were born, Dr. Nathanson experienced something that would lead to a rethinking and reshaping of his views. He saw a child in the womb via what was then a new technology-real-time ultrasound.
Just two short years later, Dr. Nathanson resigned from NARAL. His resignation letter was given to Terry. In it, he wrote, “… The judgments of the Supreme Court were never meant to be infallible or eternal. And what if we’ve been wrong-if the Court should soon reverse itself on the abortion issue in the light of changing times and/or new scientific evidence? What an incalculable injustice will have been perpetrated. What an immeasurable irretrievable loss will have been suffered.”
At the end of his letter, he wrote, “The annual dues to NARAL are ten dollars and the hubris of certainty. Regretfully, I can no longer meet those dues.”
In 1996, 23 years after resigning from NARAL, Dr. Nathanson repented of his sins and was baptized on Dec. 8 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. His name is well-known in prolife circles as the former abortionist “spoke out tirelessly all over America and in many other countries, wrote several books, and made two movies, Silent Scream and Eclipse of Reason, to help expose the brutal reality of abortion.” He is considered to be one of the greatest prolife warriors of our time.
On Dec. 1, 2009, an 83-year-old terminally ill Dr. Nathanson granted an interview with Terry. Near the end, Terry told him the following, “Dr. Nathanson, I know you are too sick to travel getting your message out. If you have something to tell America, I promise I will carry it across our nation.”
His parting words to her were powerful. “Yes. Yes, I do. Continue teaching the strategy of how I deceived America but also deliver this special message: Tell America that the cofounder of NARAL says to ‘Love one another. Abortion is not love. STOP THE KILLING. The world needs more love. I’m all about love now.’”
I cannot think of a better way to honor Dr. Nathanson than by participating in the “Life is Beautiful Gala,” and I cannot think of any day more appropriate than Sunday, Dec. 8, the anniversary of Dr. Nathanson’s baptism and reception into the Catholic faith. It’s the day the universal Church celebrates the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Mother of God.
The gala promises to be amazing. With Michel Lindell, CEO and founder of My Pillow, as emcee and author Mallory Millet providing the keynote address, the evening will provide attendees an opportunity to learn more about Hosea Initiative and its ministry. With the 2020 election in full swing, it’s vital that every American hears the story of how abortion went from the unthinkable to harmful reality. The real highlight though will be the awarding of the first Bernard N. Nathanson Courageous Witness for Life Award. And while we cannot reveal the recipient’s name, no doubt you will agree with us that the individual has tremendous courage in proclaiming the right to life for all Americans.
So, please consider joining us in the Life is Beautiful Gala by purchasing a ticket, sponsoring a table, or making a financial gift. No matter what you choose, please keep us here at Hosea Initiative in your prayers.