Dr. Bernard Nathanson, Rest In Peace

I was only 12 when, in January of 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its hideous  7-2 decision that legal abortion is a “constitutional right” that may not be infringed.  One of the most prolific abortion doctors of that era, one who has estimated that he personally performed in excess of 60,000 abortions, was Dr. Bernard Nathanson.

His thriving abortion practice made him both a wealthy man and a haunted man who was tortured by a guilty conscience which refused to let him rest. Eventually, in 1979, he couldn’t take it any longer. He publicly repented and renounced his “pro-choice” allegiance,  ceased carrying out his ghastly hecatombs, and embraced the pro-life cause. An atheist Jew his whole life, Dr. Nathanson also converted to the Catholic Church and henceforth devoted his life to exposing the evil of abortion. Most likely, you know him from his powerful Pro-Life film, “The Silent Scream.”

His landmark best-selling book, The Hand of God: A Journey From Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind,” had a profoundly invogorating and encouraging effect on Pro-Lifers everywhere. If you haven’t read it, you really need to read it — especially now that Dr. Nathanson has died at the age of 84. May he rest in peace. And may the souls of all the babies he aborted intercede for him, imploring God’s mercy and forgiveness. I myself  join my humble prayers to theirs and to those of countless Pro-Life men and women everywhere who are grateful for this man’s integrity and courage.


  1. Annie

    This is why I am a Catholic. Christ the True God can forgive someone who has done such evil can now be with Jesus Christ forever. In his book the he tells us even after he stopped doing abortions and had embraced the pro-life movement, the guilt was crushing. He almost took his own life. After he found the Christ in His Church he had the guilt lifted away. May his Memory be Eternal!

    1. Billy Bean

      Annie: I think I detect the infkuence of eastern Christiantiy in your words (which are edifying). Are you of the Byzantine Catholic rite? In the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, each one who intends to approach the Holy Mysteries first confesses that Christ came into the world to save sinners, “of whom I am first” (as confessed by Saint Paul). Anyway, the lesson of Dr. Nathanson’s life is indeed that Jesus Christ is our True God, Who He has revealed Himself to us (His people, the Church), and Who takes away the sins of the world (even mine!). I am grateful for Dr. Nathanson’s conversion and the glory it brings to Christ. May I find a repentance as evident and deep as Dr. Nathanson’s. May his memory be eternal!

  2. Jane

    Thank God for the conversion of sinners, because I have hope that my sins are being forgiven. I love the line in the Bible about, though our sins be as scarlet. . . I saw Dr. Bernard Nathanson once when I went to DC for a March for Life. He gave a talk and I remember watching him walk to the front of the Basillica ( the National Shrine), and I still have a mental picture in my mind of the grief that he was carrying on his entire person. I have to remember that I too am a murderer, not of babies, but of others’ good name whenever I have spoken of them in a negative way. I hope and pray that I can begin to possess his humility in his realization of the depth of his sin. I am extremely full of joy for him. What if he had not found and accepted God’s mercy? Now he knows what that wonderful mercy has done for him! ! ! Praise be God and His Mercy FOREVER!

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